Turneffe Flats is an intimate resort promising a very personal experience. It is the place to stay for a comprehensive diving adventure on Belize's largest and most biologically diverse atoll. This palm-fringed resort sits on a private headland with a white sand beach and private jetty.
From Turneffe Flats you can discover the best of the atoll's dive sites, making 3 dives per day, plus a daytrip to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef. Since the boat does not return to the lodge after every dive, the day trips have a much greater range than any other Turneffe resort, meaning you can dive in all corners of the atoll. The resort is optimally located near the centre of the atoll to do so and nitrox is available for EANx certified scuba divers to take advantage of this feature.
The resort has been managed by the same owners for the longest of any of the accommodations on Turneffe and they were instrumental in the successful project to have the atoll declared a marine reserve in 2012. Their love for the marine environment and commitment to non-diving guests is evident from their fun and educational atoll adventure progamme. This programme introduces guests to actvities such as snorkeling, manatee and dolphin tours, marine life identification and sea kayaking. Turneffe Flats also has an infinity pool to cool off in and complimentary internet to keep in touch with friends back home.
The resort is centred around a main lodge where dining and social activities take place. It is famed as much for its saltwater flyfishing on the turtle grass flats, as it is for its Turneffe Reef diving in deeper waters.
Your accommodation will consist of an air-conditioned beachfront chalet or villa, with views of the beach and waves breaking over the Caribbean Sea. The villas comprise 3 bedrooms each and have a number of private facilities making them a great choice for families or groups. Single travellers may share a room during non-peak times depending on availability. With only 8 chalets and 2 villas, it is an uncrowded resort and, with many non-diving guests, you can expect small dive groups and a smooth and relaxed diving experience.
Unlike Ambergris, Turneffe is a very quiet atoll with little in the way of distractions. Turneffe Flats promises a "pampered in paradise" service and a laid-back tropical island atmosphere - the perfect setting for a Belize diving holiday.
Destinations:Turneffe Reef (Diving environment: wall diving, healthy reefs, beginner & advanced divers; Highlights: turtles, schooling fish/big pelagics) - over 70 different sites in all sectors of the atoll, including The Elbow. Also a full-day excursion to the Blue Hole (Diving environment: caverns, advanced divers; Highlights:), and Half Moon Caye and Long Caye (Diving environment: wall diving, healthy reefs, beginner & advanced divers; Highlights: great macro life/marine diversity, schooling fish/big pelagics) is included on Tuesdays. Generally, no diving on days of arrival or departure.
Resort diving includes:
Dives (as detailed in the packages above), boat rides, 1 night dive, experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (max 8 divers per DM), soft drinks, drinking water, lunch, snacks, towels, tanks, weights and weightbelts. Diving excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own):
Scuba equipment rental (US$ 40 per day for BCD, regulator and dive computer - you need to bring your own mask, fins and wet suit), Blue Hole Marine Reserve fee of US$ 40 per person. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card). Optional extras:
Extra dives, extra night dives, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (US$ 10 per tank), diving insurance, optional recompression chamber fee of US$ 1 per dive should the service be needed. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
Resort accommodation includes:
Bed, breakfast, lunch and evening meal, drinking water, coffee and tea, juices, afternoon snacks, limited internet facility, use of kayaks, return resort transfers on Saturdays and Wednesdays from Belize City, hotel taxes. Accommodation excludes (mandatory):
Hotel transfers any day except Saturdays and Wednesdays (to be paid in advance). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival. Single Supplement:
This is optional at this resort - single travellers may choose to share accommodation or elect to pay an additional charge for the sole occupancy of double/twin accommodation. Optional extras:
Alcoholic drinks, single supplement on single travellers only (payable in advance). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there:
Turneffe Flats Resort is located on the eastern side of Turneffe Atoll, 48 km from Belize City. The resort offers complimentary boat transfers on Saturdays and Wednesdays. For more information see our Belize travel information section.
Dive clubs and group discounts:
Pay for 5 guests and 1 extra person can join free of charge.
There are 8 modern beachside air-conditioned duplex chalets, each with 2 queen size beds and with private en-suite bathroom facilities. There are also 2 villas that are rented on a room basis: the beachfront Reef Villa and the Garden Villa. Both of the villas have 3 bedrooms, a living room with a small sofa, TV & DVD player, and a kitchenette.
All the rooms have:
Air-conditioning and ceiling fans
Porch, outdoor seating and seaviews
Private bathroom with toilet, hot water shower, mirror, toiletries and towels
Bedside table and lamps
Table and chairs
Drawers and clothes hangers
US type plugs with 24 hour electricity
The resort's hot water supply is provided by solar power.
Diving is normally in small groups of 5 to 16 divers making 3 dives per day, departing after breakfast at 8 am and returning around 3:30 pm, except when this routine is affected by guest arrival/departure. Because the resort runs 3-tank daily trips, divers can visit over 70 different sites all around Turneffe; it is the only resort to offer such a wide choice. The longest boat ride to the local Turneffe sites is around 40 minutes (the closest being just 10 minutes away).
A week-long dive package includes a night dive and, weather permitting, a day trip to Lighthouse Reef to dive the famous Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye and Long Caye. The resort is well located to offer relatively easy access to Lighthouse Reef as the journey takes just under 1 hour. On ‘Blue Hole Day’ the boat departs at 7:30 am.
Turneffe Flats' main dive boat is a 48 foot (15m) 420 HP twin engine. It can carry 16 guests and is equipped with toilet, tank racks, fixed ladders, rinse tank, sun and shaded areas. For groups of up to 5 divers, the resort uses their smaller vessel, which is a 200 HP fibreglass boat with tank racks, ladder, rinse tank, canopy and sun area.
Turneffe reef daytrips include a boat captain, divemaster, cold drinks, packed lunch, picnic (when visiting the Blue Hole), day towels, tanks, weights and weightbelts. All handling and rinsing of dive equipment is done by the staff.
The professionally run SCUBA centre has a nitrox facility, guest equipment storage facilities, and rinse tanks with a separate tank for cameras. It also has class rooms, enabling it to conduct PADI Open Water Diver courses, as well as Discover Scuba Diving introduction programmes.
Far removed from civilisation on the eastern side of the atoll, Turneffe Flats Resort's number one attraction is being able to do as much or as nothing as you like. But the resort is well geared to keeping guests fully occupied should they desire. Apart from scuba diving, the resort's other main focus is catch & release saltwater fishing and offers a highly acclaimed 'Grand Slam' programme of fishing for bonefish, tarpon and permit.
For other guests that want to do more than lounge around the pool all day, Turneffe Flats runs an innovative Atoll Adventure programme. This programme is packed full of daily guided activities and can be tailored to guests' preferences and scheduled as full or half-day. The tours include reef & mangrove snorkeling, dolphin & manatee tour, Flats walking tour, atoll birding tour, sea shell & starfish tour, sea kayaking, crocodile tour, Belizean cookery class. Optional extras include Discover Scuba Diving (introduction dive), Turneffe Atoll Eco Tour, Lighthouse Atoll snorkeling & birding tour.
The main lodge is the primary social room. It includes the dining area and a bar, a great place to unwind and enjoy the sunset. There is also a gift shop and complimentary internet service for those who do not succumb to the "away-from-it-all" Caribbean charm of Turneffe Atoll. The lodge also has a good range of marine books covering both diving and fishing.
Resort facilities include: Beach front restaurant and bar - Dive centre - Private beach with sun chairs and parasols - Swimming pool - Snorkelling and swimming off the jetty - Limited complimentary internet facility - Exercise room - TV room - In-room massage service - International telephone & fax - Tour desk - Laundry service - Baby sitting services - Gift shop - Fishing - Banana grove & herb garden
Turneffe Flats pride themselves in providing quality dining complete with fresh fruits, fresh seafood and daily baked pastries and breads. Meals are served family-style in the beachfront air-conditioned main lodge and are a tasty combination of Belizean, Mexican and American dishes.
A breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and fresh baked goods is served from 7-8 am.
Lunch at the lodge is served between noon and 2 pm, although most often a packed lunch will be the order of the day when guests are out diving. Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails are served at 6:15 pm. Dinner at 7 pm is the big meal of the day. Entrees vary from seafood, chicken, pork and beef.
There is a surprisingly good selection of international wines for such a small and remote lodge. Special dietary needs can be catered for.
They're so proud of their dining experience that they even have a Turneffe Flats Cookbook for purchase at the resort!
Depending on the severity of an emergency, the journey to the nearest recompression chamber can take between 1 hour (helicopter) or 2 hours by boat. We recommend you take out your own scuba diving insurance.
The dive boats are equipped with a medic first aid kit, emergency breathing oxygen (640 litres), fire extiunguishers, life jackets, compass, VHF radio and GPS (main boat only). 1 divemaster is provided for every 8 divers. Additional oxygen is available at the resort.
For non-diving related accidents Belize City is 50 km away, with its hospital and police facilities. Transfer time is approximately 1.5 hours by boat.
Each room at the resort has a safety box for guests' valuables and there is a nightwatchman security patrol of the premises. The resort also has an emergency evacuation plan in place.