My wife and I just got back from our second cruise to the Western Caribbean. We were able to visit Costa Maya, Cozumel, Nassau, and Belize. We had heard so many wonderful things about Belize, especially the coral reefs the country is famous for. Sadly, Belize was the one stop on the cruise where we had to be tendered in from more than a mile off shore. Whenever you have to be transported by little passenger boats from the cruise ship to land it eats into your time for tours that day. Thus we only got to visit the little landing designed just for tourists when we went ashore to Belize. We missed out on snorkeling the coral reef and perhaps an air-boat ride we had hoped for.
This is not going to discourage me as we are intent on getting back to Belize again and spending some un-rushed time visiting the beautiful areas we had looked forward to. One of the places I want to visit is Turneffe Atoll. Turneffe Atoll is a 30-mile by 12-mile tropical paradise noted for fishing, diving and eco-touring ranging from bird watching to crocodile nests to those magical paddle wheelers we know as manatee.
The term “atoll” for a “ring-shaped ribbon reef enclosing a lagoon in the center” was first used as atollon in 1624; however, the term was popularized by Charles Darwin, who described atolls as a subset in a special class of islands, the unique property of which is the presence of an organic reef.
Located on this remote Atoll, Turneffe Flats is an American-owned luxury eco lodge, with superb dining, service that pampers the most discriminating traveler. The Scuba diving center and saltwater fly-fishing resort on Turneffe Atoll is about a 90-minute boat ride from Belize City.
Fishing: Turneffe Flats is a remarkable fishery offering anglers the opportunity to sight-fish for bonefish, permit, and tarpon on any given day. Anglers fish from 16-foot Dolphin Super Skiffs with 50 horse, 4-stroke engines. There’s plenty of room for storing gear as well as special racks for up to six rods. These skiffs are perfect for poling shallow flats as well as cutting the chop in search of the elusive Grand Slam of all three species in a single day. Wade-fishing is accomplished along miles of hard bottom coral.
Diving: The Turneffe Atoll is located in the heart of Belize’s very best diving, with Turneffe Flats ideally located to take full advantage of it all. At Turneffe Flats, guests will dive the entire Turneffe Atoll as well as Lighthouse Reef, home of the world-famous Blue Hole. With more than 60 logged dive sites, Scuba divers will have more than enough diving to choose from … and, its location – on the east side of Turneffe – allows the Dive Team to find a good dive location in almost any weather conditions. Turneffe Flats is a PADI Resort emphasizing personalized service and maximum flexibility.
Atoll Adventure: Turneffe Atoll is yours to explore through Turneffe Flats’ Atoll Adventure program. Begun as an alternative program for the partners of anglers and divers, the Atoll Adventure has evolved into a highly popular stand-alone activity where guests choose from a variety of daily guided activities led by a knowledgeable adventure guide. World class snorkeling at numerous sites around the atoll is always a highlight. Adventuresome guests will see all of the wonders of the coral reef including gliding rays a moray eel or two, and a wide variety of reef fish. Or, they will learn how to kayak in the many lagoons that surround the island … a fun way to see a bit of the atoll and get some exercise at the same time.
The Turneffe Atoll is the largest atoll and since it’s located in the Central American country of Belize, it’s only a short hop from Miami, Houston, Dallas or other U.S. departure points. The best way to get the most out of your trip is to give our friends, Craig and Karen Hayes at Turneffe Flats reservations a phone call and have them help you plan a stay at the Turneffe Flats Resort. The owners are wonderful hosts and will make your stay a memory of a lifetime. Craig and Karen have a great website you can visit to get more information at www.tflats.com . If you need some questions answered give them a call at the toll free number (888) 512-8812 or direct at (623) 298-2783. And by all means tell them WarmIslands.com sent you!