Destination Type
Fishing Style
Flats, Sightfishing, Skiff
Fishing Days
4 - 10+
Why We Go
  • Enjoy a simple, small, and no-frills Belizean permit lodge
  • Enjoy easy access to the remote permit grounds of southern Belize
  • Fish with and learn from some of the most renowned permit guides in the world
  • Take advantage of an affordable option focused on hardcore permit fishing

For decades, the Garbutt brothers have been guiding the waters of southern Belize. After partnering with several lodges throughout the region, they now have a dedicated fishing lodge of their own. Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge is in the small village of Punta Gorda, near Belize’s southern border with Guatemala. The Garbutt guides are master permit hunters and focus on the productive and rich waters of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. This vast, 847-square kilometer network of lagoons, islands, reefs and flats is home to some of the most diverse and lightly-pressured permit grounds in the world.

Fishing Program

The Garbutt crew has some of the most experienced, professional and skilled permit guides found anywhere on the planet. Every day spent in their boat is an education unto itself and for those keen to target permit on the fly, this is the place. They are true professionals on the water and focus on the fertile and permit-rich waters of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.

The Garbutt’s operate spacious, purpose-built fly fishing skiffs for poling the shallow water margins of the vast Reserve. This area comprises some 135 small cays, as well as an extensive mangrove lagoon and estuary system that offers protection from the wind.


Garbutt's Fishing Lodge offers simple, seaside cabanas and home-spun Belizean cuisine in an affordable, comfortable, and friendly atmosphere. The lodge is located on a small point of land on the Joe Taylor Creek, a few minutes’ walk from the center of town. The lodge overlooks the creek on one side and the beautiful Caribbean Sea to the other. Upstairs in the main lodge is the Grand Slam Bar, offering a perfect setting for storytelling at the end of the day. The menu is a combination of fresh seafood dishes and traditional Creole cuisine that includes stewed chicken, pork, rice, and beans with fresh vegetables. All meals are prepared by the Garbutt family.

Each commodious cabin features two beds, a private bath, hot showers, air-conditioning units, cable TV, wireless internet, and two decks that overlook the open sea and the Joe Taylor Creek. There may not be a better place in the world to chase permit by day and rest your head by night.


Day 1: Arrive Belize City International Airport (BZE), arrive Punta Gorda and transfer to Garbutt's Fishing Lodge

Day 2 - 7: Full days guided fishing

Day 8: Depart Punta Gorda, depart Belize Ciy International Airport (BZE) for home.

Rates & Details

2024 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 day package: $3,000
  • 6 night/5 day package: $2,585
  • 5 night/4 day package: $2,170
  • 4 night/3 day package: $1,755
  • 3 night/2 day package: $1,340

Included: Guided fishing, accommodations and meals, all Belizean taxes, marine park entry fees, local Belizean alcohol, ground transfers to/from Punta Gorda airport.

Not Included: Airfare, staff & guide gratuities, tackle, imported alcohol.

Target Species: Permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, jacks

Season: Year-round

Capacity: 8 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge is best suited for experienced saltwater anglers who are interested in a fishing-focused experience, and less concerned with fancy accommodations and fine dining.

Where is the lodge? Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge is in Punta Gorda, Belize, near the extreme southern border and about 12 miles from the Guatemalan border.

How do I get there? Guests fly into the Belize International Airport and continue via Tropic Air or Mayan Island Air (11-seat Cessna Caravan) to Punta Gorda, about a 40-minute flight. From the airport in Punta Gorda, there is a short, 10-minute drive to lodge.

When should I go? Garbutt's Fishing Lodge is open year-round. February through May is prime time with September through November offering a fantastic secondary season.

How will I fish? Two anglers and one guide set out in a center console flats skiff each day.

Is there wade fishing? There are very few opportunities for wade fishing.

Where will I fish? There are two primary zones anglers focus on. The first is a protected lagoon system that features a soft bottom and numerous flats, channels, and creeks. Permit are often encountered in this zone, tailing in very shallow water and feeding on crabs. The other main zone is an outer archipelago made up of some 136 islands surrounded by hard-bottom, coral-based flats, and island shorelines where permit can be encountered in water from one- to six-feet deep.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Runs to fishing grounds are typically 40 minutes to an hour in good weather conditions.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? The primary target at Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge is permit. Those who book a trip to this location should have a strong desire to chase permit all day, every day. There are some limited opportunities for schooling bonefish and the odd tarpon can sometimes be found in the rivers.

How many fish will I catch? Catching a permit on fly is one of angling’s greatest accomplishments. There is a very real chance to spend a full week chasing permit and not catch one. That said, some days anglers may catch 6 – 8 in a day. There are many factors that determine success when it comes to permit and besides angler skill, luck plays a massive role in it.

Will I see other anglers? It’s unlikely that you will see any other anglers other than those fishing out of Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge. There is not a competing outfitter in this location.

What are the guides like? The guides at Garbutt's are some of the most experienced and accomplished permit guides found anywhere in the world. If you are interested in targeting permit with a fly rod, there may not be better educators and guides to be on the water with than the Garbutt's guide crew.

What are the physical demands? There are no serious physical demands for this trip. Decent balance is required to cast from the bow of a flats skiff and properly preparing for hot days out in the sun is important. Anglers that are fit and free of physical impairments will find it easier to spend time wading.

Are there any special skills required? Fly fishing for permit in the saltwater can be demanding. Anglers often are asked to cast in the wind, make precise presentations at distance and utilize high line speeds to deliver the fly quickly. Anglers that excel with their casting skills are rewarded in the saltwater environment. Having keen eyesight is also advantageous, as finding and seeing permit is key to catching them. Other highly valued skills when chasing permit are having a strong mental fortitude, an unrelenting amount patience, and an ability to remain positive without catching fish; these attributes are common among all great permit anglers.

Does the lodge provide equipment? The lodge can provide equipment in a pinch, but it’s best to bring all your own equipment.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? For chasing permit, I prefer a fast-action, super lightweight 9-weight rods that are 9-feet long. High-performance, tropical floating lines are a requirement fitted with a taper that is designed for throwing wind-resistant, weighted crab fly patterns.

What are the top flies?

  • Camo Crab
  • Bauer Flats Crab
  • Enrico Puglisi Crab Flies
  • Contraband Crab

What is a typical day like? The daily schedule is typically dictated by the tides and water and weather conditions. The Garbutt Brothers are excellent communicators and do a great job of keeping clients in the loop. In general, you can expect long days on the water that start early and finish late.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge is a small, privately-owned Belizean fishing lodge that’s connected to the Garbutt’s marina in Punta Gorda, Belize. The Garbutts are third-generation Belizean fisherman. This is not an overly-fancy or upscale experience, rather a no-frills, affordable, professional permit operation that caters more to hardcore permit enthusiasts. The chairs in the bar are plastic, the rooms are simple, the food is plentiful, the company is excellent, and the fishing is hardcore.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Yes, the Garbutt Brothers are on-site and do a great job of being available for any issues or questions that arise during your stay.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Generally, meals are taken in the main lodge and consist of a Belizean/American blend. Lunches are had on the boat.

What is the alcohol policy? Domestic Belizean spirits and beer are included in your package. Imported alcohol is not included and guests pay their tab at the end of the trip.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The Garbutts have accommodation for up to eight anglers in double-occupancy rooms with private bathrooms. Single rooms are available for an increased fee.

Is there internet and/or cell service? Spotty internet is available at the lodge. In general, it’s fast enough for text-based messages but not for streaming services. It’s unlikely that you’ll have cell service in Punta Gorda, but it’s worth checking with your provider.

Are there other activities? Other activities can be arranged through the Garbutt brothers for reef fishing, snorkeling, diving, and other water-based adventures. Copal Tree Lodge is nearby which offers a spa, fine dining and a myriad of outdoor activities like birding or jungle tours. Additionally, the local Punta Gorda farmers market is a favorite experience for guests.

Are there any other expenses? Guests can visit Copal Tree Lodge, about 15 minutes away from the lodge where they can dine, have a drink at the rum bar or arrange tours. These expenses are not included in your package.

Do I need a visa? There is no visa required for travel to Belize, only a valid U.S. passport.

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? We recommend guests drink only filtered or bottled water while in Belize and check the U.S. State Department guidelines for travel.

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