If you want to chase permit with a fly, you’ve come to the right place. While other destinations may claim (perhaps rightfully) to be the permit capital of the world, there is no doubt that the Punta Gorda area is second to none. In the right conditions, it is not unusual to get more than a dozen shots a day at (sometimes very big) permit.
It isn’t as fancy as other nearby operations, but it more than makes up for it in charm. The Garbutt brothers are fishy dudes and the lodge has an equally fishy vibe. Clean, basic and plenty comfortable, this place is perfect for serious anglers and groups of serious anglers who want to focus on fishing more than frills. As a result, it’s also a great value.
This is a family operation. And that’s what makes it fun. You’ll find that the staff, including the Garbutt brothers themselves, go to great lengths to make you feel at home.
Valid passport. No Visa required.
Up to 8 anglers per week
Punta Gorda, Belize (Central America)
Fly to Belize City, Belize. Connect to Punta Gorda, Belize by commuter aircraft.
Permit! While some other species can be targeted, this is primarily a permit fishery.
What does it cost?
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 PER BOAT / 2 PER ROOM)
7 Nights/6 Days Fishing = $3,000.00
6 Nights/5 Days Fishing = $2,585.00
5 Nights/4 Days Fishing = $2,170.00
4 Nights/3 Days Fishing = $1,755.00
3 Nights/2 Days Fishing =$1,340.00
SINGLE OCCUPANCY (1 PER BOAT / 1 PER ROOM)
7 Nights/6 Days Fishing = $4,295.00
6 Nights/5 Days Fishing = $3,695.00
5 Nights/4 Days Fishing = $3,095.00
4 Nights/3 Days Fishing = $2,495.00
3 Nights/2 Days Fishing = $1,895.00
Tidehead services are always free. Always. Our prices are the same prices as booking directly with the lodge. You never pay more.
All rates are priced on a 7 night/6 day lodging & fishing package. Shorter stays are available.
All prices listed are per person. Other combinations may be available. Please contact us for details.
Compared to other parts of the country, the Punta Gorda area in southern Belize sees little tourist activity. And that’s a big part of the appeal. The flats are located just a short, 30-minute (or less) run north from Garbutt’s Marina. And there are hundreds of them. Shallow flats offer shots at tailing permit, while some of the deeper flats offer shots at schooling fish.
The Garbutt brothers—Scully, Oliver and Eworth—have a well-earned reputation for being some of the savviest permit guides in the world. They are seasoned veterans and it shows. Many people rave that they learn more in a couple of days with one of the Garbutt's than they learn in a couple of weeks elsewhere.
Fortunately, the Garbutt brothers have also passed on their knowledge and skills to a staff of very capable guides that include extended family. And these guys are equally dialed in.
Like most Belize and Mexico operations, guides at Garbutt’s run standard 23-foot Pangas with good outboards. They are very safe and capable in the variety of water conditions you’ll encounter.
The Garbutt brothers (Scully, Oliver and Eworth), as well as their extended family, are world-class permit guides.
While bonefish and tarpon can be targeted occasionally, the expectation here is to focus on permit. There are more permit around Punta Gorda than perhaps anywhere on earth. But they’re still permit. So you have to keep the right mindset and expectations. While it can sometimes be an exercise in frustration, the numbers of fish—and numbers of shots—certainly help increase your chances.
As you might expect, bonefish abound in the waters around Long Caye. Most fish run between 2-4 pounds and can be found in both large schools and small schools. Larger fish in pairs/singles are also spotted on a regular basis.
Year-round, peak season is February-May.
Permit fishing is terrific around Long Caye. Smaller targets will run around the 10 pound mark, with larger fish pushing up to 30 pounds.
Year-round for resident fish. May/June-September/October for migratory fish.
Tarpon come in two types: Resident and migratory fish. The smaller resident fish (especially the juveniles) are found year-round. Migratory fish (those reaching 100 pounds or more) generally show up in May/June and make they’re way out of Belizean waters in September/October.
After working for several lodges, the Garbutt Brothers were finally able to build a fishing lodge of their own. And, as you might expect, it’s a very fishing-focused operation.
The lodge is located on a small point of land on the edge of Punta Gorda right on the water. In fact, a marina is part of the main lodge.
Guests stay in simple cabins built on stilts above the edge of the water. Each cabin features two beds, a private bath, hot showers, air conditioning units, cable TV, wireless internet and a private deck. Are they five-star? No. But they’re plenty clean and comfortable.
The food here is very good. Not a snooty, gourmet kind of good. But a fresh, family prepared kind of good. Breakfast and lunch is usually on the boat (which we actually like a lot). Dinners include a combination of fresh seafood dishes and traditional Creole cuisine that features stewed chicken, pork, rice, beans and fresh vegetables. Everything is prepared by the Garbutt family.
Upstairs in the main lodge is the famous (at least in some circles) Grand Slam Bar. The bar features décor and photographs from years of guiding and is a favorite hangout for most guests.
The accommodations at Garbutt’s are simple, clean and comfortable. You’ll also enjoy the Grand Slam Bar.
Flights arrive/depart Philip Goldson International Aiport in Belize City (BZE). Transfers to/from Punta Gorda arrive/depart a local air strip.
It is best to arrange flights that arrive into BZE before 3:00 PM to allow for travel time to Punta Gorda. Remember, the round-trip transfer between BZE and Punta Gorda is included in your Garbutt’s package.
A valid passport is required to enter Belize. Immigration and customs forms are given out on your flight prior to arrival.
"Punta Gorda is the most sizeable town in southern Belize, but the area sees very little tourist activity."