There are opportunities that come once in a lifetime and experiences that when you grasp them fill you with joy, excitement and pure bliss. On Saturday, January 16, 2010, the staff of Ambergris Today got to enjoy one of those experiences that are purely unforgettable. We got the opportunity to soar like a bird above our Isla Bonita, not on a plane or helicopter but on an ultralight aircraft. Totally embracing the openness of the aircraft, we flew over San Pedro Town, glided a few feet above the Great Belize Barrier Reef, hovered above ‘celebrity’ caye Cayo Espanto like paparazzi and soaked in the red tainted skies as the sun went down on a gorgeous afternoon.
The flying adventure is another one of Ambergris Cayes’ newest attractions for thrill-seeking adventurers brought to you by Toucan Fly. Own and operated by one of San Pedro’s newest entrepreneurs, John McAfee, the ultralight aircrafts tours of Ambergris Caye promise high adrenaline, heart-pumping adventure as you take an aerial tour of the island with nothing much than a large ‘kite-like’ wing to block your view – everything else is wide open.
Toucan Fly consists of five ultralight aircrafts, two of which are in San Pedro and the other three which are in Belize City and will be brought over to San Pedro as soon as the hangar is fully completed. These magnificent aircrafts are piloted by five extraordinary pilots, three of whom are also instructors.
Mr. John McAfee, apart from being the owner of ‘Toucan Fly’ is also a pilot but only flies for his own enjoyment. His staff consists of Mr. Neil Bungard, the chief pilot, who is also an instructor and a member of the Federal Aviation Administration, Mr. Matt Robinson and Ms. Jennifer Erwin who are both pilots and instructors, and Mr. Robert Conbes who is a pilot only.
Toucan Fly is specifically for recreational use only and not for public transportation. There will be several tours available, mostly around San Pedro and surrounding Ambergris Caye. Coming soon are flights from San Pedro to Lamanai, which includes an overnight stay and trip back to the island. The longest, a tour around la Isla Bonita, would take is approximately an hour. All flights are weather dependent.