The Juvenile Tarpon Capital of the World
Tarpon Cay Lodge is located in the northern part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula west of Cancun in the small Mayan town of Rio Lagartos. The town is directly adjacent to a marine reserve and offers anglers excellent opportunities at catching juvenile “baby” tarpon. For anglers specifically targeting juvenile tarpon, this is possibly the best fishery in the world. The tarpon generally range from five to fifteen-pounds with the occasional fish breaking the 25-pound mark. Anglers typically get shots at barracuda and snook in the mangroves and there are a few permit on the ocean side. Short boat runs and abundant shots and action make this destination a great opportunity for anglers of all ages and skill levels!
Tarpon Cay Lodge offers comfortable accommodations in the Yumm Ha Hotel located on the Rio Lagartos waterfront. Rooms have ceiling fans, air conditioning, and private baths. Daily maid service will tend to your room and replace linens, towels, bottled drinking water, cups, and soap. And after a long day on the flats chasing tarpon, relax on the rooftop balcony in the gentle ocean breeze, or rest in the spacious lounge and dining areas while enjoying a beverage. If you still have enough energy at the end of the day, there is a workspace for fly tying! The dockside palapa bar and large outdoor pool make for great spots to relax after a day of tarpon fishing!
Food and Beverages
The food is fantastic! Hungry anglers will be delighted by the hearty meals of Mexican and Mayan-inspired dishes. Breakfast typically consists of eggs made-to-order with a choice of bacon or sausage along with tortillas, breakfast juices, and coffee. Lunch is either a hot meal made-to-order off the menu at the hotel during split fishing sessions or a cooler lunch with sandwiches, snacks, and beverages. Dinner is usually either fresh fish, chicken, pork, or shrimp!
Typical Length of Stay
The standard packages with included transfers at Tarpon Cay are seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days, three (3) nights / two (2) days, and four (4) nights / three (3) days packages. The included transfers occur on Saturdays and Wednesdays and any arrivals or departures on alternate days will require an extra transfer surcharge of $350 for each off-day transfer.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Tarpon Cay is a fishing-focused operation and non-angling activities are very limited. However, if guests rent a car, there are a handful of Mayan ruins near the lodge open for exploration. Additionally, there is a close by cenote and great opportunities for bird watching.
There is a computer at the lodge for guests’ use and Wi-Fi is available in the lobby. There is strong also decent cell coverage in Rio Lagartos. Additionally, the lodge does have a phone that guests can use with a prepaid calling card.
How To Get There
All guests should book flights to Cancun International Airport (CUN), an easy airport to reach with direct daily flights from most cities in the U.S. and abroad.
Arrival And Departure Details
Please make sure to schedule arrival flights NO LATER than 3:30 PM. When booking flights keep in mind the Tarpon Cay transfer meets clients at the Marriott Courtyard – Airport Hotel at around 4 pm. It is a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport. The drive to Rio Lagartos takes about 3.5 hours. Your departing flight must be scheduled for AFTER 1:00 PM to ensure enough drive time to Cancun from the lodge. The Cancun airport requires all departing guests to be checked in and on the way to customs at least 2 hours prior to departure.
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.
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Tarpon Cay Lodge’s location allows access to possibly the best juvenile tarpon fishery in the world! The local fishery is protected as a marine preserve and the commercial fisherman do not fish the lagoons. The area receives low-pressure year-round and the commercial fishing boats are restricted from the prime tarpon flats and lagoons, maintaining a strong ecosystem and incredible fishery. Due to a large number of juvenile tarpon in the area, it is not uncommon to see pods of rolling fish feeding in open water lagoons on a calm day. The fishery near Rio Lagartos contains robust numbers of juvenile tarpon in the 5 – 15-pound range, some snook, cudas, and jack crevalle. The boat runs each day to the lagoons are short and typically no more than 15 – 30 minutes.
There are some great ocean-side flats about an hour or so from the lodge that do see some migratory tarpon. The summer months are the best time for migratory fish opportunities. Most of the migratory fish they see are in the 20 – 50-pound range with an occasional fish in the 60 – 100 size class.
Boats and Equipment Required
Tarpon Cay utilizes 18-foot pangas for all operations. 8 to 9-weight rods with floating lines are perfect for the juvenile tarpon fishery. The water is shallow with shots in 1 foot of water. Small 1/0 wet flies and gurglers are the tickets. 40 – 50-pound mono leaders are preferred over fluorocarbon for the shallow water in the lagoons for the slower sink rate. The larger migratory tarpon will require 10 to 11-weight rods with an intermediate sinking line and 2/0 flies with 60 – 80-pound fluoro.
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. rips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing. All prices listed below are per person and quoted in US dollars.
** The standard packages with included transfers at Tarpon Cay are seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days, three (3) night / two (2) day, and four (4) night / three (3) day packages. The included transfers occur on Saturdays and Wednesdays and any arrivals or departures on alternate days will require an extra transfer surcharge of $350 for each off day transfer.
Double Occupancy Rates
3 night / 2 day = $2,865
4 night / 3 day = $3,320
5 night / 4 day = $3,775
6 night / 5 day = $4,235
7 night / 6 day = $4,665
Single Occupancy Rates
3 night / 2 day = $4,180
4 night / 3 day = $4,850
5 night / 4 day = $5,525
6 night / 5 day = $6,125
7 night / 6 day = $5,790
Non-angler rate: $150 per night (when paired with an angler booked at the single occupancy rate)
- Round trip ground transfer between Cancun and Tarpon Cay Lodge (Wednesday and Saturday)
- All accommodations at Tarpon Cay Lodge as specified
- All guided fishing as specified
- All meals are included
- Bottled water, breakfast juices, and coffee
- Fishing License
- All applicable Mexican VAT taxes
What’s Not Included:
- International flight to and from Cancun
- Transfers on days other than Wednesday and Saturday (additional surcharge)
- Gratuities for fishing guides and hotel staff
- All flies, tackle, and fishing gear
- Laundry service
- Alcoholic beverages, sodas, and mixers
Tarpon Cay Lodge (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. For cancellations outside of 180 days from the start of trip, a refund or trip credit will be granted less a $300.00 per person booking fee to the lodge and a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation fee. For cancellations 179 to 90 days from start of trip date, no refunds will be issued, although a credit for a future trip will be granted minus a $300.00 per person booking fee to the lodge and a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation fee. 50% of the package cost charged by the outfitter and a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation fee. For cancellations inside of 90 days from arrival date, deposits and final payments will be forfeited, and no credit will be issued. 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 $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog Flyfishing. No refunds will apply for weather-related incidents or hurricanes, which is why Yellow Dog Flyfishing strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for your trip. No refunds will be given for services, activities or accommodations voluntarily not participated in by the guest. 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.
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Yellow Dog Client Reviews
“The entire experience simply requires that I do it again – my thanks to everyone at Yellow Dog for everything that went into the trip.” – Andy G.
“We enjoyed the staff and guide and the food was over the top.” – Winston C.
“Had a blast. Juvenile tarpon are really fun.” – Joel C.
“With our group of 4 anglers, we boated 30 tarpon. Can’t ask for much more with our level of abilities.” – Bruce S.
“Tarpon Cay is a wonderful place to chase small tarpon. It provides a combination of backcountry fishing with open flats full of rolling fish. In addition, shots at bigger fish can be had at the right times. The water and the area is beautiful! San Felipe is a happy fishing village with friendly people and lots of great food from the sea. The authentic Mexican food at the lodge was superb with great fish, shellfish, and octopus available and cooked to perfection. I had a great time!” – David S.