Cucumber Beach is OK, docks need some work (old and damaged by a storm a few seasons ago) and its a bit isolated. I would choose the Rio Dulce over Belize for selling a boat for a number of reasons:
- Brokerages: there are a number of options for assistance with the sale
on the Rio, but effectively none in Belize. Many boats are sold on the Rio, but very few in Belize. The result is that there are more brokers/officials who are familiar with the process and can help you complete the sale
paper shuffle. Also, more likely to find someone shopping
for a boat on the Rio.
protection. Cucumber Beach's entrance is narrow, but open to the east, if the wind
howls in from the East, its not pretty. No worries about hurricanes on the Rio.
- Services. Loads of good, and lower cost, options for boat work. Few in Belize and even fewer that I would trust. So, if you need to finish up some pre-sale boat work or the buyer wants post sale work done, the Rio is the place (there was a whole thread on Rio vs Cartegena recently with lots of info on this).
duties are the #1 source of revenue in Belize (yep, more than tourism!). Duties are crazy high and Customs
can be a PITA unless you have a buddy there. Guatemala
again is a whole different world (use TransCargo/Captain John on the Rio for easy inexpensive surface shipping).
- Paperwork. Belizeans don't really want you or your boat in "we sea". So paperwork, and official attitude, can be a PITA in Belize. And, if you let it lapse officials are not going to be very understanding. Guatemala
is opposite in everyway, friendly helpful officials/agents who are genuinely happy for you to visit their country and easy to work with. Longer duration cruising permit
(extended up to 1 year). And if you have a paperwork issue they will work with you to sort it out.
Lots of marinas
to choose from on the Rio too.
One negative to the Rio is that it is a bit inconvenient to travel to. I know a few Sellers who have offered a "travel credit" to Buyers. For example, if they close then the Buyer gets a discount on the sale price
to offset their travel expenses.
I don't know Isla Mujeres well so maybe someone else can comment on that option.