Well surprise, surprise, my wife surprised me with a dream trip for my 40th birthday……BELIZE! Not only is she an incredible mother, wife, and friend, but she apparently is also great at keeping stuff hidden from me.
We left Jacksonville at 4 am and headed to Belize city after a short layover in Atlanta. From Belize City we had to take a puddle hopper over to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. This flight was almost the deal breaker when Sally booked this trip, as she hates little planes. She was good though because the view was incredible on the short fifteen minute flight with nothing but blue water everywhere.
When we disembarked the plane in San Pedro a representative from El Pescador was waiting on us to shuttle us by boat to the resort. El Pescador is incredible, the staff is on point. We boarded the boat, which had ice cold Belizean beers waiting on us and took off on the 20 minute ride to the dock of the resort. There really are no roads on Ambergris Caye so all shuttling is by boat or you can rent golf carts and ride in the power line right of ways. You can also ride bikes on the beach into town or various dive bars.
When we arrived at the docks of El Pescador the fishing director and staff were there to great us and get us settled in. The resort is older but beautifully nestled into its little beach front home, and is as cozy as it gets. They have a small building that has hotel style rooms which are very comfortable for two, and then they have villas which are perfect for larger parties and families.
The food here is incredible with breakfast served from 5am till 10 am everyday with lots of stuff to choose from and the best breakfast burrito ever. It is a handmade fresh to order flour tortilla stuffed with eggs, full fat real cheddar cheese, and some of the best thick cut bacon even this old southern boy has ever had. Lunch is served from noon till 1:30 and is chock full of great fare. Get the fried chicken! Dinner is one of my favorite parts of this resort. It is family style with everyone eating around large tables outside under the stars right on the beach. Dinner is different every evening and is to die for and always includes an incredible dessert. It is fun to meet people from all over and talk fishing and shop.
We fished with a guide, Raton, for two days and ventured on our own one day in a tandem kayak in the back lagoons. We went out on the kayak first and it was an incredible adventure. It looks like you are enclosed in a mangrove Forrest from the little dock on the backside of the property until you paddle through this 36 inch wide canal for a few minutes and come out in paradise.
We saw a ton of bonefish on our paddle as well as lots of other marine life. Didn’t catch any as I was just happy to be here in this incredible place and never really gave catching the fish much effort. Had an incredible time just paddling around and taking it all in with Sally.
El Pescador has the best guides in Belize hands down. They have been doing this their whole lives and some are second and third generation. The resort does a great job putting you with a guide that fits what you want to do, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Our guide, Raton, was no exception. Raton had us on fish right away and kept us on fish regardless of the conditions.
Literally lost count on this trip of the bonefish seen, caught and just missed shots. Sally even got a bonefish and she doesn’t care much to fish. She did read three books though on this trip, and the adirondack chairs on the panga made for an extremely comfy reading station. Highlight of her trip was not only seeing but walking around on Leonardo Dicaprio’s island, Blackador.
We didn’t get to chase tarpon as the conditions weren’t really great for sight fishing the deeper flats and I can blind cast flies at tarpon here at home. I can’t however sight cast bonefish here in Jacksonville, Florida so I was more than happy bolstering my all time bonefish on fly count.
I could go on and on about this trip from beginning to end but with my typing wpm, it would take forever. I would just like to finish by saying if you even think you want to go, GO!
Thank you to the greatest wife and friend in the world. It is extremely cliche to say you make my life complete, but when you are my wife, mother of my children, best friend and you fulfill all my bucket list dreams you literally do make me complete.