The world’s second-largest coral reef. If you had to pick one reason to sail this collection of pinch-yourself cayes and coastlines, that might be it. Then again, you could also get giddy about the fact that Belize allows you to have one foot on a talc-white beach and the other in some of the most pristine rainforests in Central America. Sailboat captains love its temperate, year-round trade winds and line-of-sight sailing, too. Sounds like paradise? You better Belize it.
Don’t miss a single Central American sight on your sail around Belize with Culture Trip’s Sailing Trips.
What to see and do
Let’s start in the limpid lagoon of the Turneffe Atoll, where nature lovers can gawp at the best of the Unesco-protected Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS). There are a whopping 48 of Belize’s 70-or-so hard-coral species in these kaleidoscope groves. They’re home to turtles, dolphins, and a ballet of fish colorful enough to make Pantone fret. Superlative snorkeling or diving awaits.
Time for a beachy debrief over a coconutty Belize breeze or two. The best place for them is on the super-fine sands of The Northside Beach Club on Caye Caulker. A day-party destination, it’s a place of music, beach games, and jerk-shrimp tacos. Not to mention like-minded folk with whom to exchange your brand-new travel stories.
Best mooring locations
Big boats head to the Placencia Marina nautical miles north of False Caye: it’s the only marina in Belize with berths big enough for superyachts. Hungry? Head to the Muy’Ono resort’s Pier Lounge for Chinese-style light bites.
Fancy a little time on the mainland? You can clear into Belize at the Cucumber Beach Marina, part of the Old Belize complex. Sure, it’s a little touristy, but the kids will love its train ride, zipline, and huge water slide.
Just off the east side of South Water Caye makes for one of Belize’s most beautiful anchorages, where the barrier reef drops off close to a pristine beach. Snorkeling heaven.
Where to eat and drink
Mexican to Mayan, Spanish to African – Belizean cuisine casts a wide net. Seafood is an unsurprising strong suit – from simple pan-fried snapper to moreish conch fritters – and the best place for it is Maya Beach Bistro in the Placencia Marina. Try the coconut chowder or the lobster bread pudding. On a health kick? Best-quality veggie dishes abound at Caribbean Colors Art Café on Caye Caulker. Before you sit down, grab a salubrious smoothie to take on a stroll around its gallery of flamboyant canvases. Stay on the caye for dinner and head to Hibisca by Habaneros for swanky seafood. The veranda has the best seats in the house.
Where to get groceries
Grab your fresh fruit and veg from the kiosks along the road that connects the Placencia Marina to the eponymous village. Otherwise, Top Value – a large white building on the same street, is Placencia’s largest grocery store. Head there for dry and canned supplies. Cold Belikins, too – Belize’s best lager.
Key annual sailing events
Don’t miss the Baron Bliss Regatta, held annually in Belize City at the Fort George Hotel and Marina. The race is the centerpiece of a national holiday devoted to the legendary Henry Bliss, who bequeathed the country two million Belizean dollars back in 1926. Locals picnic at the water’s edge, while kite-flying contests and other competitions take place around them.
Climate and weather
Trade winds blow along the coast and the cayes most of the year, keeping temperatures pleasant even in the hottest months. Mid-August until mid-September can get a little sweaty, though. Waves inside the barrier reef are minimal, but fresh zephyrs make for superb sailing conditions. Hurricanes are rare but are most likely to hit in August and September. Year-round water temperatures in Belize average a perfectly pleasant 26C to 28C.
How to get there
International flights bring you to Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) in Belize City. Then, the best way to get to Placencia – where your yacht charter adventure begins – is another 30-minute flight with either local Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. You’ll land at Placencia’s airstrip, which is a short taxi ride from the marina.
Explore all there is to see in and around the coast of Belize with Culture Trip’s Beachy Belize.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.