This was our second trip back to Turneffe Resort with our last time being in 2009. I have been back to places before and have been disappointed; this was not the case at this great resort. It was nice to see that almost all of the staff that was there last time was still there and just as pleasant as always.
The location of the resort is about a 1 1/2 hour boat ride out to bottom of the Turneffe Islands from the marina at Belize City. The boat is very comfortable and the ride actually flies by. This makes the resort very private and exclusive which is perfect if you want to get away and unplug yourself from the daily grind. If haven't stayed at any of the other resorts out there because the value seems to be perfect at Turneffe Resort and my wife loves the accommodations.
Food. The food is the best that I've ever had at an all inclusive resort not that this is anything like that because I think that they can only accommodate 40 people when they are at full capacity. The food is served family on about 5 tables so that everyone can sit and talk to other guests that you will meet throughout the week. It's always been such a great group of people that it's really comfortable and nice to have some great conversations. The food is always fresh and delicious and it's nice to have desert for lunch and dinner. There is always plenty of food as well and they will offer more if the plate is empty. There is different foods every night, anywhere from lasagna, red snapper, and a couple of side dishes and fresh vegetables. Friday night is the BBQ and it is truly a feast with all kinds of different food to choose from. There are delicious hors d'oeuvres served around the bar prior to dinner where everyone gathers to have a drink or two and talk with each other.
Rooms. There are regular rooms, superior and private cabanas. The rooms are pretty much all laid out the same way. So the only difference if the view from the superior being up top or the privacy of the cabanas. They all have outside showers which is a really great feature. It's nice to wake up with coffee, tea or hot cocoa on your porch. They seem to sneak in and deliver it without you hearing them.
Diving. The diving is great and it's nice to make the trip out to the Blue Hole. The staff really does a great job setting up lunch out on the Caye and I think the two dives after the Blue hole are some of the best. The diving around the resort is quick and easy to get to. They have two boats that they use and is valet diving so once you set up your equipment the first day you won't have to worry about anything but your fins and mask the rest of the week. Daniel was our dive master and George was our captain I believe. Daniel is great at pointing out all kinds of little critters and really makes the dives enjoyable. When you get done with the dive the have citrus on the boat for you to enjoy and then head back to the resort for the surface interval for water and cookies. The boats are not the huge one most places use but smaller ones that are quicker and you have to back roll off of the boat which is pretty easy after you do it once. Daniel would take suggestions from the divers on where they wanted to go and would even revisit a site if people really wanted to. The vis was a little green when we were there but March is a windy month and with the north winds they had greened up the water a bit but it was still great diving. My wife actually got hit by one of the three spotted eagles rays that were playing around. It was something that she will never forget.
Fishing. I think that they have about 6 or 8 guides at the resort and many have them have been there for years. I fished with Clifton "KP" Wade and he is one of the most patient and understanding guides around. He is willing to work hard to put you on the fish and let you know what you need to do to catch the fish. I'm used to fishing on small rivers so when you are out on the flats with a 15mph wind trying to cast 30-40 yards was a little tricky at first. I was there three years ago and had a tough time catching fish but I did great this time and didn't have a zero any day we fished. I really wanted to catch a permit and wasn't able to do it last time and this week King Permit had me on them every day but I either couldn't get the right cast or they didn't want to take the conch. Yes I did catch my first permit on bait because all I really wanted to do was catch one. Well after many tries I finally caught my first permit on Thursday. I was as happy as a kid in a candy store. So after trying all morning we headed back for a late lunch and then went back out in the afternoon and I was able to catch one on the fly and then another on the next day. I was great to get the monkey off my back and catch one. I also felt that KP had a lot to do with that. Not that any of the other guides aren't great but I caught 3 and there was only one other guy out of 6 that caught on. I was able to catch bonefish, and we even caught three barracudas on the flats on afternoon when the sun and wind weren't cooperating. This place has it all and compared to other regions of the Caribbean I don't think you can find a place with better accommodations and fishing for this price. They don't have a huge selection of flies or lures so it's best to bring your own. I would definitely suggest some 30lb. shock tippet for the permit. Also maybe try to bring wiggle jigs in brown and make sure to have weed guards on your flies.
The resort. This resort is great and although there isn't diving 3 times a day my wife said she preferred that so that she had time to relax. The 14 acre island is big enough that you aren't on top of other guests if you don't want to be and there are lounge chairs spread out along the entire beach. The beach and island are composed of crushed coral and sea shells so it's really not that great for toddlers that have a hard time walking and I'm not even sure if they impose the children no rule anymore. I guess talk to Danielle and she'll answer any questions you have. It's so nice to be able to leave your room and never lock the door, there is no need because it is so secluded and safe that there's nothing to worry about. I could go on and on but I think that this will give you a good idea of the resort. You won't be disappointed I can assure you of this. I just wish I could stay longer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Turneffe Island Resort is a secluded 14-acre private island located 35 miles off the coast of Belize. We offer 7 night, 4-night, and 3-night Diving, Fishing and Resort packages. Packages include airport transfers, deluxe lodge accommodations, scheduled activities, all meals and hors d’oeuvres served throughout the day. All accommodations are located on white sandy beaches. All rooms include indoor and outdoor showers and spectacular ocean views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Turneffe Island Hotel Turneffe Islands
- Turneffe Island Lodge