Fly Fishing the Remote Mexico Wilderness
Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge is positioned in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere in Mexico’s southern Yucatan Peninsula. The closest town is the sleepy little pueblo of Punta Herrero. Home to only around 95 fishermen, this is truly the remote Mexico wilderness. The new lodge opened its doors in April of 2017, and anglers are quickly discovering the phenomenal fishing and experience offered at Espiritu Santo Bay. The flats, channels, lagoons, and the bay that all make up the fishery hold: tarpon, permit, bonefish, snook, and barracuda. Anglers can sight fish for the abundant flats species in the crystal-clear water that make up the pristine Caribbean flats. With minimal pressure, this fishery is one of the best and most diverse in the whole Caribbean! This is a great destination for experienced anglers as well as anglers new to the salt.
This brand-new lodge has four spacious double-occupancy rooms. The rooms share a deck overlooking the ocean side and are complete with comfortable lounge chairs for taking in the view. Rooms are 250 square feet and have a shower, a full bathroom with double sinks, two beds, and two dressers. The rooms have very good air conditioning with an adjustable thermostat and ceiling fans so you’ll never worry about being uncomfortable.
The common area in the main lodge includes a small gift shop, dining room, and common area. There is a bar on the main deck where you can enjoy a margarita and take in the relaxing sunsets while enjoying the breathtaking view of the reef and Caribbean beyond.
Food and Beverages
Meals take place in the lodge dining room. Dinner is inspired by Mexican and Mayan cuisines with fresh fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and savory meats.
Breakfast is served each morning buffet style. Enjoy fruits, cereals, toast, juices, meats, and eggs cooked to your preference.
Lunch is made each morning for your day of fishing. Every evening you will fill out a form with your lunch requests for the next day. Choose from cookies, sandwiches, chips, fruits, salads, and beverages.
The lodge is equipped with a full bar serving cocktails, wine, and beers. Every day after fishing, the lodge includes a margarita and beer happy hour. A bar tab is kept for additional drinks, and please feel free to bring your own spirits if you like.
Typical Length of Stay
Due in part to the weekly private air charter, the structured packages are seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days, Sunday – Sunday. Please call Yellow Dog for details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Espiritu Bay Lodge is a fishing-focused destination. It’s not ideal for non-anglers and is suited for those that want to fish. However, there are lounge chairs on the deck and minimal swimming in front of the lodge.
Wi-Fi is available free of charge for Lodge guests. Please bring your own laptop or PDA to access the internet. Cell phone coverage is unavailable in the area. The lodge does have a satellite phone on site for emergencies.
How To Get There
All guests should book flights to and from Cancun International Airport, (CUN). All guests must plan to overnight in Cancun on Saturday prior to arriving at the lodge.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Guests must arrive into Cancun on Saturday and overnight to catch the Sunday morning charter flight to the lodge. The lodge recommends the Marriott Courtyard – Airport Hotel and arranges a shuttle from the Marriott to the Municipal Terminal (FBO) on Sunday morning to catch that flight. The provided charter flight to the lodge typically leaves Cancun on Sunday morning at 9:00 AM. Make sure to schedule your departing flight the following Sunday for AFTER 2:00 PM. This is very important to allow for the charter flight back to Cancun.
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trip dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in the back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way. No visas or inoculation are required for U.S. citizens. A Mexican departure tax is payable at the airport when leaving Mexico. Some airlines include this as a prepaid part of your ticket.
Minors Travelling To Mexico Without Both Parents
If you are planning on traveling with minors, remember that all children under 18 years of age entering Mexico accompanied by only one parent or legal guardian must have a notarized letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to enter the country. Single parents need a notarized documentation of divorce decree or death certificate of spouse. Minors unaccompanied by either parent require a notarized letter of consent signed by both parents.
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you before sending quotes.
Espiritu Santo Bay is one of the most diverse saltwater flats fisheries in all of the Caribbean – home to tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook, jacks, and barracuda. Located south of the larger and more popular Mexico fishery of Ascension Bay, Espiritu Santo Bay has far fewer anglers – and with rules imposed by the Sian Kalan Biosphere, the number of anglers is strictly regulated. Anglers, therefore, can expect minimal pressure. The bay’s six-mile-wide mouth opens to the Caribbean and is a highway into the bay and back lagoons for multiple species. A protected area with good numbers of fish and diverse species to target, few saltwater fisheries come close to Espiritu Santo Bay!
Boats and Equipment Required
Boats used by the lodge are Hell’s Bay skiffs. The boats have a dry, stable fishing platform that can reach extremely skinny water. Anglers should plan to bring their own fly rods, tackle, and flies.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
**All packages are week-long, Saturday to Saturday trips due to the air charter to and from the lodge
2023 Rates for Seven (7) nights with six (6) days of guided fishing
Double Occupancy (two (2) anglers sharing a room and boat) = $5,090.00 per person
Single Occupancy (single room and boat) = $7,895.00 per person
- Round trip air charter transfers from Cancun to the nearby landing strip and transfers to the lodge
- All accommodations at ESB Lodge as specified
- All guided fishing as specified
- Breakfast and dinner in the main lodge and lunch on the water with your guide
- Soft drinks, juices, mixers, and bottled water
- Hosted Happy Hour with beer and margaritas
- Fishing license
- Mexican VAT taxes
What’s Not Included:
- International flight to and from Cancun
- Incoming hotel night, taxis, and meals while in Cancun
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- Alcoholic beverages (excluding Happy Hour and wine at dinner)
- Municipal Terminal (FBO) departure tax – Approx $20 US per person
Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge (Espiritu Santo Bay – Yucatan Peninsula)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due at the time of booking for all trip packages and reservations, and final payment if due 90 days prior to arrival. All trip cancellations must be received in writing, sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. Deposits and final payments are non-refundable, and no refunds will be made unless suitable replacement is provided. Payments are non-transferable. If a cancelled package is resold by either the lodge or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be sent minus a $400.00 per person cancellation fee charged by the lodge and a $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog Flyfishing. No refund will be made for unused land or air charter arrangements included in cost. Payment of a deposit acknowledges your understanding and acceptance of these terms. No refunds will apply for weather-related incidents. For this reason, ESB Lodge and Yellow Dog Flyfishing strongly recommend that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for your trip. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment at the time of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.
Yellow Dog Client Reviews
“One of my best saltwater trips. I landed more fish at ESB than any other trip by a factor of 4 to 5. Plus variety of species (Bonefish, Tarpon and Snook with many shots at Permit). I like the intimacy of a small group lodge and Dane and Chiara are great hosts. The long drive from the airport to the lodge and short drive to the boats each morning (all on very crappy roads) weren’t my favorite part, but well worth putting up with because of the quality of the Lodge experience and the ESB fishery. I want to go back.” – Sam W.
“Fantastic experience overall. Extremely well run lodge, love the remote and intimate nature of this destination. Kudos and thanks to Dane and Chiara for what they have built and for the world-class quality of experience they provide. Given the remote location, the attention to detail on matters such as food and lodging is nothing short of remarkable. From a fishing perspective, the biggest asset of ESB is the diversity of species. I caught 8 species and we regularly had 2-3 rods going as there would be permit, bones, snook, and tarpon to cast to, all on the same flat. I will be back if given the opportunity” – Jeff L.
My flats fishing experience is limited, but from the reports of the more experienced anglers with whom we shared the lodge, Santo Bay offers one of the most plentiful and diverse fisheries they have seen. Everyone was blown away with the permit availability. I actually went one day with no fish, but that’s because we targeted permit and tarpon, which were much more difficult to locate. But I learned as much from that fishless day as those when we caught a lot of bonefish. Really, a very satisfying angling experience. – Edwin V.