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Old 14-10-2019, 17:58   #16
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

I haven't sailed in the Caribbean, but am in La Paz. I don't think you specified how long you might charter.
The Sea of Cortez is long with a series of islands (mostly volcanic) following the coast. Goes with geology of the rift ripping California from the North American plate (extension of San Andreas fault).
That said (the landscape can be spectacular - if you dig cactus, salt water and really a lot of rock) you don't have many options sailing down here. If you have a week, I doubt you'd make it even to Isla San Francisco. Two weeks you can make Puerto Escondido (Loretto) in a somewhat leisurely fashion. Other than Agua Verde, I'm not too big on anchorages between Isla San Francisco and Puerto Escondido.
The water is a bit cold - and if a norther blows through, so is the air - but doable with some sort of dive clothing - even a shortie for an adult.
If you see a really pretty HC38 (she's a doll) anchored someplace, anchor a distance away if you don't want your kids to see butts, boobs and balls. Come by in the evening for a beer - more than likely we'll be dressed - but no guarantees.
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Old 15-10-2019, 09:45   #17
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

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I would agree with those above that said La Paz would be way too cold for you. February is the coldest month in the Sea of Cortez and April is just barely warming up. Water is pretty cold for snorkeling November to June and visibility may be very limited. Lots of high wind days with Northers blowing November to April.
Thanks for the negative recommendation for Sea of Cortez. Keep my favorite anchorages uncrowded!

Seriously, we found good snorkeling in April and May but you have to look for it. Not cold for the kids but light wetsuit for the old folks, will make it more enjoyable. But nothing to compare with snorkeling in Caribbean. This is the place for you if you don't like rain, crowds or nightlife.
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Old 15-10-2019, 10:10   #18
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

Bahamas, especially Exumas are superb for kids. There's no better snorkeling in the E. Caribe. A lot of shallow water, white sand. Low stress. I would lean toward early April. I'm not sure how recovered the Bahamas are though.

The Sea of Cortez can be windy, cold and rough early in the year. In March the water temp outside LaPaz was 63 degrees when I was last there. Also, good anchorages out of La Paz are a fair distance between. Higher stress vacation.
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Old 15-10-2019, 11:20   #19
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

There is a fellow who visits the site from time to time Belize Sailor – he knows Belize well – he’d be an excellent source of advice.
I’ve not chartered in the Bahamas but have visited a few times to out islands. I’ve done the Virgins, St Martin/Anguilla/St Barts, and Belize a few times (with kids similar in age to yours).
Of what I’ve seen I’d recommend Belize. Longest barrier reef after Australia’s so good diving. Most of the sailing is done on the west side of the reef which keeps the seas down – really helpful if you have any with uncertain stomachs.
Belize can offer a good mix of deserted palm fringed islets and interesting shore excursions – tropical forests, Mayan ruins etc.
If you have the time I’d suggest including Rio Dulce and Lake Izabal (and its Spanish Fort) in Guatemala
You might consider hiring a captain for two reasons.
1. If you want to get to Lake Izabal but are pressed for time you can get off there and start your journey home while the captain delivers the boat back to the charter base.
2. If you want some particularly interesting diving you’ll want to get to Lighthouse Reef or Glover’s Atoll – the bare boat charter typically does not allow you to outside the barrier reef to get to Lighthouse or Glover’s.
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Old 15-10-2019, 11:21   #20
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

Another vote for Exumas, ideally later in the season. Belize is awesome as well, but the Bahamas are just hard to beat as a cruising ground. Both offer great sailing.

In your case, you could be in Georgetown surrounded by 200 other boats with lots of social opportunities and other kid boats, and then up anchor and move 10 miles away and be totally isolated.

Alternatively, Placencia is a cool low-key town, and I'm sure you and your family would have a great time exploring the Belizian waters. You need to go further out near the reef to get the crystal waters. The isolated sand beaches are fewer and farther between, but perhaps offer a bit more of a remote experience than the Exumas.
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Old 16-10-2019, 08:07   #21
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

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Another vote for Exumas, ideally later in the season. Belize is awesome as well, but the Bahamas are just hard to beat as a cruising ground. Both offer great sailing.

In your case, you could be in Georgetown surrounded by 200 other boats with lots of social opportunities and other kid boats, and then up anchor and move 10 miles away and be totally isolated.
That's what we like about the Bahamas. No matter what type of cruising you like, it's there, if you know where to look!
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Old 18-10-2019, 15:56   #22
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

+4 or 5 for Exumas do a one way from Nassau to Georgetown in a word spectacular easy sailing plenty of services along the way but still remote and uncrowded we sail our boat there every year for the last three years. No damage from Dorian at all😊
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Old 21-10-2019, 17:25   #23
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

Thank you everyone for all the advice, I really appreciate it. I’m going to post some follow up questions about Belize and the Exumas in separate threads.
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Old 22-10-2019, 10:38   #24
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

One more thing to keep in mind about Belize. I don't cruise there, but a friend does, and they have a lot of reefs there, and are serious as a heart attack in going after anyone who even scratches one, with an anchor or chain, often to the tune of many thousands of dollars.

If you are not sure you're good enough to not do that, something to keep in mind.
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Old 22-10-2019, 12:05   #25
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

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There is a fellow who visits the site from time to time Belize Sailor – he knows Belize well – he’d be an excellent source of advice.
....
OP started another thread specifically on Belize, I responded in more detail there:

Sailing in Belize
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:10   #26
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

The Exumas in April. In February, you would be dealing with the winter cyclical cold fronts.
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Old 28-10-2019, 09:00   #27
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

Don't go to la paz its way to cold and crowded.
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Old 28-10-2019, 10:20   #28
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

Hard to beat the Land and Sea park in the Exumas. Hard to beat the Exumas in general for running into other families with kids that your kids will befriend.

As mentioned, there is the full spectrum from George Town and it's big cruiser community to remote keys where you can be alone, all within a day sail of each other.

I would skip Nassau if you can. Not my favorite place and you'll burn a day just getting to the Exumas from there.
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Old 28-10-2019, 12:01   #29
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

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I would skip Nassau if you can. Not my favorite place and you'll burn a day just getting to the Exumas from there.
We have a love hate relationship with Nassau. In many ways, it's the worst place in the Bahamas, but you can get stuff there. And, I have to admit, eating at the fish fry joints under the bridges, has always been one of my favorite things to do.
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Old 28-10-2019, 13:10   #30
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Re: Bahamas v. Belize v. La Paz

BELIZE /RIO DULCE
Moorings has a nice Charter base in Placencia, about a nice 3 hour drive from Belize, 2 h 21 min (130,9 km) porvia Hummingbird Hwy, Southern Hwy y Placencia Rd. You can rent a car at Belize airport and drop it off if your barefoot cruise is too long. They have a good fleet of Catamarans and a few monohulls Ocieanis 42.3 . Beautiful Sailing Waters , you can go to the Blue Hole and if your bareboat is going to be2 weeks , definitely go to Rio Dulce !!

Everything is very safe and beautiful.
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