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Thread: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

  1. Default What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    Hi,

    I am currently in Belize and am a bit surprised at the prices I have been quoted for fly fishing. I did quite well DIY fishing for bonefish on Turneffe Atoll (no guides available whet I was). I am in Placencia and was quoted $450.00 US $ for a day of fishing with an independent guide. As it is windy and rainy I did not think it was worth the $. Saw some lodges in the area quoting $550.00 US per day for up to 2 anglers. As the fishing is not that far from town the excuse of expensive gas is not valid. The average monthly income in Belize is around $1000 US per month so Fly fishing guides must do quite well. I guess the price is what the market will bear.

    What have you paid per day of fly fishing and what do you think about the prices?

    Thanks,

    Tomas

  2. Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    You nailed it: "The price is what the market will bear."

    My only time was at El Pescador. Their 2017 rates are going up to $600. Most people will pay it. Thus, that'll be the rate.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    That's inline with what I've paid in Belize and Mexico and I think it's fair (don't forget the tip as well). I've seen both ends of the quality spectrum as far as guides down there and the good ones are worth every penny. In my opinion the guide is the most important part of the trip and I've found it's worth doing the research or paying more to fish with those that earned their reputation.

    Of course every town I've been to in Belize also has locals that will offer to take you fishing for a much lower rate. If your just looking for access to the reef or flats depending on where you are down there they can be found asking around in town.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    Hi,

    Before I cried foul on what someone charged me for a days use of a boat and hopefully someone who knows where to fish I'd check a few things out. There may be expensive permitting fees that an individual must pay in order to work on the waters there as a commercial guide. I guess I'd wonder if the service providers are insured and what the permits cost before I'd wonder if they were just gouging me based on what the market will bear.

    I've heard a variety of stories from around America and I know we're not talking about America here, about what it takes to operate as a guide. In some states you just register with the Dept. of Game and they issue a license. In others there are more restrictions. Where I live the first three pairs of anglers every season are the 'break even' trips. In other words the first 3 trips and the gross payment from those 3 trips equals the start up cost every season. There are quite a few licenses, insurances and land use permits required before you put people in the boat.

    This may or may not be the case where you are at but knowing may ease a persons mind.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  7. Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ard Stetts View Post
    Hi,

    Before I cried foul on what someone charged me for a days use of a boat and hopefully someone who knows where to fish I'd check a few things out. There may be expensive permitting fees that an individual must pay in order to work on the waters there as a commercial guide. I guess I'd wonder if the service providers are insured and what the permits cost before I'd wonder if they were just gouging me based on what the market will bear.

    I've heard a variety of stories from around America and I know we're not talking about America here, about what it takes to operate as a guide. In some states you just register with the Dept. of Game and they issue a license. In others there are more restrictions. Where I live the first three pairs of anglers every season are the 'break even' trips. In other words the first 3 trips and the gross payment from those 3 trips equals the start up cost every season. There are quite a few licenses, insurances and land use permits required before you put people in the boat.

    This may or may not be the case where you are at but knowing may ease a persons mind.
    I suspect the OP is doing just as you suggested .. checking things out .. by asking others here.

    As for "gouging me based on what the market will bear" ... charging market price for a good or service that is not a necessity is not gouging. Charging based on what it cost to supply the good or service with no regard to the supply/demand balance, is just bad business and also bad policy IMO.

  8. Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    Hi,

    Thank you for your insighful comments. I am not crying foul but just trying to better understand the prices and drivers for those prices. In the US $450.00 will get you a drift with a good guide on many rivers. This pricing makes sense due to guide licenses, insurance, cost of living, gear, boat maintenance and the such. The cost for hiring a guide and boat for blue water fishing makes sense as the capital investment in the big boat, fuel, maintenance and mates is significant. I have hired fly fishing guides in Mexico and Costa Rica but prices were more reasonable than Belize and what I hear are the prices in Panama. Some of my best saltwater fly fishing days have been on pangas or super pangas for 50-$150/day. The captains did not know fly fishing but they did know where the fish are and I could take care of the rest. I do understand the value of experienced and talented fly fishing guides for tricky fish like permit, bonefish and tarpon but I am not sure that is always what you end up getting. I travel to Mexico and Central America often and spend much of my expendable income there but just don't quite feel good about paying so much for a day of fishing. I think I would rather donate to the local schools or other community infrastructure projects which I have done in the past rather than pay $500.00+ per day to fish. To each their own. Tomas

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    Hi Tomas,

    Sorry I used the crying foul remark buddy, I didn't mean to come off like I was giving you a hard time.

    The selected quote above sort of lends itself to what I was saying though. I could be way wrong but I don't think those guys drifting in the lower 48 are required to be insured in all states. I also don't know what they face in use permits for their fishing trips but............. Here in AK. I must be insured and carry a good policy. The land use permits I get every spring are $1450.00 and since I run a jet boat there really are a lot of maintenance costs. By the time I add in the state and 2 local business licenses and my insurance costs I'm over 2K just to take the first trip.

    Because I try to keep the costs at a level where fishing can be afforded I charge 375.00 for day trips that can cover upwards of 50 miles of river and take 12 or more hours. When I look at the costs of drift and even wading guided trips in the western US. I feel like I'm doing this all wrong. When I have 2 anglers in my boat the day is 500.00 because I'm going to use more gas , more food to provide lunch and snacks etc. and sometimes I work twice as hard. That's 250.00 / head for the day.

    I was just saying that "maybe" those guys get milked by some local government for half of what they make. Maybe not is always possible too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speybound View Post
    In the US $450.00 will get you a drift with a good guide on many rivers. This pricing makes sense due to guide licenses, insurance, cost of living, gear, boat maintenance and the such.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  11. #8
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    Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    I've fished Belize twice, both at Turneffe Flats, and a week of fishing at the lodge costs a lot more than $450/day. But then of course it would, as they're including accommodations, meals, etc. I do know from speaking with my guides at the lodge that it's an expensive proposition being a self-employed guide there. Also, as others have pointed out, that's what the market will bear--Belize is somewhat of a "prestige" destination, and lots of anglers go there. And lots will gladly pay that for a day of some of the best flats fishing in the world, or a shot at their first permit.

    I don't think that the price you were quoted was out of line. You'll get a guide who knows the area like the back of his hand, plus his skiff, plus lunch, plus 8+ hours fishing water with fish in it rather than wandering around wondering where the fish are. As swampdonkey pointed out, you could probably hire a local to take you out in his panga for a day of fishing, but I'm betting the actual fishing wouldn't be as good as it would with an actual guide.

    By way of imperfect comparison, if you wanted to fish for steelhead and hired a guide in Smithers, BC (or Terrace, or anywhere else in the Skeena watershed) you'd pay more than that. Ard, I think you're underselling your talents--what a bargain!

    Scott

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  13. #9

    Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    Those prices are spot on. Hell you'll pay close to that around here on a day long float.

    Some of the things that you need to realize is that the way taxes work in Belize on equipment etc that they have to pay that they are not making that much. For instance I was talking with one of my guides about the new Yamaha motor that he had on his skiff. After taxes and other associated fees levied by the Belizean government the motor that would have cost about 6k in the US cost triple that in US funds in Belize. Add into that the permitting and insurance fees and their dollar does not stretch very far.

    Plus you are paying for knowledge and access to places with the guide that you simply can not DIY it.

    J-

  14. Default Re: What have you paid for guide in Belize?

    I was in Placencia last month- fished with a guide named Ivan- booked through our hotel, Laru Beya (excellent place to stay, btw). He was $450 for the day. I have to say- he was outstanding. Picked me up at the marina across the street at 7 a.m. We ran nearly 30 miles offshore- so the comment that the fishing is right nearby above is not acccurate- He ran to flat after flat and put me on more than 25 tailing fish. Caught 1. Fished 12 hours (!). I was more than happy with the service, his work ethic, and the quality of the fishery. I fished another day out of Hopkins with Michael Anderson of the Belize Permit Club. Same story- he was OUTSTANDING. Some excellent guides in Belize, but their costs are high. Boats and motors are rediculously expensive. Gas is 3x the cost that it is in the states. These guys WORK. Pay em! Have a day you'll always remember. It's worth it.

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