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Old 25-08-2010, 15:09   #1
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Cruising in Belize

Greetings all, new cruising forum member here. Will be in Cancun for the month of december and looking for other great cruising destinations nearby. Was thinking of Belize. Anyone have experience cruising in that area or any other recommendations? Thanks, in advance.

Lisa
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Old 30-08-2010, 06:16   #2
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if you're cruising the yucatan/belize/rio dulce, get the freya raucher guide. i think it's the best one as far as accuracy goes. stay away from belize city, go to the attols, have fun in the cays. a lot of the cays are park-like areas and you must pay even to anchor (watch out for the fake "rangers" who'll take your $$$. if you have time, definately go up the rio dulce---it's the most beautiful area down there. have a ball!!!
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Old 30-08-2010, 07:24   #3
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Lisa, These are from our Sea Trek site on our cruise to Belize,
Belize Begs For Exploration
Placencia, Belize
Wandering Through Belize
Enjoy, Chuck
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Old 30-08-2010, 08:07   #4
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lisa -- soulmates and crew will be doing what you want to do about the same time - hope we see you there -- you may also want to check out the pat raines cruising guide - we talked with her and she is coming out with an updated version and it will cover the carib side of central america

defever -- why no belieze city??? and how do you tell the fake rangers from the real rangers?? how much are the anchoring fees??

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Old 30-08-2010, 10:33   #5
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Greetings ,

have not cruised the area, but have done the trip to Belize City by bus from Mexico,female traveller on her own. Belize city is a difficult city. The centre is well maintained but I came up from the bus station and it looked a bit Wild West. I did not feel insecure, but was only out in broad daylight and also I was dressed like a backpacker on her last dollar. It is a small place,so you are noticeable and people gossip! So be careful what you show as you might come off as very rich having a boat.
If you do go and like spicy foods check in at Big Daddy's restaurant. It is seriously good and in all the guide books. It is above the new market on the south side of the swing bridge open 7am - 4pm. The restaurant was very nice and clean when I was there about 10 years ago. It still is recommended in the guide books though.

The cayes are gorgeous and the people friendly.San Pedro ,Madonna´s "isla bonita", is gorgeous and expensive,the budget caye is Caye Caulker .

If you need to provision do so in Mexico,way cheaper and more varied.Two things to buy in Belize are Marie Sharp´s hot sauce and jerk seasoning if you like that sort of thing. Other stuff is imported from US and UK and very expensive in comparison to Mexico that is.

Enjoy it is a great place.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:49   #6
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Thanks, everyone for the feedback. S/V Soulmates will keep an eye out for you. I'll be on S/V Cheeseburger, a 46 Creekmore.

Lisa
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:59   #7
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cruiser hangout is in Placencia which is also where the charter companies are. The cays in the southern region are way more remote than in the north which is where tourist development has happened. Best diving ever. Best snorkelling ever. NO aids to navigation and charts are only approximate, but eyeball navigation works pretty well.

you can tell the real rangers from the fake ones by asking for a receipt. The real ones have them and the fake ones dont.

a great side trip is to go to Tikal just across the border in Guatemala. Best Mayan ruins anywhere. Easy to get to.= from Belize City.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:44   #8
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chuckr...i don't know what the anchoring fees are now but a couple of yrs ago it was $10/night/person (or whatever the ranger thought he could get away with). ALWAYS ask for a receipt. belize city, in my opinion, is a dumpy crack town which is scary at night and boring by day. nothing to see really but grab a bus to the northern parts (san ignacio is very cool--go to eva's to find out what's happening---good rafting/caving/hiking/etc---a cool ruin nearby too)...if you're heading south, hit the cays, if north don't miss caye caulker... enjoy...
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:27   #9
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Firsthand Experience

Lisa,
My wife and I have cruised Belize 3 times in the past 7 years. In 2003 on a charter boat and on our own boat, Yachtsman's Dream, in 2009 and 2010. Our cruise logs for latter two trips can be found at:
http://webpages.charter.net/catcruis...14.htm#Belize1
and
After Guatemala

I'll be offline for the next several weeks helping a fellow cruiser sail his boat from Hawaii to San Diego but if you can wait for an answer, I would be happy to privide more information in response to questions via PM when I return. In the meantime, you will probably be overwhelmed with help from other CF members who also have been there.
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Old 16-01-2011, 20:27   #10
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Hi, I am rather new to this like Lisa is, and have just a couple more questions than what I have read from everyone's replys so far. I have a 60ft sailboat with a 6 ft draft. Is it possible to cruise Belize waters? Any good areas to check out for fly fishing and diving? Any info would be great.

Colin
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Old 16-01-2011, 20:34   #11
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Hi Colin,
I am crewing on another boat , so won't be getting to Belize this year. I am sure someone else in the forum can answer your question.
All The Best, Lisa
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Old 16-01-2011, 21:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy4sailing View Post
Hi, I am rather new to this like Lisa is, and have just a couple more questions than what I have read from everyone's replys so far. I have a 60ft sailboat with a 6 ft draft. Is it possible to cruise Belize waters? Any good areas to check out for fly fishing and diving? Any info would be great.

Colin
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You will be restricted with a 6 ft draft, inside the barrier reefs. But you can do it if you don't mind scraping some bottom paint. Most of the area inside the barrier reefs is sand or mud with mangrove islands. 5-6 foot depths ranging up to 9 feet is typical. 11+ feet is unusual.

BTW -- it is one thing to scrape a groove in sand or mud, but although Belize is very friendly to tourists it's also VERY protective of its coral. You will be fined heavily if you damage coral by running aground with your keel or anchoring among coral reefs -- the fines could run into the millions. Google: Belize fined coral damage.

Make sure your anchor chain swings in soft bottom.
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Old 16-01-2011, 22:13   #13
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One more thing -- the raucher guide had info that had gone stale 5+ years before, and the version we had 3 years ago had just been revised/updated (supposedly). Take it with a grain, but there's nothing I know of that's better.

We were there 3 years ago and there were no anchoring fees. You put the hook where you want. If someone is scamming, ask to see ID. I'd expect a fee to use a mooring but not for anchoring.

Our favorite stop was Cay Caulker, loved the people and the place.
I'd have loved to just hang there for a week but others wanted to push on. It's worth the trip to Belize just to hang out there.

Don't bother going ashore at English Caye -- just a bunch of drugged-out islanders and friendly but diseased dogs and rundown buildings. Kind of sad and perhaps dangerous if trafficking is going on. (Hundreds of snake holes -- bet it's interesting at night.)

Overall we felt safe among the Cays except at English Caye I felt like an intruder who didn't belong there.
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Old 17-01-2011, 17:06   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy4sailing View Post
Hi, I am rather new to this like Lisa is, and have just a couple more questions than what I have read from everyone's replys so far. I have a 60ft sailboat with a 6 ft draft. Is it possible to cruise Belize waters? Any good areas to check out for fly fishing and diving? Any info would be great.

Colin
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Colin, If you follow our links on post #3 you will see we were very comfortable cruising inside from San Pedro where we checked in, all the way to Guatemala with our 6 foot draft. Friends on Nueva Vida that were with us and we wrote about had a 6 1/2 foot draft and had no real issues. You will need to pay attention to tides in some areas and make sure you know where you are. Raucher's guide is a good reference. Chuck
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Old 17-01-2011, 17:10   #15
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We were there 3 years ago and there were no anchoring fees. You put the hook where you want. If someone is scamming, ask to see ID. I'd expect a fee to use a mooring but not for anchoring.
Any areas designated a national parks or preserves, we have a map posted on our site, are subject to anchoring fees of $10.00 per day per person. You may get by without being charged if no one sees you, but there are rangers assigned to collect the fees as is the Navy. They will carry ID and receipt books, so don't fall for just anyone asking for a fee. This is especially true on the outer atolls where the Navy is present. Chuck
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