The Island



Nestled on the coral island of Little Caye Bokel, our resort sits at the southern elbow of one of the world’s unspoken wonders, the Turneffe Atoll.

Formed centuries ago, Belize’s Turneffe Atoll was once an oceanic mountainous peak. With time and tectonic shifts in the earth’s crust, the peak sank to the sea floor, leaving only a coral reef around its perimeter. The coral continued to grow upon itself into a string of coral islands, which we know today as the Turneffe Atoll: a tangle of land, lagoons, channels and reef – and the lifeblood of the Caribbean’s world-renowned diving and fishing.


From 17th century piracy and the infamous Blackbeard to ghosts of inhabitants past, ask for a story, and you won’t be able to tear yourself away.

Originally inhabited by indigenous Mayans, Turneffe Atoll was their home and livelihood, an outpost for fishing and self-preservation. With the turn of the 17th century came Europeans, shipping routes – and pirates, who commanded the Atoll’s channels, hiding away on its islets and marauding ships.

With 1941 came angler and proprietor, Mr. Ethlin Young, who established a fishing camp on Little Caye Bokel before selling the property to Mr. Victor L. Barhothy in 1961 for $800 Belizean Dollars. A worldly American, Mr. Barhothy established fishing camps in the Florida Keys and Cuba before fleeing the Cuban Revolution to Belize with his wife, houseboat and, of course, their fishing skiffs.

In 1962, Mr. Barhothy built the first offshore fishing lodge in Belize on Little Caye Bokel, known today as Turneffe Island Resort. Under new, family ownership since 2001, the resort is home to three of its original buildings, as well as an outdoor bar and pool, and a string of private villas along its white sand shoreline.

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