Blue Horizon Lodge was the brainchild of Lincoln Westby, with the support of Will Bauer and The Fly Shop® back in November 1996. “I built it where it was because I wanted to be in the center of the best permit fishing in the world,” said Lincoln. “And that was it right there . . . it was heaven.”
That location was Northeast Caye, (pronounced “key”) and its dead-center location remains today as one of the finest spots to target Belizean permit on the fly. In 2015 Lincoln sold his operation, and five years later the new owner did a complete renovation. Blue Horizon Lodge reopened in 2020, featuring many of the original buildings yet with a fresh redesign that incorporates modern comforts that traveling anglers have come to enjoy and expect. The goal of the redesign was to create an atmosphere that honors the heritage of Lincoln Westby’s original lodge, while rejuvenating it with contemporary luxury elements. During reconstruction, much of the old lodge and guest cabins were salvaged and incorporated into new furniture and the décor of the lodge and guest rooms.
The main lodge features an open air design, allowing anglers to fully appreciate the beauty of the surrounding marine environment.
The five guest cabanas, for a maximum capacity for ten anglers, have been completely refurbished and deliver a surprising level of sophistication and comfort for such a remote location. Each room is furnished with two full size beds and a private bathroom, complete with on demand hot water showers. Air conditioning is standard in all of the rooms, providing guests the choice of enjoying the ocean breeze, or a controlled climate. Rod racks, shelving, and hangers will help you organize your gear. The island has wireless internet access covering the majority of the property. And best of all, Lincoln is still guiding and his stable of Westby-trained-guides are some of the best in the business of putting anglers on permit. We can’t be more excited about the NEW Blue Horizon Lodge and hope you feel the same.
Reservations & Rates
Seasons at Blue Horizon Lodge
The fishing season at Blue Horizon Lodge is year around. Fishing takes its cue from the weather. As long as the weather is good, the fishing is usually good. Generally speaking, November through February is very good fishing as long as there are blue skies and warm breezes. Northers can blast through this area during winter time, but the good news is that they rarely last very long and the fishing, after the frontal system has blown through, can be outstanding.
As the year progresses through March, April, May and early June, the weather and the fishing gets better and better as there are less cold fronts and more consistent weather patterns. As a result, these are also the most popular months for fishing in this part of Belize, and you’ll want to make your reservations well in advance to get preferred dates.
The summer means great fishing through early October, however one must be aware of hurricane seasons and what they mean to a traveling angler. While the fishing is very good, one has to be comfortable knowing that a trip may be cancelled due to tropical disturbances. This is actually quite rare, but it could happen.
Getting to Blue Horizon Lodge
Travel to Belize is easy and quick, just over two hours from Miami or Houston with numerous daily connecting flights into Belize City (Belize International Airport, airport code BZE) through Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami, with more flights added every year including options now through Phoenix and Denver. A valid passport is required of all visitors to Belize, and must not expire within 6 months from your time of arrival in Belize.
Day of Arrival:
On the day of your arrival into Belize, we request that your international flight arrives no later than 3:00 pm into Belize City. This will allow you plenty of time to reach the island safely.
NOTE: The last commuter flight leaving Belize City departs at 4:45 pm daily. If your intentional flight is delayed and you miss the last flight to Placencia, you will need to stay in Belize City. The first flight from Belize City to Placencia is at 7:45 am. The cost of meals, lodging, and/or the services in Belize City is not covered in your Blue Horizon Fishing package. We are happy to assist with making arrangements.
Upon arrival at the international airport, you will clear immigration, pick up any checked luggage, clear customs, and exit the arrivals area. From there, you’ll go to the domestic ticketing area (accessed through two sets of doors, upon exiting the arrivals area). In case you need assistance with your luggage, airport porters are available (they do expect a tip for their services). You will then enter the domestic area in the airport, check in for your flight to Placencia at the Tropic Air or Maya Island Air counter, and receive your boarding pass and instructions for catching your flight. We suggest you ‘check’ as much baggage as you as can, as there is limited room in the airplane seating area for carry-on items. The next step is to go through a typical airport security check point and enter the departure gates. If time allows, we highly suggest you visit Jet’s Bar… if you ask, anyone will be able to point the way.
NOTE: It is not uncommon to be moved to an earlier commuter flight on Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. If you are moved to an earlier flight, PLEASE contact Blue Horizon Lodge ASAP so they can arrange to have one of their representatives at the airstrip in Placencia when you arrive.
The flight to Placencia will most likely make a short stop in Dangriga before continuing to Placencia. The total flight time will be about 30 minutes from Belize City to Placencia.
Once you arrive in Placencia, you will be greeted by a representative, who will help you gather your luggage and then transfer you to The Placencia Resort, where our boat and captain will be waiting. Depending on the schedule of other arrivals, you may be required to wait for a short period of time while other guests arrive. During your wait, you will have access to the resort’s bar and restaurant, as well as the pool. Once all of the guests have arrived at The Placencia Resort, you will be transferred to our island lodge.
NOTE: The representative who greets you at the airstrip in Placencia will ensure that your luggage is delivered to the boat. You can simply enjoy your time at The Placencia Resort.
Blue Horizon Lodge is a quick 20-minute boat ride from The Placencia Resort. The boat ride is included with the purchase of the all-inclusive package. We utilize a fleet of boats for these transfers. We suggest you keep your rain gear handy in case the weather requires it. Your luggage will be stowed in a covered storage area and/or covered with waterproof tarps.
At the Lodge:
Once you arrive on the island, you will be greeted with a welcome drink, briefed through the check in process, and shown to your room. You’ll have time to freshen up before returning to the main lodge in time for appetizers and your welcome orientation. The orientation will cover the fishing program, suggested gear, and other important items to ensure you enjoy your stay.
On departure day, breakfast is adjusted to start slightly later in the morning, and we ask that your bags are packed and ready to travel before you arrive for breakfast. The boat transfer to the mainland departs at either 6:45 am or 8:30 am, depending on the flight schedules of the departing group. On your departure day we recommend you book an international flight scheduled to depart at 12 pm or later.
Lodging at Blue Horizon Lodge
Blue Horizon Lodge re-opened in 2020, featuring many of the original buildings with a fresh redesign that incorporates the modern comforts that traveling anglers have come to enjoy and expect. The goal of the redesign was to create an atmosphere that honors the heritage of Lincoln Westby’s original lodge, while rejuvenating it with contemporary luxury elements. During reconstruction, much of the old lodge and guest cabins were salvaged and incorporated into new furniture and decor of the lodge and guest rooms. For anglers who visited Blue Horizon Lodge in the 90’s, there is no doubt you’ll recognize the remnants of the old lodge, and you
will certainly savor the updated and greatly improved accommodations of the new lodge.
The main lodge integrates an open air design, allowing anglers to fully appreciate the beauty of the surrounding marine environment. Their unique shutter system allows them to have the lodge fully open to the natural world, or to quickly close the shutters and protect the interior when inclement weather threatens.
The five guest cabanas, for a maximum capacity for ten anglers, have been completely refurbished and deliver a surprising level of sophistication and comfort for such a remote location. Each room is furnished with two full size beds and a private bathroom, complete with on demand hot water showers. Air conditioning is standard in all of the rooms, providing guests the option of enjoying the ocean breeze or a controlled climate. Rod racks, shelving, and hangers will help you organize your gear.
Two of the five guest rooms are stand-alone units, and offer the most privacy. The other three units are contained under one roof, in the new from the ground up, triplex. This unit is perfect for parties of six. The large shared deck makes a convenient gathering space for relaxing and sharing the day’s stories.
The island has wireless internet access covering the majority of the property. Your room and the main lodge are connected. They have installed a next generation internet system that allows for accessing the internet at fiber optic speeds. Wi-Fi calling, emails, internet browsing, text messaging, social media, and even high speed streaming of live TV and movies is not just possible, but standard. Cellular service is limited, but available to most US carriers.
Belize is well known for a wide variety of delightful and savory fare, influenced by the diverse Caribbean culture. Their culinary program incorporates traditional Belizean ‘home cooking’ with the bold flare of modern cuisine. Meals are served both family-style and plated, and will never leave you asking for more. They capitalize on their closeness to the ocean as the foundation to their menu. Seafood of all types is served, along with fresh produce, meats, and forage from farms on the mainland. A few of the highlighted dishes are Seafood Serre, traditional Sunday dinners, conch fritters, ceviche, grilled lobster, and homemade desserts.
Breakfasts are served continental style, so anglers can come and enjoy at their convenience. Self-serve coffee is available starting at five each morning, with the breakfast buffet opened shortly after. Breakfast consists of coffee or tea, fruit juice, fresh tropical fruits, pastry, muffin or sweet bread, and a savory option of quiche, stuffed fry jacks, or other breakfast items. Lunch is served on the island when low tides occur mid-day. During a mid-day high tide, you’ll take lunch to go and enjoy it on the boat. Dinner is a three course experience, starting with appetizers, followed by the main course and finished with a fresh, homemade dessert.
Drinking water is supplied in each guest room and in the main lodge, in five gallon containers of purified water. Drinking water is also supplied on the boats in large reusable coolers. Upon check in, you’ll be given a bottle for drinking water. Please help them to reduce the use of plastic by using that water bottle during your stay. They utilize a state of the art water maker for all non-drinking water uses. While this water is generally safe to drink or brushing your teeth, they provide purified water as a convenience and the guaranteed safety of their customers.
Fishing at Blue Horizon Lodge
It would be hard to imagine a destination more perfectly suited for permit fishing. Each day anglers are within minutes of a vast array of flats which, in rising and falling tides are loaded with tailing permit. Typically, anglers and guides will plan their daily schedules around the tides, fishing whatever hours give the best amount of hours on favorable tides. If the best tides are at five in the morning, your guide will be waiting for you then at the dock, boat prepared, with both breakfast and lunch in the cooler. These guides routinely give their clients eight to nine hours of fishing time, beginning early in the morning or staying late into the
evening, to be on the flats for the best fishing possible.
It is common to see tailing permit in front of the lodge on their “home flat.” With numerous famous permit flats within a ten minute boat ride, the action begins shortly after you step onto the boat. Due to the location of the lodge, their guides are the first boats on the flats each day. Other guides, who bring anglers from the mainland, often arrive hours after you will have started your day of fishing. It is quite common for Blue Horizon guests to have already landed a permit before the first boats from the mainland arrive on the flats.
Besides the world-class permit fishing, anglers can also choose to target a limited amount of bonefish flats, as well as having access to a mix of small-to-large-sized tarpon. The bonefish are found on typical hard-bottomed flats, and accessed both from wade-fishing and from the skiffs. The larger tarpon are fished in reef cuts, swinging streamers on sinking lines, while smaller tarpon can be found in small lagoons on the leeward side of several mangrove islands. As well, there are barracuda and a number of reef species, for anyone wanting to mix it up with a variety of hard-fighting species.
Blue Horizon guides are seasoned professionals and totally focused on getting their anglers multiple shots at permit. Each has been selected and trained by world-renowned permit guide Lincoln Westby. Blue Horizon provides customized pangas, perfectly suited for fishing their local waters. These boats are equipped with huge, clear casting decks, powerful motors, and the ability to be poled in mere inches of water.
Fishing at Blue Horizon:
The South Water Caye Marine Reserve, locally known as Permit Alley, is composed of productive pancake flats and many schools of permit, bonefish, and cruising tarpon. The nearby Meso-American Reef is home to permit and tarpon, as well as jacks, snapper, barracuda, and other species. Tarpon are present year round, and found around nearby cayes, in channels, and in the Placencia lagoon, also home to healthy populations of snook. From late April through August, anglers can cast their flies at large migratory tarpon, some exceeding one hundred pounds.
Besides the vast experience of their talented guides, the next best reason to fish with Blue Horizon Lodge is the proximity to the most productive permit flats in Belize. It is very common to travel less than ten minutes from the lodge and be casting to tailing permit. Occasionally the guides will make longer runs, but only if they are confident that they will find un-pressured fishing.
The vast majority of anglers come to Southern Belize to pursue permit. Permit are plentiful and typically found on the pancake flats and the outer cayes of “Permit Alley”. You can expect plenty of shots at five to twenty pound permit on any given day. There are few places in the world you can expect to have more shots at permit. What makes Permit Alley so unique is the number of tailing permit you will encounter. The majority of the permit shots will be to tailing fish. A tailing permit is a feeding permit, and you should expect to have eighty percent or more of the permit you see to be tailing.
While the area is best known for permit, there are impressive numbers of bonefish. The most common place to see bonefish is on the flats near the cayes or on select reef flats. On an average day on the flats, any time of year, you will see and fish to schools of bonefish in the two to five pound range. These fish tend to be in schools; however, there are singles and doubles if you are interested in more challenging fishing. Blue Horizon guides can consistently find schools of bonefish, even during low tides and in weather conditions that could limit the encounters with permit.
Tarpon are present in the fishery throughout the year, in select channels and inside protected island lagoons. The tarpon migration is generally from late April through August in this part of Belize, with the channels and cayes in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve getting robust schools of tarpon during the migration. There is considerably less pressure in these waters then in the more famous areas of Northern Belize. The tarpon in this fishery tend to be ‘eaters’, not ‘lookers’.
Most guides and fishing lodge operations in Belize will start the day at a set time, no matter what is happening with the tide. At Blue Horizon Lodge, they fish the best tides no matter what time of the day… as long as there is day light. They fish the tides, not the clock. Some mornings the guides will be leaving before the sun rises. Other days you’ll sleep in. The tides are the master and they determine when and for how long each fishing session will span.
There are two basic schedules at Blue Horizon Lodge. The first routine sees early morning starts, with a mid-day break at the lodge, then back on the water once the tides turn, fishing until dark. During a mid-day high tide cycle, your guide day will start between six and seven am, and you can expect to be fishing until at least three pm before returning to the lodge.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• The waters around Northeast Caye in Southern Belize provide ideal habitat for sight-casting to tailing permit in very shallow water. Countless small “pancake” flats pop up out of the deep water here; the deep water providing safety for huge populations of permit, while the proximity to the shallow flats allows permit to come onto the flats and feed in shallow water. There’s nowhere better to target tailing permit than the fishing grounds of Southern Belize!
• The fishing program at Blue Horizon is based on fishing the tides, and not typical schedule most lodges fish of 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. That often means early mornings and late evenings, midday siestas, and ultimately more time on the flats, during the best times to be there, and therefore more shots at fish.
• The Blue Horizon guides are led by the world-famous Lincoln Westby, renowned as the father of permit and the most well-respected guide in Belize to ever pole the flats in search of permit. With over 40 years of guiding in these waters, he knows these flats better than the fish…and he knows most of the fish by name. You’ll learn more in a day on the water with Lincoln and his personally trained guides than most permit fishermen learn in a year on the water. You leave a wiser and better saltwater fly fisher after fishing at Blue Horizon lodge.