Catamaran Sailing - BVI Charter

Sailing in Belize

We have enjoyed five great sailing trips in the Belize area, including the Rio Dolce River in Guatemala.  What an incredible experience!!!  Belize offers challenging sailing between many pristine, uninhabited cays and the second largest barrier reef in the world.  There is good fishing, excellent diving and snorkeling.  At certain times of year there is whale watching.

map-of-belize

There are two areas set up for chartering: Ambergris Cay (San Pedro) to the north and Placencia to the south.  You can fly to either location from Belize City.  We have enjoyed sailing in both these locations and the Rio Dolce in Guatemala as well.

Ambergris Caye Belize
Robert's Grove

There are several nice places to stay around Placencia.  Robert's Grove has lovely rooms with a/c, fans, TV, pool,  jacuzzi on the roof, restaurant, beach, land tours, on site dive shop, fishing trips.  It is a great place for before or after your charter.  They have a great poolside BBQ on Saturday nights.

Bareboat charters begin with a check in at the Moorings base in Placencia.  They offer 3800, 4500 and 4700 bareboat catamarans. and one each 4500 and 4700 crewed cats.  

Please note: bareboat charterers do not sail outside the barrier reef without a local captain. 

Here are a few of the highlights in the southern section off the Belize coast.  As you can see, it is very natural, very little development, no restaurants or beach bars to drop in for a cold one.

laughing-bird-caye-belize

Laughing Bird Cay became a National Park 1991.  It was named after the laughing gulls that return each year to breed.  Snorkeling includes elkhorn, staghorn and brain corals.  We did a nice wall dive off the eastern side of the cay with depths to 100 feet.

North Long Cocoa Cay

North Long Cocoa Cay has excellent snorkeling off the southwest point.  The banks east of the cay are a maze of sand bars and coral reefs with deep channels between.  You may see fishermen fly casting for bonefish.  Most fishermen are eager to sell their catch.

Rendezvous Cay

Rendezvous Cay is a beautiful South Pacific-like isle.  It has a fishing lodge, iguana, pelicans.  There is excellent snorkeling and diving all around this cay.  The southern anchorage is well protected in north winds.

Ranguana Cay

Ranguana Cay is a pretty stop.  There are 4 small cabanas for those who dream of getting away from it all.  Anchorage is fairly well protected from north winds.  Excellent snorkeling southeast of cay.  You can get a meal there if you call Robert's Grove and arrange a couple days in advance.

Tom Owens Caye

Tom Owens Cay offers a good anchorage between two deserted isles.  But, as you can see there is a fishing shack here and we were fortunate enough be buy some fresh snapper for dinner.  There is excellent snorkeling all around these cays.  Water colors are spectacular.

Franks Caye

Franks Cay offers a good anchorage in easterly winds.  We found great snorkeling just south of the anchorage buoy.  There is a restaurant/bar here but it was not open on our last trip.  There are rental cabanas available.

Seal Caye

We stopped at Seal Cay for lunch and a wall dive.  Very nice!!  There are depths of up to 170 feet.  It is not a good anchorage except in calm conditions.  This is a popular fishing area.  Excellent snorkeling on the drying reef to the south.

Tom Owens Caye

Tom Owens Cay offers a good anchorage between two deserted isles.  But, as you can see there is a fishing shack here and we were fortunate enough be buy some fresh snapper for dinner.  There is excellent snorkeling all around these cays.  Water colors are spectacular.

Franks Caye

Franks Cay offers a good anchorage in easterly winds.  We found great snorkeling just south of the anchorage buoy.  There is a restaurant/bar here but it was not open on our last trip.  There are rental cabanas available.

And now for some shots up the Rio Dolce River, Guatemala.
  It is definitely worth seeing.  Allow a little extra time.  

Rio Dulce Map

The Rio Dolce is 6 miles long and winds through a spectacular gorge of 300 foot towering limestone cliffs covered by dense walls of tropical greenery.  You see Mayan homes along the shoreline and lots of locals fishing and traveling up and down the river in their dugout cayucos (canoes).  And watch for birds.  At the top of the Rio Dolce you enter El Golfete (the little gulf), 10 mile long lake with several anchorages, marinas, restaurants, and the backwater town of Fronteras.  We walked around town and bought some very nice fruits and vegetables at the open air markets.  Next day we drove inland and along the coast of Lago De Izabal to the Rio Aguas Caliente (waterfalls) and we took a cayucos ride up the El Boqueron Canyon with a local fellow.

Livingstone Guatamala

Your first stop in Guatemala is Livingston to check through Customs, Immigration and Port Captain.  We also recommend you stop at the bank to exchange dollars for quetzales.  We docked for the night at La Marina just up the river.  Nice bar and restaurant.  Very little English spoken.  How's your Spanish?

Rio Aguas Caliente falls

Rio Aguas Caliente (waterfalls)

El Boqueron Canyon

El Boqueron Canyon