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“Lucky to be ALIVE”
Review of Yok Ha Resort

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Yok Ha Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Like many of us, my time off from work is limited and so I must choose my vacation destinations carefully. We booked a Groupon trip to Yok Ha "Resort" in December 2013. It was suppose to be after the rain season but unfortunately, the official "rain season" that was to end by November was a dry season...which leant Mother Nature to release her torrential rains upon us in mid December during our trip. We met the driver of our boat, Winnifred Prescott, who also happened to be the resort's owner, at the small flat bottom skiff fishing boat after his wife picked us up 50 min late from our hotel. We were schedule to depart to our island retreat at 2pm but we weren't even picked up from the hotel until 2:50pm. After she dropped us off at the boat in the rain, we were told that we had to wait while Winnifred and his wife continued to gather supplies to take to the island. This took nearly another hour. We were told that we could wait inside their office that resembled an abandoned run down gas station that leaked rain water inside, had no working toilet and no chairs on which to sit in the dirty wet unkempt lineoleum room. It was cold, filthy and not a charming first impression of what we were about to embark upon. Because it had been raining and storm season was in full swing, the ocean was choppy and the waves and swells were big. It was an unnerving 8 mile ride to Waterfoot Caye Yok Ha Resort. Once to shore, the dining room and bar were a most welcomed site. It was colorful, pretty and inviting. However, the windows in the dining rooms and most of the cabins leaked due to the poor quality of the-contractors-torrential rains had been thrust upon the region and Winnifred stated that he needed to get all of the leaking windows fixed. He stated that the contractors put up the 5 cabins and dining area within 6 weeks in order for him to open the resort. There were issues with the plumbing, toilets and rain water leaking through the windows. Had these things been working properly, the 4 mile island (of which about 1/4 mile had been developed and was accessible to walk and take out subpar kayaks), the island could have been considered a respite for those who wanted only to lay on a beach or swing in their hammock on the porch of their cabin for the duration. Our cabin did not have any porch chairs. We were one of 2 couples on the island at this time and there were 3 other empty cabins which all had porch chairs on them. When I asked Winnifred if we could get 2 porch chairs for our cabin, he stated that yes he would get them and then proceeded to walk into the dining hall, sit down and began eating and reading a newspaper. We had to find someone else to bring us chairs so that we could sit on our porch. We learned that 4 people were required to book an excursion together before we could go ashore so we had to confer with the one other couple and agree to visit the same excursion. We would have been out of luck if we wanted to go to a reef and another couple wanted to go to Mayan Ruins. There was only 1 boat available during our VACATION. The rains were torrential in the mornings and night. We had 1 opportunity to go ashore with the other couple that we had chosen to visit the Mayan Ruins. Winnifred told us that we would have to leave by 07:30 am to take the usual 30-min boat ride ashore (in calm conditions) and drive 2-hours to Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins. Because of the torrential rains and stormy sea we could not leave shore in the morning. We were content to remain safe, stay in our cabin and read for the day. However, at 10:30am Winnifred announced that the trip was "on" to the ruins. We were all stunned and concerned because the sea swells were large and another storm was on the way AND we were getting a 3-hour late start. Not only that, it turned out that the drive was 3-hr, not 2-hr like he told us. This meant that we would have to be crossing a stormy sea in the dark. We almost had Winnifred turn the boat around 3 times on our way to shore because of the frightening swells. We made it to mainland Belize after a frightening hour+ long ride in the swells. We heard his wife calling numerous times beginning shortly after 2pm to inquire our whereabouts because there was another couple stranded at their makeshift gas station office awaiting their 2pm departure to Yok Ha. We were still touring the ruins at that time and then we were going to an authentic mayan restaurant for lunch before we embarked upon our 3-hr ride back to the boat to meet the waiting couple. Winifred kept telling his wife to tell the waiting couple that we would be back soon. We didn't get back to the boat until 6pm. The couple had to wait 4-hr in their unsuitable cold wet "room" that had 1 plastic bucket that they used for a chair. It was now dark. Our boat was an open skiff with no lights, no emergency radio and our driver, Winnifred, we later found out did not have a boating pilot's license to operate a passenger boat. The swells were big even in our river inlet. His wife asked if we wanted to wait awhile before trying to go out to sea. Winnifred said that we would be fine and he took us out into the eery angry waters now having to navigate long tree logs at the rivers inlet from the sea in the dark. When we got nearly a mile off the coast, on of Winnifred's outboard motor's died, leaving us with minimal power in these already overpowering waves. At that point I stood up and spoke for the 6 of us passengers to demand that we turn around because we still had 7 miles to go if we headed for the island and the sea would get worse the farther out we ventured. I began sailing in 1990. I sail in the San Francisco Bay and Greece and we have NEVER gone out in such dangerous conditions. I acquired my bareboat cruising license through US Sailing and have taken coastal cruise course as well. When I asked Winnifred to alert the coastguard to come help us, he refused. He did, however, turn the boat around in the 15 ft swells at which point his other engine went out. We were now powerless 1 mile from the coast in a stormy sea with no lights, no emergency radio, no beacon and a captain who refused to call the coastguard. There were NO other boats in the water that night. We later found out that the reason that he didn't call the coastguard was because he didn't have a license to operate the boat and he would have gotten fined. He finally called his wife to alert her family member to come out to rescue us. The family member at first didn't heed the call because, as he told us, he thought that the wife was joking....no one would be out in that water that night. In fact, they cancelled an outing because of the weather. Winnifred was silent during this time after he told us they were coming when really they hadn't even left shore for more than 25min from his call. They finally reached us after about an hour and they towed us back to shore. They said that they used to have the type of boat engines that Winnifred was using on our passenger boat but they bought better engines because the engines that Winnifred was using were known to stall, break down and be unreliable. We would have died in the sea that night if we didn't get towed back to shore. Winnifred refused to alert the coastguard because he didn't want to get fined and perhaps have his business shutdown for dangerous operations. Winnifred may retort that the waves were not that bad in which case I ask any reader to check out the weather in Belize Cayes December 19, 2013. I have reported this incident to the Belize coastguard. Bottom line: We should have never gone out in such dangerous conditions but Winnifred wanted to collect our excursion fees to the ruins and he risked everyone's life,even his own, for that few hundred dollars. I gave this review 2 stars instead of 1 because I took into account the adverse weather conditions that were cast upon us that were not in anyone's control. It was how the owner of the "resort" chose to handle the weather situation that became life endangering to his guests.The island getaway was pretty albeit very remote and lacked sufficient amenities to supplement on shore excursions for more than 1 trip per day. The kayaks for use on the island were not sea kayaks. Our room on the island was clean, sleep quality good. There is important work to be done, a licensed boat pilot and proper excursion boat to be added to make this "resort" a relaxing and safe getaway. Unfortunately for us, I have not embellished or exaggerated the danger we experienced on this excursion that nearly cost us our life.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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52  Thank heidi c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BelizeanChik, Owner at Yok Ha Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2014

We pride ourselves in dedicated, personal treatment of ALL our guests. I am sure that "washing" your bill as requested at checkout would have avoided all this back and forth between you and your partner Lynne. The details you present are certainly a distortion of the truth:
1. my name is not Winnifred Prescott.
2. there is no way this establishment could have been constructed in six(6) weeks!!
3. the choice to make the trip was done by another couple as they really wanted to see the ruins.
4. the weather was the same state the entire day and we made it to shore that morning (not 15 ft waves and no loss of life).
5. plastic bucket for a chair ...honestly?....come on !!
and so on....

We will allow the many reviews of fair and honest guests to prevail and ask that anybody reading this review to compare with that done by your companion Lynne R, Reviewed December 30, 2013.

Wilfred Pascascio
Owner
Yok Ha Resort

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107 - 113 of 138 reviews

Reviewed February 3, 2014

My boyfriend and I traveled to Yok Ha last week with a Groupon deal and it was everything we could've hoped for and more. Upon arriving into Belize City airport and taking Tropic Air (12 seater) flight to Dangriga - Willfred (the resort owner) was waiting for us when we landed. He had to make a pit stop to pick up some supplies for the island. We could have gone in the store with him to purchase any alcohol or anything else we needed, but since we had Duty Free we did not need to.

After about a 5-8 minute car ride, we were at the boat dock where 2 other couples were waiting for us to go back to the island. We took the 25 minute boat ride and arrived to paradise. Upon arrival, Marlin gave us some delicious punch and we got settled our cabana (Chaac) which was outfitted with island touches, a king sized bed, a lovely bathroom AND A/C (luxury!). Outside was an oceanfront deck with two chairs and a hammock. We instantly became relaxed.

We chose to go on a horseback riding excursion the next day with 2 other couples ($108/USD/person) and after the boat ride and 40 minute drive we arrived at a large 5,000 acre farm. We rode through the jungle and citrus orchards and had a wonderful experience. Willfred and his wife Abby even went with us (as they had not experienced that specific excursion and wanted to make sure they could provide details and information to future visitors wanting to do that). We rode for almost 4 hours, with a stop at the Sittee River for a quick swim (for us, not the horses). It was a full day experience and absolutely wonderful.

The next day we did a snorkeling trip to the Belize Barrier Reef ($65/USD/person) with all 3 other couples on the island with us. The water was quite choppy and the current was strong, but after getting accustomed to the water we were able to see some manta rays, a variety of fish, and a lot of coral. We had a really good time (despite some troubles with the currents - which was totally mother nature), but I was happy to be back on stable ground when we returned to the island!

The food was wonderful and we were able to eat whenever we chose (in the 2 hour timeframe - 7:30-9:30 for breakfast, 12:30-2:30 (i think) for lunch, and 6:30-8:30 for dinner). We sampled lobster, fish, pork, beef, and more. We had more than enough food and never went hungry. If you were hungrier than usual and wanted second helpings, the staff was sure to accommodate.

At night, we spent our time in the main building having drinks with the other couples, sitting out on the dock chatting, and dancing with the staff!! The nighttime is experience is one we certainly would not have had at a more 'corporate' type resort.

Overall I really couldn't have asked for a better experience. The staff really made sure that everything was taken care of all the time. I did not feel anyone was trying to push anything (i.e. drinks/excursions) and we were really in charge of what we did 100% of the time. I would recommend this trip to absolutely anyone wanting a unique and relaxing experience on a remote island paradise!!

Tips - purchase alcohol through duty free or at the grocery store in Dangriga to avoid those charges on the island, bring bug spray (when the breeze dies down the gnats are out to play), bring water bottles (the staff is happy to fill them with clean water at your request), if you want to horseback ride, make sure you have long sleeves/pants/sneakers

Room Tip: Chaac faces the sunrise, which was amazing to wake up to each morning. It is right on the water'...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Alyssa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

We bought the Groupon for our stay at Yok Ha during the middle of January. We were met at the Dangriga airport by a taxi taking us to the dock to be transported to the island by Pastor. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the head cook, Celeste and the bartender Marlin who had two welcome drinks for us. Thomas, the grounds keeper took our luggage to our cabin. The cabins are brightly colored, very well constructed with A/C and a beautiful tile bathroom. The pillows were especially comfy and we immediately took a nap after traveling. There is no beach to walk on as the island is mainly mangroves. The kayaks were great to take out and explore the area with....many other islands within kayaking distance.

FOOD:
I can not rave enough about the food! We were served three meals a day (included in the price of the stay). The food was fantastic authentic food and we never went hungry....no need for snacks. The portions did seem to get smaller at the week went on but we definitely didn't starve. Celeste is a phenominal cool! Marlin the bartender also doubled as a waitress, serving food, clearing dishes. Meals are served at specific time frames: 7:30am, 12:00pm, 6:30pm and you have about an hour after those specific times to go eat. Everyone sits at a long banquet like table....so there's no option for a private romantic dinner for a couple. Our meals ranged from stuffed lobster tail, fried fish, pork chops, etc.

DRINKS:
I suggest bringing a case of beer or bottles of liquor to the resort with you. You have an open tab until the end of your stay and then pay it before you leave. ANYTHING extra, juice, soda, beer, mixed drinks, bottle of water is all charged. There are no posted prices and we were told once that beers were $2US and then later told they were $4US and that mixed drinks just "varied." Our tab at the end of our stay wasn't unbearable but it would have been nice to know prices ahead of time. **If you bring warm beer, you can trade them in for cold one.**

ROOMS:
There are 5 cabins total. Four are pretty close together and you can hear what's going on inside if you walk by. Two are water front with some mangroves separating them from the water's edge and two are situated behind those. The fifth, which is advertised as a "honeymoon suite" and very private, is not at all private. We could see their cabin, hammocks on the deck, and over water deck just by looking out our window. There is a manmade "wall" keeping it from being right next to our cabin. The cabins have A/C, a nice tile bathroom, hot water, a nice deck with a hammock and you can get the gorgous sunshine through the windows. They were surprisingly large and ours had two queen/double beds. At night, if another cabin has their porch light on, it shines in the windows.

EXCURSIONS:
All excursions require at least 4 people...so a couple has to coordinate with another couple or two people have to pay the price of 4. We really wanted to do the Mayan ruins tour but couldn't find another couple, so we couldn't go. We the Island Hopping.....I was NOT impressed at all. It was $40/person. Six of us did this excursion. Our first stop was to do "bottle hunting" which constisted of going to basically a trash island. We were told that antique bottles wash up from an old ship wreck but what we found were Bacardi, Fanta, and beer bottles amoung other trash...we pretty much paid to go clean up an island. The next stop was at Tobacco Caye which reminded me of The Hunger Games....I thought at any moment someone was going to kill us. All of us thought it was sketchy....no shops, just some dilapitated bungalows, mangy dogs, unfriendly looking people, and garbage. The palm trees were pretty. Next we just snorkling just off of Tobacco Caye...I thought the water was way too choppy to snorkle and my fiance actually ended up under the boat when a big wave moved the boat. The only cool part of the excursion was bird island. You don't actually go on the island but rather watch the birds flying around only this teeny island.

THE BOAT:
The boat the resort uses to transport guests is SCARY! Life jackets were never offered, and even though we didn't flip, I was terrified we eventually would. The boat rides were downright painful....from flying over the waves and slamming back down on the water, not to mention we were going what I thought was too fast for conditions. Hopefully, they invest in a safer, more comfortable boat.

OTHER:
We didn't actually meet the owners until the second day of our stay and only saw them a couple times during...basically when they wanted to collect money or tell us about things we can buy from them. In my opinion, they did nothing. Celeste, Marlin, and Thomas made our stay as fantastic as it was. THEY were the ones making sure we had all that we needed. Marlin was the one who called the owners to tell them to come back to the island the morning we were leaving so we could make our flight...otherwise they were planning to just come at 10am when our flight left at 10:05am . They took their time coming back to the island and then left again to go check on another boat out in the water leaving four of us standing on the dock, luggage ready. Abigail, one of the owners said, "It would look bad on them if they didn't check on this boat." In my opinion it would also look bad if guests missed their international flight. We heard through the grapevine (I'm not sure of the accuracy) that the help Celeste, Thomas, and Marlin were not receiving their tips, so many guests tipped them directly to ensure they got what they deserved for their hard work incase the higher ups were keeping the tips they were entitled to. When I went to pay our tab at the end of our stay, I asked what the 5% convenience charge was for and was told it was to cover the charge the credit card company charges them....even though I asked to have it removed if I paid in cash, she refused.

I would recommend Yok Ha Resort to others, especially if you can purchase the Groupon. I do not think I would come back but overall it was a good experience, thanks to Marlin, Celeste, and Thomas.

Room Tip: Try for a water front room so you don't have the other cabins' lights shining in your window...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank palleiske05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BelizeanChik, Front Office Manager at Yok Ha Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2014

1. We do not have "specific" meal times, but rather suggested times and even if you arrive later than the recommended hour you will still be served freshly prepared food. If you want a private dinner this is done at the Cabana's veranda or by the pier. Your arrival time at the island was after 1:30 and you were still given lunch.

2. Bottled water and juices are complimentary, the cost of our beers are $4 since the resort first opened so don't know how that could have been confused. One cannot ask a carpenter for a prescription but must go to a doctor. I suspect you did not ask the bartender the prices. We do not normally accept "warm beers for cold ones" this was an exception made for you as we were trying to be accommodating.

3. The cabanas are over 45 feet from each other, see number 7 picture taken by Adam T which gives a good representation of the layout. One most definitely cannot hear what is happening inside unless you stick your ear to the wall - maybe this is the case here? Still don't know how was it you were able to see the LOA cabana so clearly through your window, you must have good eyes… oh and ears too ;).

4. Fuel in Belize is terribly expensive and we simply cannot afford to offer a tour for only two people at the same price as we would literally LOSE money each time we did a trip - this is the case with ALL resorts in Belize. Past guests have also found rare antique bottles, sorry it was not the case with you and Tobacco Caye is a well-known loved island by locals and also has great reviews on trip advisor - no luxury but rather a local rustic island.

5. I am sorry but we do not control sea conditions, this is one of the things it is important for our guests to realize. Both our captains (Pastor and Wilfred) have over 30 years of experience in the Caribbean sea.

6. Both owners take shifts to be managers at the island, during that week Wilfred was out of the country and Abigail was very sick with the flu and subsequently did not want to get close considering the health of others. We knew your flight time and were on schedule. We didn't simply "left to check on another boat" we got a distress call from a Catamaran nearby and as per the marine Laws of Belize we are required to assist them. Again we were still on scheduled to get you to the local airstrip on time as you did not miss your flight and still had some time to spare waiting on the airplane - aren't we right?
We would NEVER keep employee tips, as we very rarely receive tips on credit card. All our guest tip cash directly to employees so I don't understand how it is possible for us to withhold tip we don't receive? What we charge is a 5% service charge which is distributed quarterly, the last distribution was done in December with the other coming in March. All employees are aware of this policy. It saddens us to see these negative remarks that can jeopardize our reputation for things we've never done and for you to make these kinds of comments based on something you "heard through the grapevines"

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Reviewed January 22, 2014

We found a very special place! A beautiful island, almost new houses with wooden furniture and a nice bathroom. The service was very friendly, we liked them very much. Most of all we liked the good and healthy meals, fresh food - cooked delicious, thanks to Celeste! And we enjoyed very much going around the island with the kayak.
A wonderful place, but we experienced not only nice habits. You should know you will be charged for quite everything ... joining a boat transfer of others to Dangriga, changing a cabana. Such a policy has to be announced explicitly before doing so, because it seems us to be inappropriate to do so on an island with little infrastructure. The prices for alcoholic drinks were high, but no price list was informing. When booking we had to pay a 25 % Deposit, as agreed. But to do the money transfer of the remaining 75% from the credit card 30 days before the arrival without approval is not ok.
To see all the poorness and low standards of development in Belize, we do not fully understand what components are making tourism so expensive in Belize. Especially, as employees earn a little. Sustainable business activities have to go hand in hand with adequate prices - that is what
we were missing during our lovely stay on this beautiful island, and what the owners may reflect better in future.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Remo216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BelizeanChik, Manager at Yok Ha Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

We are happy to know you enjoyed our beautiful little piece of paradise and our amazing local, fresh meals however we would also like to clear up a few points made in your review:

1. We have a standard $50 per person round trip boat transfer to/from Dangriga, we offer this complimentary on check in/check out however all other trips are charged. Fuel in Belize is almost $6usd/gallon we simply cannot afford to offer this service for FREE. Other nearby islands charge $75usd + and the checkin/checkout boat trips are NOT complimentary.

2. LOA is our Premium honeymoon suite, if you wish to upgrade there will most definitely be an additional charge – this is common is all resorts in the world.

3. Our price list is being revised and we apologize for not having it available , however our staff could have informed you of the prices if you had asked. Beers are only $4 and local drinks $8 – these prices are modest for being an island resort where everything has to be shipped by boat.

4. Reservation policy: 25% deposit at the time of booking, balance due 30 days prior to arrival – this is our standard reservation policy and we are sorry if it is not of your liking, however we have never had an issue in the past with any of our guests as everyone understands this is the policy.

Belize has a LOT of development, infrastructure, high end luxury condos, private villas etc – however this is not what we offer or advertise but rather we promote a beautiful, small island resort quiet and peaceful. You could have informed us you were interested in the high-end, huge resort feel and we could have taken you on a few day trips for you to see the more developed and busy parts of Belize. Our Employees gain above average pay scales for Belize, furthermore we have bonus incentives and service charge distribution.

Sincerely
The management @ Yok Ha Resort

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Reviewed January 2, 2014

We had an excellent time, Celeste (the cook) was phenomenal, Marlin and Gertell did an excellent job tending bar and serving fantastic food, Victor (the captain)- was extremely competent as a fisher (fresh fish, lobster, etc. for most meals)- the accommodations were to be as expected for a resort located eight miles from shore-(everything was brought in by boat to build and outfit the place)- our only complaint would be the extra charges derived from heading into town one evening ($100 per couple return-U.S. funds)- not a show stopper but something to be made aware of. Keep in mind the entire resort is running off of a generator so no fridges in the rooms. A/C in the rooms was a plus! Had a great time and met some excellent new friends.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank 766Monty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

We departed our beautiful state of California for dreams of sunny crystal clear Belizean waters to snorkel, kayak and play in paradise.
With high hopes for our Groupon we landed in Belieze City to find it raining, our flight was late and so we missed the last flight out to Dangriga (the little airstrip has no lights). We opted to hire a taxi, instead of staying somewhere in Belize City, to attempt to stay on course. Cost = $200.00 US , took almost 3 hours, and the "paved" Hummingbird Hwy is similar to the back roads of Louisianna. We stayed at the Pelican Beach (nice) and awaited the arrival of our ride to the dock to meet the boat to take us to the little island.

We were escorted by Abby, to the boat where we met Willifred, Abby's husband. They own Yok Ha and have a great vision for the resort. Good folks! We didn't mind waiting an hour or two, while Abby went for supplies to load in the boat since we were so excited to begin our long awaited vacay!

The 8 mile boat trip to the Caye was ok, defineately a good size chop on the carribean with the overcast sky and intermittent rain. It's a small craft, with twin engines, flat bottom skiff. No shelter/just three rows of bench seating. Probably great for bonefishing! After a few ocean misting's in the chop we arrived at the resort... The first thing you see is the bright orange paint of the nicely crafted dining room. You get off the boat and are greeted warmly by the staff with a glass of homemade punch (Pick up a bottle of rum before going to the island and save yourself mucho denero, then add to the delicious punch :)
We were thrilled to enter the Chacc, our luxury Cabanna for 5 days. Nicely done! Crafted wood floors and ceiling's, tiled bathroom, hand painted sink. Not bad for a cabanna on a small key in the middle of the Carribean. The construction, like most, is still a work in progress...

It rained, and rained, and rained. At first it was really cool to be on this protected (by the reef) island listening to the torential (according to the weather channel) rainfall on the tin roof of the cabanna. But that feeling only lasted a day. Our fellow guests were feeling a little stir crazy at dinner, so we planned an outing off the island to the Ruins the next day.

We had to leave a few hours later than we should have "to let the storm pass". The rain did slow, and the sea is always relatively calm around the island. So we all eagerly got on board the small skiff and away we went back to Dangriga to begin our Ruin adventure.
(Thank GOD there were lifevest's available!) three words... white cap swells -in the Carribean. = White knuckle boating.

We all got in the Ford Explorer operated by the owner, Willifred, and drove the 2 hours to the Ruins. IT was amazing to stand on the almost 3,000 year old ruin, Cehal Pech, and listen to the charming and captivating discussion of the Ruin by the hired guide Albert. Afterwards we went to San Ignacio and were treated to an authentic Mayan meal.... DELICIOUS ! (if you can eat pork)
Then back we went. By this time, it was dark, aroung 5:30pm. Another couple had been waiting for us to return to get on the boat since 2pm. (YIKES!) Since there is only one boat, i guess they were waiting for Wilifred to get back to drive it across. ??

In the dark, the harrowing ride was a nightmare. The swells came over the sides of the small craft, and we were all essentially paralized with fear as we headed deeper into the ocean with a black cloud of sheer rain ahead of us on the horizon. All I could think is that NO American company would have attempted this for fear of liability. None of us said anything... we had handed our lives to the captain.
That is, until the boat engines died.

In Belize I guess they have different safety regulations, as well as a VERY different frame of mind.

This Florida girl who grew up on boats was terrified. We noticed the captain was quiet and not saying a word. So my partner, who sails the Pacific, stood up and demanded he call for help immediately .
So.... he called his wife. At least his cell phone was working. :/
We did not return to the resort. We instead stayed again at the Pelican Beach and caught the first flight back to Belize City.

The long and short, we survivied and got a nerveracking tow from the Uncle, but learned some very vaulable lessons.

IF you decide to go, make sure the weather calls for sunny skies and get ready to witness some heartbreaking poverty. Otherwise, I am sure this place is beautiful when the sun comes out. They have one boat, so if it's gone your stuck on the island. Medical emergencies would be a nightmare.
I imagine they can only accomadate one adventure a day with one car, so make sure all the guests agree on the same one.

It's been my dream to snorkel the barrier reef in Belize, next time I will stay in Palencia at a resort and take a much bigger boat out on the unpredictable sea.

Room Tip: Get the Chacc, the Loa if you want privacy, or #3.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank Lynne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BelizeanChik, Manager at Yok Ha Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2014

Hi Lynne,
We had such a great time together at the island and it saddens us to see this overly exaggerated negative review. Our captain Wilfred has been travelling the Belizean sea all his life, your life was never in Danger as the island is only 8 miles away and the boat failure happened only a few minutes away from the coast and the water wasn't even 5 feet deep - we were not travelling the Pacific Ocean. We admit we failed in allowing us to travel out for a day trip pass the departure time hence returning late. For future reference all our ruin trips are departing by 8am so if someone oversleeps he/she will be left behind.
>
> Furthermore, we have two boats available, however the second boat was
> under maintenance the week you were there. The craft we used was a 28'
> boat
having a 3.5 foot depth 8" draft and 8 foot beam. This is a big boat for the area and type of seas.
We can also provide more than one adventure in one day as we subcontract vans when needed.

We would also like to inform the Trip Advisor community and its members that it is our feel that this overly exaggerated negative review is the product of us not complying to your demand of "washing out your bill clean" due to the inconvenience and keeping the incident under wraps.

Sincerely

The Management @ Yok Ha Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

My wife and I just spent an awesome week at Yok Ha. In fact, we both got a few tears upon leaving the island and the staff. Here are a few things we experienced:
We flew to Belize City from Atlanta on Delta, and then took Tropic Air to Dangriga. Customs in BZE was the most brutal I have ever seen with so many questions. We did not bring anything into Belize, but still got a ton of questions. Trying to take our luggage from customs to check in at Tropic Air (about 50 feet), there were plenty of baggage help looking for a tip. My tip is bring some one dollar bills… all I had was a ten, and the help snatched it and said he had no change. Whatever, I am on vacation.
Tropic Air flight to Dangriga was fun. Beware, you may be asked to sit in the co-pilot seat for weights and balance issues. My wife got that chance and she did not touch the yoke or throttle It was a scary thrill for her.
Upon arrival to Dangriga, there was a gentleman, Wilfred, waiting for us with his SUV. I asked him if he worked for the resort, and he told me he owned it. Well, that was pretty awesome the owner picked us up. We had a 3 minute drive to the dock on the inlet and then we met El Capitan! Pastor! A very awesome guy who guided the boat to Waterfoot Caye with the twin 115 HP Suzuki Outboards. The only thing I would have liked more was that life jackets were required and available.
The weather was unbelievable in Dangriga and at the resort. We were greeted by Wilfred’s wife Abby, and Henry. Henry is the do all… up at 5:00 am, raking the beach, fixing the toilets, baiting the hook, driving the boat (he loves his smaller boat and his pull start outboard engine.) Abby gave us the 5 minute intro with a mango juice drink and we were in our cabana. I looked for the tv in the room, and there was not one. I panicked, and after an hour, I could have cared less about being connected with the world. They have wifi, sometimes, at the eating area. When the wifi works, it is extremely fast. When it doesn’t, que sera, sera. So, if you need to be connected 24/7 to the world, Yok Ha may not be for you. But, if you secretly wish you can be unavailable for real reasons, this is the place.
Celeste, the awesome cook, fired up a little empanada snack for us. Conce was the dynamic duo with Celeste. They were both awesome! We ate, hit the free kayaks (I hope they are still free since I see on the resort site it says something about $25.00/half day charge – I hope not… it would not be worth it since they are a bit worn) with Henry as our guide and paddled around the entire island. Saw a huge Spanish Ray and tons of starfish. Henry was an awesome guide.
After finishing kayaking, Henry and Pastor were out on their own kayaks and returned from snorkeling/diving with lobster, fish, conch, and that was what we ate for dinner. Did I mention my wife and I were the only guests on the island for the first day?
The next day, our new best friends, Mike and Raquel arrived. We were no longer alone. We hit it off immediately and spent a ton on the cave tubing and fishing. Fishing mostly. The cave tubing was too much money for the enjoyment. And, it was almost 5 hours of transportation. The fishing was a better use of time, especially with Pastor and Henry!
Two days later, another couple arrived; Mike and Michelle from New Hampshire. They were very nice.

The awesome thunderstorms were welcomed and soothing. The morning sunrise was unbelievable. The food was great and no snacks were needed… the food was plenty. The hammock was great for my wife.
If I could do it again, which I will, I would spend my money on fishing. Mike and I caught more Snapper, Barracuda, and other fish than we could eat. The resort had plenty of fish in reserve for other guests. I loved it.
When we left, the rain Gods poured down. They must have been sad we were leaving. The boat ride to the airport in Dangriga was wet, but we left and made it home with not one problem. Yok Ha is a special place and not for everyone. We loved it!
Do: Bring water bottles to re-fill. Bring bug spray. Bring shampoo/soap if you like a special brand. Bring a blow dryer. Bring DVDs for your cabana if you want to watch a movie on a laptop. Bring a fishing pole with 20lb or greater test to haul in some good fish. Bring an inflatable tube/raft/kayak if you want to lounge in the Caribbean Sea.
Don’t: Bring an expectation of a 5 star resort. We like it this way and loved the resort!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yok Ha Resort

Address: Stann Creek, Waterfoot Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Waterfoot Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Waterfoot Caye
Price Range: $310 - $565 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Yok Ha Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Place!Yok Ha Belize Resort is on a three (3) acre private island just eight (8) miles due east of Dangriga. The five cabanas at the Resort have been designed with your privacy and beach front comfort in mind. For serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks, our over the water restaurant and bar is the perfect place to have a meal, grab a beer, or enjoy a relaxing sit on the deck looking out over the sea. Our rates include all meals and transportation to the island so once you book there is no need to worry about anything!!The Experience!!A vacation at Yok Ha Belize Resort will be the EVENT of a lifetime as you explore and capture Belize’s beauty and uniqueness. A multitude of activities are available for you. The fabulous sea is right at your doorstep where snorkeling, fishing and kayaking awaits you. Spend lazy days on the beach or enjoy the use of our complimentary Kayaks, skipping from island to island.The Difference!!!It is our mission to provide exceptional service and an unforgettable experience to all our guests. We put sustainable eco-tourism in the forefront.By choosing Yok Ha Resort you will go home relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. ... more   less 
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