Saturday, May 31, 2008

Belize "Grand Slam" Fishing

Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the importance of this report. It has amazed us how many of our guests have real success in their dream of making the "Grand Slam" of flats fishing. The photo shows the 50 lb tarpon our neighbor caught in the lagoon last week.

Prepared by: Anthony J. Fedler, Ph.D.


Belize is renowned throughout the sport fishing world for its exceptional opportunities to fish for bonefish, permit and tarpon. Belize is, in fact, one of the few places in the world offering fishermen a chance for the “Grand Slam” of flats fishing – a bonefish, permit and tarpon all caught in a single day. One popular magazine recently noted that three of the World’s top ten permit fishing destinations are located in Belize and this world-class fishing draws fishermen from all corners of the world.

Belize delivers what sport fishermen (and women) are looking for – unspoiled shallow-water flats, rivers and lagoons with the opportunity to fish for these prized species. These outstanding fisheries resources, coupled with top-quality fishing guides, fishing lodges and hotels makes Belize a primary destination for international fisherman.

Sport fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon makes a significant contribution to Belize’s economy.

• Tourists contribute nearly $400 million (BZ) annually to the Belizean economy and support more than 13,000 jobs which accounts for nearly 17% of the Belize GDP.

• Sport fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon creates an annual economic impact of over $25 million (BZ) in direct expenditures in the Belizean economy plus an additional $31 million in Value Added expenditures for a total yearly economic impact of roughly $56 million. This amounts to approximately 6% of the Belize’s tourist economy.

• Sport fishing for these three species results in approximately $2.7 million in Hotel Tax, Property Tax, Business Tax, GST, Employee (income and social security) Taxes, and Airport Exit Taxes generated for the Belizean treasury.

• Nearly $30 million in annual wages and salaries as well as 1,800 full-time jobs are supported by these three species.

• In 2007, more than 100 independent fishing guides provide services to approximately 4,800 international fishing guests at hotels and resorts throughout Belize, and at least 13 fishing lodges hosted nearly 1,000 international anglers from Europe, Canada, the United States and elsewhere.

• Virtually all bonefish, permit and tarpon caught by sport fishermen in Belize are released back to the water alive making this annual economic contribution fully sustainable. Therefore, with adequate management, it is quite realistic to suggest that sport fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon will generate an economic impact of roughly $600 million for Belize over the upcoming decade.

Italian Gelato in Belize?

Those of us who live on the Placencia Peninsula and those who visit, have the absolutely improbable and delightful opportunity to enjoy what many consider the best ice cream in this part of the world. The Italian Gelato at TuttiFrutti (right next to The Purple Space Monkey) is so good, that it has become a weekly obligatory part of our shopping... one container of chocolate, one of Bailey's or cappucino, and one of mixed berry. Deciding is almost as much fun as the eating.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

David Crellen's Great Belize Photos

on the beach at The Maine Stay
It’s easy for us to be in a “routine” here on the beach in Belize. It just takes our delightful guests and their great photos to jar us back to reality! David & Karen Crellen from San Diego were great fun to spend time with and they also really took advantage of all of the great things to do while they were here. See David’s great photos here.

They particularly liked their trip to Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve…

This is from a visitor review on Yahoo…

“Doyle Gardiner’s Cockscomb tour is a must-see if you are in Belize. Licensed and very professional, Doyle is an excellent guide through the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve. He combines sheer fun with knowledge and respect for the environment in a well-rounded tour that is a very unique and unforgettable experience. The tour includes a nature hike, which Doyle leads with humor and a great deal of knowledge, as well as a lazy cruise down the river in an inner-tube, where you will be surrounded by lush greenery, the call of birds, and a feeling of peace. The finale finds you sliding down a series of waterfalls! It’s an exciting, adrenaline rush that people of varied fitness levels can enjoy. If you want to pack what feels like several days of experience into one day, Doyle’s tour is it. I walked away from the tour high on the excitement of the waterfall slides and with a feeling of grace for having been shown such a gorgeous environment.”

Snorkeling at the Barrier Reef, Money River jungle tour, Mayan Ruins, Cave Tubing, great diving, whale sharks, birding, orchids… Belize and the Placencia area has it all. Come visit us.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Visiting Iguana

Today, while tending to a chore in the garden nursery, I was holding a pump waiting on Louis to return from the shop with something. I couldn't really let go of the pump and as I stood there this medium size 2.5 foot iguana walked by my feet and proceeded to explore what I was doing and then climb the bougainevillea tree. We see iguanas almost daily, but not usually this "up close and personal."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Talking About the Weather in Belize...

There’s no question at all that we are very much still in the “dry.” That’s the shortened term used here by the locals for the dry season. We haven’t had appreciable rain here on the Placencia Peninsula in Belize for weeks. I’m sure our Cabana guests are mostly happy about it, but dang... we need the moisture. Watering of plants and young trees is a daily chore and our dug well is barely keeping up with it... so costly piped-in water has to be used or risk losing valuable specimens. Since we do all our own landscaping (or 99% anyway), it’s one of those things we just have to keep up. I must say, Miss Karen is much better at doing this than I am. She has more patience for it, or maybe is just able to tolerate the standing in the hot sun, or the early morning or late evening half hour of “no-see-ums” and the occasional mosquito. That’s the coolest time to water, of course. We heard a rumble of thunder last night and saw some lightning off in the distance... but no joy. The Belize National Meteorological Service keeps calling for "isolated showers" in the South, but we aren’t seeing them. The temp now at 7 am is 87 F with 85% humidity and not a lick of breeze. We’ll break 90 F again today and that’s hot for us! The ceiling fans are all running overtime.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Belize Update

A lot has been going on in Belize and at The Maine Stay and Kokomo, including almost 100% high season occupancy of our newly remodeled Cabanas suites… all to rave reviews from our guests.

Construction has started on another home in the Kokomo community and more than half the lots have been sold to folks who really are seeing the economic expansion of the spectacular Placencia Peninsula. A great website to see and hear the flavor of Placencia is “A Place in Belize”… put together by folks who are building a home on the Peninsula.

As I mentioned last week, the former garden palapa next to “Winnie’s House” (our residence) has gotten a new thatch roof, a new purpose and been expanded considerably and is directly attached to our house with classy new French doors. We moved all of the plant “nursery” operation to the other side of the house. Since we spend so much time outdoors, the palapa will become our living room, dining area and even have a great outdoor kitchen. It also has a rock wall “waterfall!” See the new “digs” here. And, if you're curious, you can see the construction and thatch process in these photos.

Speaking of palapas, we have added several smaller versions in The Maine Stay and Kokomo, and, we’ve added a nice new dock to our marina boardwalk. We finally found a source for the right floats and it turned out to be even better than we anticipated.

We continue to be delighted with the “Travers Zoo” collection. The dogs are wonderful (even Bowdoin, the new puppy!) and the parrots continue to amaze us with their intelligence and companionship.

Our guests in The Maine Stay Cabana Suites continue to delight us and to take some great pictures. Check out these photos by David and Karen Crellen.

I have a couple of treats in store for upcoming posts... stay tuned!