By April 5, 2023 No Comments

Below is the first part of another article I wrote and am hoping a magazine will pick up, but i wanted  to share it with you guys first. I am actually hoping a magazine want to run a monthly article about different places to charter. Keep your fingers crossed and enjoy! – Shane

How would you like to charter a boat in a country that has 450 islands, lies in the tropical Caribbean, has the second largest barrier reef in the world, has three of the four atolls in the Caribbean, has very few other boats, and speaks English? If you answered yes, you need to charter a boat in Belize and you have two different choices as far as itineraries…northern or southern Belize.

Northern Belize

Day 1 Pick up or join the boat at Cucumber Beach Marina about 5 miles south of Belize City. Once you are settled and the orientation is over, motor out to the Drowned Cay, through a mangrove creek, and over to St George’s Cay. Here you will find a small island with one small resort and private homes. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was the largest settlement and a battle with the Spanish 1798 was fought to recapture the island. (Distance 12 NM)

Day 2 Set sail for Cay Caulker which will take you through the narrow Porto Stuck and then past a sand bar built into an island with one massive house and the private island of Chapel Cay. Once at Cay Caulker you can walk around the village that has a total of 4 road and all are dirt. On the northern end of town, you will find a party going on at The Cut. Take your dinghy a mile and a half to the South Pass on the barrier reef and you will find dozens upon dozens of nurse sharks and sting rays waiting to greet you. (13 NM)

Day 3 Sail north to the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Cay stopping at Hol Chan Marine Reserve to snorkel. Please note that you have to have a permit to stop here, so if you do not you can always snorkel the barrier reef near the anchorage. In town you will find a more bustling place than Cay Caulker and you can find some small Mayan ruins outside of town. In fact, the only reason this cay is not part of the main land is because centuries ago Mayans dug a canal across the peninsula to access the sea easier. (11 NM)

Day 4 Go through the barrier reef at the San Pedro Pass and sail SE to the northern part of Turneffe Atoll. This is offshore sailing and should be taken with weather and sea conditions in mind. Once at Turneffe Atoll the water will go from thousands of feet deep to tens of feet very, very quickly. Look for the break in the reef and anchor behind Rendezvous Point. You will undoubtedly be the only boat around and the snorkeling on the reef is superb. (24 NM)

Day 5 Sailing south, just outside the atoll’s reef, should have you in deep, flat water as you fly along in the trade winds. Once at the southern end of Turneffe Atoll you can chose to go to the interior of the atoll through mangroves at Blue Creek and anchor near Turneffe Island Lodge or anchor on the southwestern edge near Cay Bokel and Elbow Reef. If you have extra days on your charter, Lighthouse Atoll is 18 miles east of here and is the home of The Blue Hole. (26 NM)

Day 6 A nice hour and a half downwind run across open water, although protected by the atoll, will put you at the entrance to English Cay Channel, a naturally deep cut through the barrier reef. On the southern edge of the entrance is English Cay, which is a great lunch stop to explore this small spit of land that has seen every large ship headed for Belize City pass. Once you have snorkeled your fill of the wonderful reefs around English Cay, set sail across 12 Foot Bank towards Bluefield Range. Within the protection of these mangrove islands, you can sometimes find manatees. (19 NM)

Day 7 Spend the day snorkeling the various patch reefs between Bluefield Range and the barrier reef before you sail NW to the Robinson Islands for the night. This is the closest anchorage to the marina. You could instead sail north and anchor off Water Cay or the Drowned Cays and snorkel the reefs up there and only add three miles to the next morning. (10 NM)

Day 8 Plan the one-hour sail back to Cucumber Beach Marina based on when you have to return. One reason to return early is Old Belize, which is a small water park and train ride showing Belize history. (8 NM)

This article will continue with an itinerary for the southern part of Belize tomorrow. I hope you are enjoying it. Please feel free to share this with anyone you want. Thank you.

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