Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world and is located in what used to be part of the great Mayan civilization. We work closely with several independent crewed yachts and catamarans in Belize and also with specialized diving companies, as well as with the Moorings in Belize for bareboats. We can recommend the best trips ashore to restaurants on the cays to sample local cuisine and the experience of unique Belizean culture add to the pleasures. However, a Belize yacht charter can encompass much more, and often does. Many sailors add extra time at the start or finish of their adventure to include a guided dive excursion to the Great Blue Hole, a geological wonder of the world located within Lighthouse Reef, or sightseeing tours of the Mayan ruins inland.
A Belize sailing vacation with the Moorings offers regular easterly trade winds year round averaging between 15 and 22 knots that virtually guarantee a wonderful sail every day in calm waters tucked behind cays and reefs. Passages are short and the navigation is mostly line-of-sight. Plotting courses and heeding the chart is advised due to the many reefs. Keeping a good bow watch and reading depths based on color changes is also important due to seasonal changes in sand bars. A Belize yacht charter is well within the reach of sailors who have basic skills in coastal navigation. The beauty and unique character of these waters lures less experienced and veteran sailors alike to return time after time for more adventures in one of the best snorkeling and diving locations in the Western Caribbean. Year-round temperatures range from 74°F to 84°F (23°C to 29°C).
Situated on Placencia Lagoon, sometimes home of the endangered manatee, Placencia Harbour is both picturesque and quaint. Fishing has been a keystone of the local economy for generations, and it’s still important to the 600 or so people living in the village and the surrounding area. Walking the mile-long, pedestrian-only sidewalk meandering among the houses built on stilts is like stepping back in time, but modernity is making inroads in the form of several luxury beachfront resorts offering numerous amenities, including fine dining. The laid-back atmosphere of Placencia is a perfect way to leave the cares of a busy life behind and ease into a sailing adventure in one of the most serene and beautiful countries in the Western Caribbean.
The wonders of a Belize sailing vacation unfold primarily amid marine parks. In 1996, the United Nations World Heritage Committee approved the Belizean barrier reef as a World Heritage Site, now formerly called the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System.
Four of the seven segments of the system fall within the realm of a Belize yacht charter: South Water Cay, Gladden Spit (Silk Cayes), Laughing Bird Cay, and the Sapodilla Cay. Gladden Spit encloses the Queen Cays and, like Laughing Bird Cay, is a strict no-fishing zone. Other areas in the cruising grounds are also designated as marine preserves, collectively encompassing a wide swath of Belizean waters. The undeveloped cays and the coral atolls are evocative of South Pacific islands, but instead of a long airline flight away, they’re close to home. The extensive reefs, drop-offs, sand ridges, sinkholes, pinnacles, caves, and many other features of the ocean floor teem with colorful undersea life.