It’s time to begin a new story filled with adventure on a path less traveled, the rediscovery of a world class fishery and one of the world’s most spectacular marine attractions at Turneffe Island Resort.
Part One of Two.
For the past few years this fishing trip has been an annual pilgrimage to the piscatorial Garden of Eden “Turneffe Island Belize” in search of the elusive permit.
Belize is an English speaking nation located just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Belize is easily accessible by air, as there are daily flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Miami and seasonal flights from Newark and Toronto. Our group of anglers hailed from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Florida. Most of us converged in Miami and had an uncomplicated uneventful flight to Belize City.
Turneffe Island Resort
We quickly cleared immigration, grabbed our luggage and strolled through customs. A Turneffe Island Hotels staff member was waiting to greet us just outside the customs door. Our luggage was cheerfully loaded into their cargo van and off we went. It is not necessary to touch your luggage again until it is delivered to your room on the island.
Our troop was whisked of the Radisson Hotel Marina on the seaside of Belize City. We gathered at the pool bar and had a few drinks while the remaining visitors arrived and our luggage was loaded.
Our transfer boat was securely ties to the wharf. A light south east breeze pushed a gentle swell which lapped gently on the hull. A few cumulous clouds dappled the sky on an otherwise sunny day, it would be a nice ride.
This was my ninth trip to this Caribbean jewel and my fourth to Turneffe Island Resort. The trip really begins as you head out to sea, lose sight of land, and start your cruise to the Turneffe Atoll.
The transfer time to the island is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Beyond the inside islands you will see only blue water. Gradually you may perceive a haze, then a speck. Finally Turneffe rises magically out of the Caribbean Sea.
Turneffe Island Resort (also know as Turneffe Island Lodge) is a secluded 14-acre private island located 35 miles off the coast of Belize. Turneffe Resort is located on the southern most part of the atoll among a group of small islands. Here you will find a beautiful tropical setting with a white-sand beach caressed by azure blue waters and the sense of true seclusion on this romantic and unspoiled coral island.
Turneffe Island Resort Manager Ronnie Barreto and cheery staff were waiting on the island pier to provide a warm welcome to their island paradise.
Past visitors will notice many changes and improvements to the property. If you have not visited the lodge in the past ten years, you will be pleasantly surprised. To a large extent, this property was not just remodeled, it has been rebuilt. The original buildings were stripped down the bare structure and refinished while preserving the original charm. The new cabanas were designed to blend in with the existing construction. It’s all pleasing to the eye.
Decisions and more decisions
You may know what you plan to do during your visit, but your spouse and companions will have many unique options to keep them busy and happy, such as; snorkeling the coral reef, visiting the famous Blue Hole, reading a book in a hammock with a spectacular view of the Caribbean, kayaking or sailing a Hobie Cat, perhaps a trip to Half Moon Cay Beach and coral gardens with a visit to the Red Footed Booby Bird Sanctuary, maybe a little pampering at the Serenity Spa, or relaxing on a chaise lounge by the pool sipping on a cool tropical drink and watching the hummingbirds play. That will be your dilemma, choosing between the numerous relaxing options.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote that, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after.” Henry was right; the fish are a bonus when you are in paradise.
Spacious guest rooms, warm and comfortable, are entirely finish with brightly varnished mahogany floors, wall and ceilings. The rooms are tastefully decorated with simple island furniture finished with eye-catching colorful tropical material.
The rooms have plenty of closet space plus a private bath and shower plus an adjacent enclosed outdoor shower. The lodge utilizes solar panels for hot water.
Fresh water is from reverse osmosis or rain collection which then goes through a purification system and is UV sterilized. You can drink the water right out of the tap in your room, or if you prefer bottled water is available.
A king bed is standard and two beds are available upon request. Each room has a mini-spilt air-conditioning system with a handheld thermostat control to set your own preferred temperature. All windows have screens if you would prefer to enjoy the ocean breeze. There are no phones or televisions in the rooms. The resort has 110 Volt A.C. power; the same as the U.S.
There are many small touches: Each evening you will find a bedside note with words of wisdom plus a weather report for the next day. Each morning your choice of beverage, fresh coffee or tea will be left on your porch. The very early risers can go to the dining room and help themselves.
Your room will be spotlessly cleaned every day.
Cocktail hour appetizers are served at the outdoor tiki bar and include freshly made ceviche, seafood pizza, tapas and other tasty finger foods. The Turneffe tiki bar is a good place to repeat the events of your day, telling stories and planning for your next day.
The good honest food is served family style and is delicious.
Home baked bread and other goodies are served at every meal.
Though there will be little room for dessert, the staff will bring it on.
You will not be underfed here!
You may be interested in reading a previous post “The Tale of Tacu” “click Here“
To read part two of this report click here.
Additional Pictures are on our Facebook page.
Edward Johnston, of Leisure Time Travel, Inc. has visited Turneffe Atoll nine times (last trip April 2013) and has caught 21 permit on a fly at Turneffe. (108 permit total in Caribbean).
Why take chances with your precious time? We’ve been there. Remember, There is no substitute for first-hand experience.
Tight lines !
Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean
531 N. Citrus Ave. Crystal River, Florida 34428
352-795-FISH (3474) 1-800-771-2202
All photographs by Edward R. Johnston
Copyright © 2014 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2014
To read part two of this report click here.