The Belize fly fishing trip at El Pescador Lodge is one of the best destinations for your first saltwater flats fishing trips. The guides are friendly, there are plenty of fish, and there's usually a fishing coach on hand to help you get the hang of casting an 8-weight rod.
Many experts go to El Pescador, especially in the summer months when a grand slam is most likely. (Catching a bonefish, permit and tarpon on the same day.)
There is no friendlier, better organized lodge anywhere in Belize, and the staff goes out of its way to treat you as a valued guest.
El Pescador Lodge is much more than a fly fishing lodge, there are many other activities offered, from snorkeling in the warm waters of a marine preserve, visiting Mayan ruins, or kayaking among the protected mangrove lined lagoons.
We highly recommend El Pescador for your next fly fishing trip, whether it's your first saltwater fishing trip or you're a seasoned veteran.
Read one guest's account of his experience fishing at El Pescador.
Ambergris Caye is the largest of the 200 islands that dot the coast of Belize. The second largest barrier reef in the world is just off shore. In Mayan times, Ambergris Caye was a trading post, with a population of 100,000. The narrow channel between Mexico and Belize was dug by the Mayans for a trade route from the Bay of Chetumal to the Caribbean Sea.
Arrive at Belize International Airport before 4:30 PM where you will go through customs and immigration. Proceed to the Tropic Air counter, where your tickets will be waiting for you. The 18 minute flight will take you to San Pedro airstrip on Ambergris Caye, where an El Pescador representative will be waiting to escort you to the lodge by boat, a 5 minute ride.
There are frequent, daily flights to Belize City on major carriers, and you can usually connect directly to San Pedro in one day.
Orvis Travel photography credits
7 night, 6 day fishing package
Fly to Belize City, arriving any time before 4:30 PM, connect to San Pedro on local flight (included in trip price), transfer to the lodge by boat. Settle into your home for the week, take a swim and enjoy a cocktail before dinner. Dinner is served at 6:45 PM each evening.
Breakfast is served from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily. Most anglers eat an early breakfast before heading for the fishing grounds with their guide aboard a Panga (a Mexican-styled skiff, with a casting platform on the front, and a v-shaped hull). The boats are well stocked with food and cold drinks, so you can stay out and enjoy a full day out in the warm salt air. If you would like to stay out longer than the normal 8 hours, guides will extend for an additional fee.
If you don’t want to fish, the staff will arrange a number of activities and excursions, including snorkeling, diving and daytrips to the mainland. Lunch is served at the lodge from 12 noon to 1:00 PM daily. Hors d’ oeuvres are served at the bar from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, followed by a relaxed buffet dinner at 6:45.
After dinner, you can relax, swim in the pool, walk on the beach or enjoy the bar, which is kept open by the resident staff until the last guest retires.
After breakfast, you’ll be taken back to the San Pedro airstrip for flights back to Belize City and flights home. You can catch any flight out of Belize City after 9:30 AM.
Ambergris Caye is conveniently located amidst some of the most productive bonefish, permit and tarpon flats in the Caribbean. The area has long been a favorite of anglers chasing the coveted tropical saltwater grand slam. Although still a difficult feat, even for highly skilled anglers, many would agree that El Pescador is probably home to more grand slams than any other lodge in the Caribbean.
The flats extend for miles, providing ample opportunities and a wide variety of species. The nutrient rich ecosystem provides a tremendous amount of food to the bonefish, permit, tarpon and numerous other fish that inhabit the flats. From extremely large schools of small bonefish to incredible schools of permit and tarpon exceeding 150 pounds, variety is what fly fishing in this part of Belize is all about.
The most numerous game fish available in Northern Belize. Many experienced professional and amateur anglers caught their first bonefish with an El Pescador guide. The fish are plentiful and there are always options available to anglers of all skill levels. The average bonefish weighs in at around 2 pounds but there are larger fish available, and fish over 10 pounds have been landed. Most of the bonefishing around Ambergris Caye is done while casting from the platform of a Mexican style panga flats boat. The elevated position of the angler and guide makes spotting fish easier and oftentimes the boat can get closer to the fish than a wading angler can. There are some flats that are hard bottomed and well suited to wade fishing. However, anglers spend most of their time fishing from the boat.
A popular attraction for anglers visiting Belize. Although never easy to catch, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, this is one of the best places in the world to connect with this special fish. Permit sizes range from 5 pounds to over 40 pounds with the average fish landed running around 10 pounds.
Available year round in smaller numbers and sizes. Resident fish ranging from 10-20 pounds are found in the mangrove creeks, and are a lot of fun on a fly rod whenever they are encountered. Larger resident fish, up to 90 pounds, are often found on the flats, and it is possible to sight fish for tarpon most months. Occasionally it is necessary to prospect the deeper channels with sinking lines, so anglers should be prepared to employ a variety of strategies. In approximately late April through early October the larger migratory tarpon move into the area looking for baitfish schools on their annual migration through the Caribbean. This provides the best opportunity to sight fish for tarpon. It is not unusual to see fish over 100 pounds and larger fish are caught every year. The lodge record was 196 pounds. Although this is one of the best destinations in the world to catch a tarpon on the flats, it is never a sure thing and anglers new to flats fishing should not expect to catch tarpon on their first trip.
The unique geography of the area allows El Pescador’s well trained guides to find fish throughout the day by switching locations and species as the tide fluctuates. In addition to bonefish, permit and tarpon, these guides are well trained and eager to pursue other species including jacks, snapper, barracuda and the occasional snook.
All of El Pescador’s guides were born and raised on Ambergris Caye. Many of the guides have been working at El Pescador for over 20 years, and all are expert anglers. The guides have an encyclopedic knowledge of the fishery, coming from a lifetime dedicated to learning where the fish are and how best to catch them on a fly. El Pescador’s guides are happy to help teach you some of their secrets and will work hard to maximize your opportunities for success.
Many of the small inns and resorts on Ambergris Caye offer to arrange day trips with independent guides. However, ask anyone in Belize if they are a fishing guide and you will most likely get a confident “yes”. The same individual may also claim to be an expert carpenter or SCUBA dive instructor. All guides are not created equal, so it is important to choose carefully. If fishing is an important part of your vacation to Ambergris Caye, there is no substitute for the well organized fishing program and friendly professional guides at El Pescador Lodge.
It's a very good location if you have a small group with mixed abilities, including non-anglers. The experienced anglers can head off to the more technically challenging flats while the beginners can work on technique – and catch bonefish – closer to the lodge. Non-anglers can snorkel, relax around the pool, or take day trips.
El Pescador Lodge is nestled on the Bahia del Punta Arena with an immaculate beach graced with palms and flowering tropical plants. The lodge, built in the colonial style, features a long verandah overlooking the beach and barrier reef. The lodge's standard rooms are comfortable, air conditioned and have a private bathroom. If you want to experience even more comfort and amenities you can upgrade your package and stay in a private villa, located only a few steps from the main lodge. Villas include a great room, which features a living room, dining room, full kitchen, and private veranda. Villas are the perfect option if traveling with family or a group of friends.
There's a pool for a refreshing dip. The intimate, well-stocked bar features an exquisite fresh fruit rum punch and is the perfect place to swap stories after a day's activities. Hors d'oeuvres are served in the evening. Family style meals are a delightful blend of both local and American dishes.
A main lodge with 13 guest rooms and eight villas in 1, 2 and 3 bedroom configurations.
The main lodge at El Pescador is built of local mahogany in a 2-story colonial style. The rooms are nicely appointed, although of modest size – similar to an American motel room in size. Each is air-conditioned and has a ceiling fan. They are close to the swimming pool, bar and dining area. The villas are close to the main lodge but feature larger rooms. They’re two-story buildings with decks, great rooms, an open kitchen and breakfast bar. The downstairs rooms have private entrances directly from the beach. We highly recommend the villas for couples or groups that want a place to congregate away from the main lodge. Ask your Orvis Travel representative about them.
Meals are served in the main lodge and includes a full, American-style breakfast cooked to order, a packed lunch and a full dinner, often served al fresco under the palm trees. The food is good, ample and includes a lot of fresh fruit and seafood. The menu is geared to American diets with a tropical and Mexican influence.
December 16, 2013 - December 15, 2014
|Double Occupancy Rates|
|4-night base package, per person, double occupancy
(fishing not included)
|Additional nights, per person, double occupancy||$255|
|Upgrage to a villa, per person, per night||$75|
|Single Occupancy Rates|
|4-night base package, per person, single occupancy
(fishing not included)
|Upgrage to a villa room, per night||$100|
|Fly Fishing Rates|
|December 16, 2012 - December 15, 2014
Per day, per guide for 1 or 2 anglers
Orvis Travel Two-for-One Special Offer:
Pay for any single occupancy package and your roommate is free. Valid from June 1, 2014 until December 15, 2014.
You never pay more booking your trip to El Pescador Lodge through Orvis Travel. How do we do this? It's simple: El Pescador Lodge pays Orvis Travel to handle the details of your reservation. Call us today at 800-547-4322 or email us at email@example.com to start planning your trip.
Overall: 4.9 / 5 based on 59 reviews
58 of 59 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Wonderful Fishing and Vacation Experience -
The entire trip was everything I expected and more. Fishing in the park (an hour north of the lodge)was beautiful and less windy than on the lodge side of the island. I caught quite a few bonefish daily but could have caught many more if I'd been more accurate with my fly casting into the wind. The staff (every single one of them) was extremely courteous and helpful. Dining was a real joy; the food was superb. Definitely a hit in my books.
A Little Slice of Paradise -
By: Bayrat from Mississippi Gulf Coast
As great as the Lodge and the scenery is, the staff made our trip. Everyone was so polite, accommodating and helpful. The food and lodging are good, fishing is world class. This is the most relaxing trip I have been on in 30 years.
Great Getaway -
By: CynthiaH from Chicago, IL, USA
Our family went to Belize for our Spring Break and stayed at El Pescador. We had an excellent trip and loved our time at the lodge. We were looking for fishing as well as non-fishing family activities. The fishing guides were attentive, patient and instructional. The staff was exceptional, making sure all our needs were met. They arranged sightseeing and activities outside of the lodge, all of which provided outstanding service as well. A great place to stay. We would highly recommend it to any of our friends.
El Pesky is the BEST! -
By: MarkA1970 from Rockport, TX, USA
We leave for our third trip to El Pescador in July. This is the place to go fish, go eat and go relax. There really is no finer or well run location out there. You owe it to yourself to experience it, you just cannot use enough words here to explain how truly wonderful it is!!!!
Fourth Visit -
By: permitfirstcast from Jamestown, RI
Just returned from our fourth visit at El Pescador Lodge. They continue to exceed expectations in every facet for both fishing and nonfishing participants. Accommodations are comfortable. Pools are refreshing. Food and service aer excellent. Staff treats us as if we were family.
Poor Value -
A nice place to stay; just ignore the $850+/day if you are fishing solo. For that you get a nice small room,a good dinner, very nice staff, ok breakfasts, and marginal lunches. Forget the free drinks unless you like lots of sugar. Ordinary bar drinks are like a gin and tonic are not in the "free" category. It was a nice time there. Fun guests and nice outdoor dinners (better then many fishing resorts}; supportive and helpful fishing pros; an average view in a busy tropical setting. The guides will readily admit that the tarpon are "smart" e.g. fished over. Make sure you can cast a 10wt a long way with accuracy. The permit were somewhere else during the week I was there. A few decent bones but small compared to the Bahamas or Christmas Isl. and really aren't worth the effort if tarpon are around. The panga-style skiffs are not my favorites. The guides worked hard to find fish in difficult conditions. When you consider the lodge + fishing + airfare you can do better elsewhere. I might go back but not at their current prices.
By: AnnCSeattle from Seattle, WA, USA
My husband and I traveled to El Pescador for our 25th anniversary and our trip couldn't have been any better! The staff was incredible, the facilities were top notch, and the fishing was great. Capt. Emir and Gordy were fun as well as patient and helped me catch my first bonefish on a fly, and my husband catch a huge tarpon. Don't worry if you're not totally into fishing - we also enjoyed a trip to the ruins, a beach bike ride into town, and some downtime at the pool. An added bonus of the trip was the family style meals. Meeting and chatting with folks from all over the world truly added to the experience. We'll definitely be back!
Great Bonefishing! -
By: UncleB from Maple Valley, WA
Top 1000 Contributor
This was my second trip to El Pescador having fished there last year. The bonefish fishing is truly outstanding as they seem to be everywhere. I also found that the size of the fish this year generally seemed bigger than last year with my largest fish weighing in at about 5 pounds - not bad for Belize. I also had bona fide opportunities at permit and tarpon, but no hookups. The food was outstanding as was the performance of the staff. They are warm and friendly and do not know how to say "no". The guides are extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic but you need to be able to take a little critique as they offer it freely - all in the spirit of making you a better fisherman. This is also a great place for a non-fishing partner as there are numerous other activities available.
Thought of Everything! -
By: AnneM from Ennis, MT 59729, USA
We just returned for our third trip with El Pescador, and their customer service continues to amaze me! Their staff is the friendliest around. They learn your name on day one and always greet you with a smile. The fishing program is top rate, with awesome gear and local guides who know the water and where to find the fish. Ali, the owner, has got the high-end lodge experience dialed. I highly recommend El Pescador!
Great Vacation -
By: tday from Waynesburg, PA
My wife and I returned to El Pescador for the second time in two years and we were glad we did. When we left Pittsburgh, PA it was -10 degrees air temperature. When we arrived in San Pedro it was 90 degrees. Once again Ricardo was waiting for us at the airport to take our bags and walk us to the boat. Upon arrival we were greated by Ed the manager. As usual our bags were delivered to our villa while we discussed oue plans for the week with Ed. We spent our first two days relaxing and enjoying the wonderful Belizean weather. The meals were great all week. I especially liked the breakfasts. Our villa was clean and comfortable. All the members of the El Pescador staff or "family" as they liked to called were friendly and accommodating. This is one of the reasons we chose to return. Mariano took good care of us from the bar. Our guide was Cinohi (sp?). My casting was a little rusty the first day so I only boated a few bonefish. Cinohi did manage to get me a tarpon hookup which I promptly lost on the first jump. Robyn went with me the second day and was in the boat to see me boat my first tarpon. It was the thrill of a life time. Cinohi coached me through the entire process. Unforgettable! Robyn caught some bonefish as well. I missed 2 shots at Permit the third day again because of my casting limitations. We spent the last two days relaxing before we had to return to wintery PA.
Orvis Travel Special Offer:
Pay for any single occupancy package and your roommate is FREE.