Turneffe Flats caters to non-anglers with its first class dive package, adventure atoll package, and the “R&R” package. Guests not interested in fishing are well entertained while spouses and travel partners are off on the flats.
Belize consistently ranks among the top Caribbean dive destinations and Turneffe Flats is ideally located to take advantage of some of the best diving in Belize. Over 60 sites around the Turneffe Atoll are within easy reach, and Lighthouse Atoll, home of the famous Blue Hole, is only an hour’s boat ride away. As the largest coral atoll in the Caribbean, Turneffe offers varied underwater terrain of spur and groove formations, sandy ledges and sheer walls providing spectacular dive sites to suit every level of diver.
The eastern side of Turneffe is protected by 35 miles of reef. It shelves gradually to about 60 ft. where spur and groove formations meet the wall. Nutrients produced in the mangroves are dispersed on the reef by the tides and gentle currents causing huge concentrations of feeding fish on this side of the wall. On the west side of the atoll, the mangroves of Turneffe provide shelter from the swells and large waves. A gently sloping bottom lies at 30-50ft and large reef formations cover the white sand bottom. The reduced wave action allows sponges and soft corals to grow magnificently and sea feathers of 5ft tall are common.
In the North, the reef is buffeted by the Caribbean swells and trade winds but on the calmest of days divers can explore these almost untouched areas. Schools of mutton snapper, atlantic spadefish and permit hover 80ft above the sea floor and blue and rainbow runners make close passes. Turneffe’s most southern point is dotted with a variety of popular sites that are featured in many of the Belize dive guides. The Elbow is probably the most famous site here and the ocean current over deep reef attracts big schools of pelagic fish. The other sites vary enormously as you move up the southwest or southeast side with everything from patch reef nurseries, dramatic coral formations to steep drop-offs.
Throughout the Turneffe Atoll, you will see a variety of hard and soft corals as well as all of the Caribbean tropicals, eagle rays, sharks, turtles, dolphins, moray eels, and occasionally whale sharks in addition to large schools of permit, horse eye jacks and dog snapper. Most diving is done from a forty-eight foot Custom Dive Boat. This is a large, comfortable, shaded boat allowing us easy access to the entire Turneffe Atoll as well as the Lighthouse Reef. A limited number of guests mean that there are seldom more than six divers sharing this spacious dive boat.
Instruction is available at Turneffe Flats through their PADI Instructors if you are a first time diver and want to learn. Certifications include Open Water Referral and Advanced Open Water Certification (Underwater Navigation, Deep Diving and 3 elective dives) as well as a full range of Specialty Courses. ‘Discover Scuba Courses’ are also available for those who wish to experience SCUBA for the first time.
ATOLL ADVENTURE PACKAGE
Explore the wonders and beauty of the Turneffe Atoll at your own pace. Snorkel, bird watch, or pursue a number of other fun and informative activities. If you feel like it, stay at the lodge and lounge on the beach. Every day offers a great new adventure and a perfect opportunity to relax – that’s what the Atoll Adventure is all about.
Choose from a variety of daily-guided activities led by one of the Atoll Adventure guides, all of who are informative and fun. Turneffe Flats’ twin-engine, canopied boat is at your guide’s disposal for exploring the reefs, mangroves, creeks and lagoons that make Turneffe the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean.
With at least 60 species of birds at Turneffe, birding is another highlight. You may also want to tour the atoll searching for manatees and dolphins or enjoy an afternoon kayaking. The Atoll Adventure Program is a very flexible and is tailored to fit the particular interests of each group.
Of course, exploring the 300 square mile Turneffe Atoll can itself be an adventure. Turneffe has a fascinating history, including Mayan fishing and trading settlements dating to 400 A.D. Turneffe was also a favored hideout for Blackbeard, one of the notorious pirates of the Caribbean. For most guests, learning about the history of Turneffe as well as the fascinating history of Belize is one of the more enjoyable parts of their visit.
Other Atoll Adventure activities include: snorkeling, night snorkeling, Mayan ruin tours, mainland tours, manatee, dolphin, and crocodile tours, flats walking tour and Mayan cooking class.
“R & R” PACKAGE
“Rest and Relaxation” – This package is ideal for those who wish to relax and enjoy the beauty and serenity of a private tropical island. There are hammocks under the palm trees in which to relax and shore walks, sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling are all readily available. This package does not include any organized activities but an inland tour of the Mayan Ruins or Belize Zoo can easily be arranged during your stay.