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Old 16-03-2011, 12:32   #1
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Boat Fees in Belize

I was in Belize recently aboard a beneteau 48 and found the check-in at Belize City, Cucumber Marina, one of the more excruciating. Very lazy immigration officials made us wait for a full day before showing up, even though their office would tell us they had left in the morning...
Showed up at 4:30, a couple stamps, paid fees, and then requested $15 for the return cab. Locals pay $5. Rip off from the first official that stepped aboard. No receipts for some, and just the most dysfunctional I have seen recently, especially coming from a country where billions in U$ has come (& gone) through greedy officials hands.
We were given fees that seemed totally made up, and often were told by other boaters that they had encountered a wide range of prices when paying their entry & exit fees.
Can anyone tell us what $ fees were paid and where, such as San Pedro, Belize City, Caye Caulker, Dangriga, Placencia, Big Creek, etc ??
We plan on returning taking our own boat. Also interested in how long they permit you & boat to stay in their waters. Couldn't find anything online.
Many thanks
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Old 16-03-2011, 15:28   #2
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bob.

See ➥

And ➥

etc ...
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 17-03-2011, 16:01   #3
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

Thanks for the links. Yes, I did check them out before heading down there. From listening to boaters once I was there I have come to understand that in fact the amount charged for each boarding party changes according to location, with Big Creek being the least expensive. Just wondering if any other sailors/boaters who checked in and out may have found the same.
Many thanks for the reply.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:42   #4
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

We cleared in at Belize City last month.....only did this as we have the dog. It was expensive, the fees for the port authority are unexplained, and the cab fees that are paid without receipt vary widely. some have paid $15 per official, others have paid $30 per department, we paid 30/officiall.......there is some sort of "nav aid" tax that was paid based on gross tonnage. I plan on getting to the bottom of all the fees eventually and publishing it. Hopefully with the help of someone who holds a ranking position within Belize.
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Old 02-09-2011, 13:07   #5
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

we were there march or april - can't remember - time has a way of slipping way out here -
but we checked in at san pedro - we were on the ssb with other sailors on the cost and found it was all over the board - depends on if the port capt is around and what you say when in there - for check in we paid $15usa and that was all but did have customs come to boat and inspect - it was a walk and dink ride - but we also know of a cruiser that paid $15 + $10 a day for everyday there were going to be in belize - another paid a different amount - we told them we were working with an on line cruising guide and wanted to get the cost right as it would be checked with belize officials for accuracy - and that is the truth as we put a lot of stuff on active captain - when the port captain heard that he left the room - we have been told by other crusiers that the immigration officers takes them to the port capt desk which is in the same room - so i would bet there is some sharing of the wealth
CHECK OUT - we were in placenia for check out - 4 boats decided to bus ride for $5 round trip (i think) up to dangria for check out and it cost us $15 immigration + 30 customs - we also told them we were leaving when we got back to our boats that day - one cruiser who did this told them the next day and got charged and extra $100 or so we think (can't remember) -- had we done it in placenia it would have been a taxi boat ride across to imm and customs and port capt - the cost of the boat ride was close to $30 for a round trip then try to avoid the port capt who in some cases charges $10 a day for each day in country - but if the port capt is not there there is no charge
a lot of the info is on the ssb - just call and ask and if you are coming here without an ssb you should probably rethink that -- a lot of info on how to get things done in the western carib can be gotten there if you ask -
for example - want to know how to get into panama cheap - just call us and ask - and no we did not get in cheap and learned our lesson the hard way

just our thoughts
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Old 02-09-2011, 13:32   #6
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

Sounds like a coin toss to me.
Who knows what is next.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:58   #7
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

we took our 440 beneteau with a 6' draft to the Ft. George Hotel Marina, in Belize City, which is the Radisson. At the T-dock there is about 7 - 8 ft of water. It is rolly with lots of boat traffic, so avoid tying up if you can. We usually anchored off the dock and dinghied in (also rough) but they have a dinghy dock and place to tie your dinghy. We took taxi's to check out with the port captain and immigration. Not expensive, but two entirely different locations. We did tie up to the dock a couple of times for a short 1/2 hour to pick up passengers and carry equipment to the boat. It can be done, but I don't recommended it. Put fenders out, etc. so you don't get scraped. They do have fuel and water here. We usually check in at Big Creek near Placencia. Just try and go when the port capt is not around (used to be on Thursdays). we anchored at big creek, walked to customs and took a cab to immigration to check in. We were boarded one time out of 4 but only by the agricultural officer who took a coke and a snack. You only get to stay for 30 days before you have to recheck in - this is for immigration and your boat. We cjecled in one time in SanPedro, but it is shallow there and iffy for our 6' draft getting there either from the ocean through the channel or from Caye Caulker. But we made it holding our breath. I would like to try Dangria, did not know you could check in and out of there.
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Old 19-11-2011, 16:39   #8
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

We renewed in Dangriga. They didn't have a customs officer and we had to make sure we got the stamp for the back of our cruising permit - after much fumbling around and walking between offices, they finally found the stamp and all was well. The anchorage was wide open but we were there on an easy day. And an easy sail back to Colsen Cay (I think) for overnight. We did not attempt to stay all night in Dangriga.

We've also checked in & out at San Pedro, Big Creek/Independence (Placencia) many many times, and cleared out in Punta Gorda. All officials were different and charges were different.

The only place we've never checked in or out because we heard they weren't cruiser friendly was Belize City. The info we had was that Belize City was by far the most expensive and most hassle because they're used to dealing with cruise ships, not sailboats.

Just our experience, and it may be different now, we last checked out in San Pedro in May 2010.

Cheers! Jan
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Old 21-11-2011, 11:40   #9
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

personally, i don't see why anyone would want to go to belize.having traveled there many times by boat and bus (mostly boat) and having lived there for over a year, i found it corrupt, expensive as hell and, really, not all that pretty. sure, some of the cays were nice but give me the bahamas out islands any day. the officials there are a bunch of thieves and are surley and lazy to boot. the cost of everything is super pricey and poor quality. the only reason i go there anymore is to bus it thru from beautiful guatemala to the yucatan.

it isn't even close to the belize of 15 yrs. ago when all was cooooool in belize. the locals will tell you that as well.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:30   #10
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

Bob: How was the trip to Belize? I am thinking on going there in the next year or so; any suggestions? Have you been to other ports you would recommend? Thanks for any reply.
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:23   #11
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Re: Boat Fees in Belize

Belize is certainly inconsistent, but our experiences in 2010, checking in at Big Creek and out at San Pedro were not bad, and the fees were not particularly memorable. We anchored in the shallows at Big Creek, left the first mate onboard, and I took the dinghy to shore beside the commercial dock. I walked to the Port Captain and Agriculture offices and did my business - the officials were courteous. I had to take a taxi to the police station for Immigration, that official was also courteous. Not friendly, but courteous. I then had to take Agriculture out to the yacht in my dinghy for an "inspection" and he confiscated two avocados. Two hours total elapsed time. It was easier checking out at San Pedro, all done in one office near the airport. We've sailed Belize many times as charterers, and once as cruisers, and found it a good adventure with beautiful sailing. Just remember that this is an underdeveloped country and there can be a certain piratical attitude toward tourists. By comparison, checking into Mexico at Isla Mujeres/Cancun was much more time consuming, expensive, and frustrating.
Safe Sailing,
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