Optimized Time on the Water With Remote Privacy
Tarpon Sands is a small and intimate island located within the Drowned Cayes of Belize, only twenty minutes from Belize City. The lodge overlooks Belize’s Barrier Reef and offers spectacular views of the green waters of the Caribbean Sea. This small lodge is able to host a total of eight anglers but will accommodate smaller groups of four or six anglers as well. Tarpon and permit are the two target species but you also have the availability of bonefish, snook, jacks, barracuda, and other alternate species. This low-key fishing-focused operation is great for anglers looking to maximize time on the water and minimize boat travel.
The lodge is built on a small island, about an acre in size. Surrounded by palm trees and mangroves with great views of the barrier reef and small home flat. For groups you will have the island to yourselves, it is literally your own private fishing island for your stay. Belize City is about a twenty-minute boat ride providing easy transfers on arrival and departure. Until recently this island was a private family retreat but the desire to share this special island with anglers finally became too much. The Codd family is happy to offer up their island for others to enjoy. The four bedrooms are air-conditioned and include twin beds air-conditioned and bathrooms. The main dining building is located about fifty feet from three of the bedrooms with the fourth being located in the main lodge/dining building. Power is provided by solar and generator for 24-hour power across the island. The Blue Haze lounge area over the water is the main hangout for anglers after a long day of fishing. The deck off the main dining room also provides a great place to relax and enjoy a cold drink. It is also common to find anglers enjoying the dock after dinner with a drink in hand while waiting for tarpon or barracuda to swim by.
Food and Beverages
Tarpon Sands goes above and beyond when it comes to their Belizean cuisine. Menus can be catered to the exact desires of each group. However, the cooks do a wonderful job of providing hearty breakfasts, great local lunch fare, and dinners including all the great fare found within Belize. Mealtimes are flexible as fishing is the priority at Tarpon Sands. Breakfast is often served after an early morning on the water. Lunch is either packed for the day or prepared at the lodge when anglers return from fishing. Dinner is almost always served after dark when anglers have returned from their day and had the opportunity to clean up.
Typical Length of Stay
The average package is seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days, although trips and itineraries of five (5) nights / four (4) days or more can be accommodated. You can arrive or depart any day of the week, as Tarpon Sands has no preset arrival or departure days.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
This is a quiet and remote destination surrounded by a pristine tropical setting, a destination that is best suited for those that want to focus on fishing. That said, lodge staff can arrange for nature-based non-angling activities like snorkeling, beachcombing, wildlife viewing, trips back to the mainland for Mayan ruins, and more. The beach is outfitted with several chairs, hammocks, a volleyball court, and plenty of shade from the palm trees, making this a great “base camp” for those seeking a private experience and a “make-your-own-fun” type of fly fishing vacation. This is a good destination for families if the kids are older and like to explore the beaches and ocean or do some fishing.
Internet / Communications
Internet is available at Tarpon Sands with a Wi-Fi router and specific data requested. It works well for email and general texting. However, large uploads and downloads are not possible. Depending on your carrier you will have cell service while on the island and out on the water.
How To Get There
International flights to Belize City’s Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) go through Miami, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Newark, Chicago, and Charlotte. The major airlines that are currently servicing and will be flying to Belize in the immediate future are American Airlines, United, and Delta.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
The close proximity of Tarpon Sands to the International Airport (BZE) means that you can arrive into Belize at any time of the day and easily transfer to Tarpon Sands without worrying about additional in-country flights and further travel time. You will be transferred to Tarpon Sands via panga or a larger transfer boat that can accommodate groups of six or eight.
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 back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way. Citizens of the U.S., the British Commonwealth, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the European Community are NOT required to have Visas.
Minors Traveling To Belize Without Both Parents
If you are planning on traveling with minors, remember that all children 18 years of age or younger entering Belize 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. Please visit the Embassy of the United States website for Belize to obtain more information.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
The incredibly productive flats system surrounding Tarpon Sands is a long run from many of the well-known, fixed lodge operations in this area. Staying at Tarpon Sands, however, allows anglers quick and easy access to this expansive fishery. Typical runs to the flats and the more productive fishing areas average 15 minutes or less. This means that you can easily fish earlier in the morning, come back to the lodge for lunch, and head back out for an afternoon and evening session. Access to Miami Beach, for instance, is a quick four-minute boat ride allowing for more time fishing and less time boating.
In this particular area of Belize, you will find a complex system of islands, grass, and sand flats – all located only a few minutes from the Barrier Reef. Bonefish within this ecosystem average from two to three pounds, with larger fish found throughout the year. Tarpon Sands is also known as one of the most productive tarpon fisheries in the entire Caribbean, and the area is home to resident fish that range in size from 20 to over 60 pounds. Migratory tarpon arrive in the summer months and provides anglers the opportunity to target fish in the 100 – 150-pound range. One of the most unique and interesting aspects of this fishery is the availability of tarpon moving over sandy flats. This provides anglers the opportunity to sight fish for tarpon in the traditional Florida Keys style. We love the permit fishing in this area as well and feel that Tarpon Caye and the surrounding fishery is home to some of the largest permit in all of Belize. The home flats of the Lodge are close to the reef and deeper water, where permit spend much of their time. The Lodge’s prime location allows the guides to fish a wide range of permit scenarios, thus increasing your odds of finding the fish during different weather systems. The numerous islands in the immediate area enable the guides to position you on the lee sides of these landmasses during difficult, windy weather, granting anglers better casting conditions.
Boats and Equipment
Anglers fish from traditional 23-foot pangas (flats skiffs), either one or two to a boat. Each panga is equipped with a poling platform, a removable lean-bar (casting brace) on the bow, rod holders, and an outboard engine. Anglers need to bring their own rods, reels, lines, flies, and all terminal tackle as Tarpon Sands doesn’t have a fly shop on site.
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.
Due to the varied nature of the accommodations at Tarpon Sands and the unique single group dynamic available at the lodge, all package rates will be customized per guest. Please call Yellow Dog for details and full pricing.
- Round trip land and water transfers between Belize International Airport and the lodge
- The number of nights lodging as specified in your package
- Daily guided fishing as specified
- Three meals per day, plus appetizers
- Snack basket in main accommodations
- All domestic beverages (Soda, Water, Beer, Rum) *** Limit of 2 cases of beer and 1 liter of rum per night***
- Unlimited mixers (Juice, soda, water, sports drinks)
- Daily housekeeping service
- TV, Wi-Fi, and a local cell phone with $10.00 credit
- Use of on-site amenities (Kayaks, Bluetooth speakers, DVDs, board games, etc.)
- 9% hotel tax and 12.5% GST
What’s Not Included:
- International flight to and from Belize City
- Non-domestic alcoholic beverages and anything over daily limit
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- All fishing equipment, tackle, and flies
- Belize fishing license
Tarpon Sands Lodge (Central Belize)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
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. A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking to hold both space and guides for all El Pescador Lodge packages. For cancellations, all deposits and payments are non-refundable. Because of the lodge’s strict no refund policy, we highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. No space or guides will be held without receipt of deposit. Full pre-payment is due 90 days prior to date of trip. For trip cancellations outside of 90 days from start of trip, a credit of 100% of deposit/final payment may be transferred to another date (within one next year) based on availability. This decision will be made by the lodge. Inside of 90 days from start of trip, deposits and/or final payments are non-refundable and no credits will be issued. Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for your trip. Tarpon Sands Lodge will not refund payments in the event of a hurricane or poor weather, or for unused portions of any package.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment within 10 days 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 Customer Reviews
“Perfect for those who want to focus on catching a big tarpon. You’re staying right off of the flat that others have to run an hour or more to access, and you have close access to other water as well. Very conveniently located.” – John R.