Thatch Caye is a very small private island located about 10 miles off the coast of Dangriga, Belize, Central America.
This saltwater resort is located on a private island a short boat ride out of the small community of Dangriga in Southern Belize. The resort itself is perfect for non-anglers, with plenty of fun water-based activities, yet their Blue Horizon fly fishing program – headed by long-time, legendary permit guide Lincoln Westby – is designed for the most avid of permit anglers.
Unique in the area, Blue Horizon/Thatch Caye offers the best of both worlds – a small occupancy destination with all the comforts and accoutrements of a classic island resort that also has a world-class fly fishing guide service. Anglers need to realize they won’t be at a traditional fly fishing lodge during the evenings, but the beer is just as cold (and included in the rate with all mixed drinks and sodas!), the rooms and meals are as nice or nicer, and if they would like to bring a non-fishing spouse or family, those people will be entertained and well-taken care of while the anglers are out chasing permit, tarpon, and bones.
A charming little island getaway, Thatch Caye is surrounded by some of the finest permit waters found anywhere as well as an abundance of snorkeling-worthy coral and sea life. More importantly, Lincoln Westby is one of Belize’s top permit guides, and as such is a great source of information about the area. Having Lincoln and his team of personally trained guides around makes fishing out of Thatch Caye an experience you will never forget. Moreover, his dawn-to-dark work ethic is world-renowned; he and his guides will do whatever it takes to help you catch permit, and to teach you how to become a better permit fisherman. Most days you’ll be wading your first flat before the sun breaches the horizon, and it’s not unusual for anglers to have landed permit before every other guide in Belize has even had their breakfast.
The permit fishing is excellent and there are few places that offer better shots at this challenging fish. Several of the best flats are only five minutes from the island. This is your classic permit setting for those who love to target tailing fish in very shallow water. Your guide will pole you along the pristine flats until fish are spotted, and then make sure you are in the very best position to make the cast from the casting deck.
The focus at Thatch is definitely on permit, while tarpon, bonefish, yellowtail snapper, barracuda, and an array of reef species are all daily possibilities, as well.
Reservations & Rates
The 7 nights/6 day package at Thatch Caye Lodge is $4,200 USD per person (double occupancy)
• 6 nights/5 day package is $3,500 per person
• 5 nights/4 day package is $2,900 per person
• 4 nights/3 day package is $2,250 per person
Additional options as well as Single Occupancy and non-angler packages are available. Please call for more information.
Included in your Blue Horizon/Thatch Caye Resort Angling Package are boat and taxi transportation between Dangriga and the lodge, all meals and drinks, accommodations at the lodge, and daily guided fishing. The resort is essentially cashless, though you can bring some cash (or just use a credit card) should you want to purchase items from the gift shop, and/or there is an access fee to Glover’s Atoll (which is paid in cash), should you decide to visit and fish that island/reef area. The resort has all the rods/reels/lines/leaders and flies as a part of the package, should you not want to bring your own. There are a number of a la carte non-angling options that you can pay for with a credit card (or cash if you prefer), should you be coming to the lodge as a non-angler.
Not included in your package rate is your round-trip flight from Belize City to Dangriga ($195.00), and items of a personal nature. Though it is a cashless resort and staff gratuities are included in your package rate, gratuities for your fishing guide are not included, so you should tip your guide with cash just as you would at any fishing operation, as the Blue Horizon guides are a separate entity from the resort. The lodge does accept credit cards for most other purchases.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Thatch Caye
The season at Blue Horizon/Thatch Caye is year around.
Fishing takes its cue from the weather. As long as the weather is good, the fishing is 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 our winter time, but the good
news is that they rarely last very long and the fishing, when it has blown through, can be outstanding. As the year progresses through March, April, May and early June, the weather and the fishing is getting better and better. The summer means great fishing through to early October, however one must be aware of hurricane seasons and what they mean to an angler/traveler to this part of Earth. While the fishing is very good, one has to be comfortable knowing that a trip can be blown away by hurricanes. This is actually rare, but it happens. Check out trip insurance and the lodge policy on cancellations due to inclement weather and hurricanes.
Late March through early June are the safest weather-months with very good fishing conditions. Call us and talk this over with us if you have any questions about the seasons and best months to go to Blue Horizon/Thatch Caye.
Getting to Thatch Caye
Thatch Caye is located 10 miles off the coast of Dangriga, Belize. Travel to Belize is easy, 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.
Important: Guests traveling to Blue Horizon/Thatch Caye Resort need to arrive in Belize City no later than 3:30 pm. The last flight to leave Belize City to Dangriga departs at 4:45 pm.
If possible, it’s best to aim for a slightly earlier flight. There are several scheduled Maya Air and Tropic Air flights into Dangriga each day, so anglers will never have to wait long at the Belize City airport, and if they are delayed and miss a flight they shouldn’t have a problem catching a later flight (as long as it’s before the final, 4:45 pm flight). If your flight is delayed and you miss the last flight, you will need to stay overnight in Belize City. The first flight in the morning is 7:45 am. The cost of any meals, lodging, and/or the charter in Belize City is not covered in your Blue Horizon Fishing Package.
Please plan your departing flights from Belize City homeward at 11:00 am or later, to allow time for the transfers from the lodge to Dangriga and the local flight back to Belize City.
The resort staff will coordinate arrivals and departures (boat transfers) on a daily basis with one departure time from the lodge to the Dangriga airport at 9:00 am in the morning and another at 11:00 am; and two departures from Dangriga to the lodge, one at 2:00 pm, and the other at 5 pm.
Upon arrival at Belize International Airport, you progress through immigrations, then grab your checked luggage, and follow through customs. Upon departing Customs, there are a couple of porters that will hurry and grab your bags to help get you through the terminal; they are friendly and harmless, only asking for $2 for helping with bags. You can rush past and ignore them if in a group, but it’s almost worth the $2 for the help with bags and, they streamline you through customs so you don’t get stopped.
After clearing customs, take your bags to either the Tropic Air or Maya Air counter, whichever one you have confirmed your domestic flights for. You’ll just need to check your luggage and take your boarding pass to the gate they direct you to.
The flight from BZE to Dangriga takes about 20 minutes, taking you south over Belize City and paralleling the coastline before touching down on the narrow runway at Dangriga.
Upon arrival in Dangriga you will de-plane and stroll across the tarmac to the one-room, colonial-style building that serves as the Tropic Air “terminal.”
There is always someone from either Thatch Caye Resort or Blue Horizon Fishing (often both) who will meet guests at the airstrip and help get them to the dock.
If you arrive in Dangriga with extra time, you’ll be able to relax at The Pelican Beach Resort bar and enjoy a cold beverage and/or food while you wait. The boat usually picks guests up at the dock right there at Pelican Beach. If weather is rough, there is another slip just south of the city. The lodge representative will help make sure you get to the boat and out to the island.
The boat ride takes about 25 minutes to the small island where Thatch Caye Resort is located. The boat and all of your gear will be unloaded, and you will be shown to your room to unpack, settle in, and take in the panoramic views of the Caribbean. Everything at Thatch Caye is informal, and structured around a laid back island lifestyle, paired with a hard-core permit fishing regime.
Please reconfirm your flight departure times out of Dangriga and Belize International Airport with the resort for correct transfer arrangements. Blue Horizon/Thatch Caye Resort can accommodate just about any international flight departing Belize City. However, we suggest that you not book any international flight departing before 11:00 a.m., and prefer later departures. Leave plenty of time for check in at the International Airport. Please plan your departing flights from Belize City homeward at 11:00 am or later, to allow time for the transfers from the lodge to Dangriga and the local flight back to Belize City.
The 20 minute flight from Dangriga to Belize City will take you back to the main airport, upon which time you’ll have to walk across the terminal from the domestic arrivals area to the main terminal for departing flights, where you’ll have to check in for your international flights.
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS: All U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in Belize and proof of an onward or return ticket. No visas are required for citizens of the United States for tourist visits of up to 30 days, but they must have onward or return air tickets and proof of sufficient funds to maintain themselves in Belize.
Lodging at Thatch Caye
The accommodations at Thatch Caye are excellent, with on-stilt double occupancy cabanas, some over the water and others over the sand island itself. Each cabana features air conditioning, comfortable twin or king-sized beds, large screened windows for fresh sea breezes and great ocean views, tiled floors, large bathrooms with hot-and-cold running water, 24-hour electricity, tables and chairs on which to organize gear, and outside covered decks to either nap in hammocks or read a book in comfortable reclining chairs.
Two larger cabanas even have stairs leading to a tiled roof area, where guests can relax and enjoy a drink while watching the moon and stars. The main meeting area is a huge thatched-roof palapa, complete with a bar area, raised hors d’ oeuvres tables and stools, comfortable sofas and chairs, and even a wide screen television for those not wanting to miss a favorite sporting event. Dinners are taken either in an adjacent room with a café-tables arrangement, or outside under the trees on large picnic-style tables. During happy hour, everyone enjoys the large, outside, covered, over-the-water Starfish Bar, favorite cocktails in hand, while watching snapper, rays, sharks, and barracuda swim beneath your bar stool. Well-manicured hard white-sand paths lead between the various accommodations, and to the common area, docks and water. Bicycles lay about on the island for anyone to take for a convenient ride to your cabin, if you are staying in a palapa that is a little further away. There’s even several small sandy beaches with lounge chairs scattered around the island, as well as complimentary kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and snorkeling equipment available for guest use.
Everything at Thatch Caye is simple, first-class, and very clean and comfortable. Power is 110 volt with standard North American outlets (same as US). There is WiFi available by the bar, for checking your emails after the fishing day. Cell service works fine, so texting is easy anywhere on the island, but be forewarned, it can be very expensive if you don't have an International plan.
The flats are just a few feet from the deck, and tailing permit and even the occasional tarpon are not an uncommon site cruising within casting distance of the cabanas.
Fishing at Thatch Caye
The Blue Horizon fly fishing program – headed by long-time, legendary permit guide Lincoln Westby - is designed for the most avid of permit anglers.
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. In a game where the only true hope of consistent success is sheer numbers of shots available, this place is the best we've ever seen. 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 5 am in the morning, your guide will be waiting for you then at the dock, boat prepared and with both breakfasts and lunches in the cooler. These guides are not clock-watchers, and routinely give their clients 8-9 hours of fishing time, beginning early in the morning or staying late into the evening to catch the best fishing. Your dinner will be served not based on a pre-set schedule, but simply whenever you make it back off the water!
Besides the world-class permit fishing, anglers here 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; smaller tarpon can sometimes be found in small lagoons and jungle rivers. As well, there are barracuda and a number of reef species, for anyone wanting to mix it up.
Blue Horizon guides are seasoned professionals and totally focused on getting their anglers multiple shots at permit, which is key in finding a "player". They have all been hand-selected and trained by Lincoln Westby over the years, and know the local waters like no others. Blue Horizon provided for the guides state-of-the-art panga skiffs perfectly suited for the local waters, boats with huge, clear casting decks, powerful motors, and the ability to be poled in mere inches of water.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• The waters around Dangriga 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 provides safety for huge populations of permit, while the proximity to the shallow flats allows permit to come onto the flats to feed in the shallow water. There’s nowhere better to target tailing permit than the fishing grounds of Southern Belize!
• Guests fishing with Blue Horizon typically stay at the deluxe Thatch Caye Resort. The private island resort location is an ideal spot for non-anglers, couples, and families wanting to get away from it all. The lodge cabanas are the quintessential on-the-water, luxury cabanas. Thatch Caye is a full-service eco-resort, so non-anglers have a lot of opportunities to enjoy the Belizean experience, including complimentary use of kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel gear, and other non-motorized island toys. Explore the surrounding waters, relax in a hammock, or bask in the Caribbean sun, Thatch Caye Resort has something for everyone.
• The fishing program at Blue Horizon is based on fishing the tides. 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 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.