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Old 22-06-2008, 13:04   #1
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Belize Cruising

I live on an island in Belize that gets lots of cruisers in our`area. I can help with any questions people have about approaches, immigration check ins, and great places to see. I can also help with those going to Rio Dulce from Belize or with those leaving Rio Dulce and heading north.
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Old 24-06-2008, 07:29   #2
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thatchcaye,
We are headed that way this November and I have heard rumors that "Anchoring Fees" are being collected pretty much anywhere you drop the hook in Belize. Some legitimate and some not. Is there any truth to this?
Thanks,
Dave
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Old 24-06-2008, 07:57   #3
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Also any provisioning tips/locations you can offer would be great!
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Old 24-06-2008, 08:00   #4
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Anchor Fees

I don't know about areas around San Pedro or Caye Caulker, but I have never heard nor seen evidence of anchor fees being charged anywhere out on the cayes from the middle of Belize going south. I have been to all of the cayes on boat from Colombus Caye on down and no one charges to throw out an anchor. Most cayes are unihabited or only have a small fisherman's hut on them and they certainly won't charge you. They would rather sell you fish and lobster. As for the bigger cayes with resorts on them, even they don't charge anything here in the south. The resort that I work for doesn't charge even for its moorings that it has out and even lets people grab wi-fi if they use the bar or restaurant.

Off the mainland, once again, it is the same story. You can drop anchor anywhere and no one will try to charge you. Maybe around Belize Cuty right in front of a hotel or next to their dock, they would charge you, but nowhere else. Dangriga is overjoyed to get visitors and so is Hopkins. Placencia is a bit more crowded and may charge since they have so many cruisers, but there are so many places to go out on the cayes that I don't think anchor fees will be any kind of an issue for you.
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Old 24-06-2008, 09:11   #5
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Provisioning is usually done in Placencia or up at San Pedro if you rent your boat from the Moorings or from TMM, but if you come in your own cruiser, Belize City is an option as are all coastal towns and large villages. After you get away from the coast and out to the cayes, you can reprovision at Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye, and north Coco Plum (Thatch Caye) in the south of Belize. Meals at restaurants out on the cayes can generally be had at Tobacco Caye, South Water Caye, and Isla Marisol (Southwest Caye) out at Glover's Atoll, and Thatch Caye. Also at San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Most other cayes, especially those out in the atolls, do not provision for cruiser or walkin traffic. They plan their meals for their guests at their resorts very carefully and do not really have much room to sell extra meals or provisions since they are so far out from the mainland and restocking possibilities. They do their once a week run and that's about it.

Thatch Caye and South Water Caye both sell fresh water fill ups in the south. Thatch Caye also sells ice, fruits and vegetables, cases of beer, wines, mosquito repellants, toilet paper, and many other things. Most smaller cayes that have fishermen on them will sell you fish, conch, and lobster depending on the season and what they have caught.
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Old 27-06-2008, 13:39   #6
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Regarding anchoring fees in Belize. Thatchcaye offers much good and factual information and for the most part he or she is correct in that generally there are no anchoring fees for most of the cayes. However, in most all marine parks and sanctuaries there are anchoring fees that are charged for the boat and for passengers. The rangers (who may or may not be in uniform) may come by and collect the fees from you once you are anchored. You may luck out and not be seen in some of the larger sancturary areas if you anchor late in the day and leave early the next morning due to the lack of enough workers to patrol everywhere. But there are charges. Some of the most desirable and famous cayes and areas are given specia protection by the government and are being desiginated as marine parks or sanctuaries. I was in Belize this past couple of winters on my boat. There are also fees charged for people who are taken to some of these parks by commercial dive boat operators.
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Old 27-06-2008, 17:10   #7
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I had forgotten about marine park fees and it is true that the Belizean government is trying to enforce those fees in marine parks. But the other poster is also correct in saying that those who enforce those fees are woefully understaffed and that Belize has lots of open space out on the water. I would also like to point out that the fees are not outrageous in the marine parks and that some of the marine parks that Belize has, especially the ones at Glover's Atoll and Lighthouse Reef, are spectacular and it won't hurt you to pay to be there since some of that money probably will go into keeping those places beautiful. Some other marine parks, get there late in the afternoon and leave early in the morning if you aren't really going to be using them. Your chances of someone coming to charge you are slim to none if you do that.
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Old 28-06-2008, 03:55   #8
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"Recreational scuba diving in Caribbean Marine Protected Area: Do users pay?
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/comm...fc_072905a.pdf
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Old 28-06-2008, 16:49   #9
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Belize

San Pedro is by far one of the easiest places I have checked into outside of the US. The small island's reef is a bit tough to get over and there have been several boats lost to the reef. When it comes to provisioning you can find anything you need in San Pedro at a price. Belize City is just a bit dangerous. There is a marina south of Belize city called cucumber beach marina that has full services complete with a travel lift. The prices are once again outragious but that is par for Belize. Be aware that the marina has severe insect issues so be prepared to wear repellent at all times.
The water around Belize is pretty amazing, if you are on a Catamaran or a boat that does not need a lot of water anchor off of the main beach in San Pedro go into town and find Sharky's this is a marine supply store that is better sticked than most west marines, ask to get a piolot and have your boat brought around to the back of the island. THere is a very fancy resteraunt on the bay with a dock. Docking is exceptionally inexpensive and the water is always calm. Get lost on this safe little island I have used it as a home base for exploring many times. I have never been charged for anchoring anywhere in Belize.
If your draft is very low you can also shoot through the mayan rivers north up to XCALAT Mexico avoiding the ruff Gulf
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Old 29-06-2008, 20:03   #10
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What the report on fees charged by marine parks doesn't even address at all is that many park rangers are underpaid and corrupt and not all the money that you pay them goes to what it is supposed to. Also, even if the money does make it to the government, governments in the third world are notoriously corrupt as well and not very efficeint at utilizing their resources. I have lived here in Belize for ten years and have seen hundreds of boats of lobster fishermen harvesting lobster in our marine reserves and I rarely hear of any being caught, although once in a blue moon they are. It is really something that I would leave up to the good conscience of a person who utilizes a marine reserve whether or not they pay when there is no one around to charge them forcefully. If you see that the reserve is beautiful, filled with fish and coral life, and looks adequately maintained, then look at it as a reward or a tip for excellence. If there is a significant degradation of the coral and fish and if lobster fishermen are illegally poaching everywhere in a marine park that you go into, perhaps think of the early morning pullout as your best option. Rewarding corruption and bad management probably isn't the ideal thing to do.

One could argue that the degraded marine park is more in need of the money than the good one, but often the real issue is corruption and just inefficeint utilization of resources. What to do about that? That's a whole other thread for another forum most likely.
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Old 18-07-2008, 08:04   #11
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Hi Thatchcaye;
I'll be phasing out my boat from The Moorings in Sept, and need to buy a dingy and outboard. Would you recommend any marine supply store in Belize, or should I head straight to Rio Dulce where I have a slip reserved?

Cheers,
JamuJoe
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Old 18-07-2008, 08:45   #12
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The only marine store here in Belize that carries a lot of things is Duke Marine and they are frighteningly expensive. For buying anything new, I would definitely recommend Rio Dulce or even Puerto Barrios in Guatemala. You will save yourself lots of money.

For buying used stuff, it's like anywhere else here: "buyer beware" but if you know what you're doing, you can get as good of a deal here as in Guatemala. San Pedro up at Ambergris Caye has a lot of boaters as does the Cucumber Bay Marina in Belize City and Placencia where your boat is right now. Check the main forum for Ambergris Caye (search engine will find it for you) and put out the word on what you are looking for. Smaller outboards are actually very popular here in Belize now with our gasoline prices near $6 US a gallon, so there are a lot of them around.
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Old 18-07-2008, 08:47   #13
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Do you have a cat that runs for the Moorings? I think it has been out to our caye several times if it is the one I'm thinking of.
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Old 18-07-2008, 22:02   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatchcaye View Post
Do you have a cat that runs for the Moorings? I think it has been out to our caye several times if it is the one I'm thinking of.
Thatch, Yes she's a M4200 named JAMU. She's been in Belize for 4 years, and we have cruised her extensively, but mostly in the south. You confirmed my thoughts about doing my buying in Guatemala. We'll be sailing to her new berth in Rio Dulce in Sept.
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Old 23-09-2008, 00:47   #15
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Hi,

We're thinking of a bareboat charter in belize but the topic of security keeps popping up. Can anyone give me a realistic assessment of cruisers safety?

We were in the Grenadines last summer and almost got boarded at night. We heard someone tie up in the middle of the night. Once we started yelling he took off.

My wife has become very concerned about safety. Can't say i blame her.
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