Belize is a small country in Central America, south of Mexico and north and east of Guatemala. At only 180 miles (290 km) long and 68 miles (110 km) wide, Belize is a jewel of a country situated right on the Caribbean Sea. Its prime location makes Belize one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, with plenty of land and water activities available.
Because it is located right on the Caribbean, Belize is also a sailor’s dream. With warm, calm waters through most of the year, the Caribbean Sea is a paradise to sail on. The number of islands you can reach from the coasts of Belize is enormous, from the main islands of Cuba and Jamaica to the tiny cays and archipelagos that make up the Cayman islands and the Bahamas. With enough time and determination, you can sail throughout the Caribbean Sea or all the way down to South America all the while on board a comfortable yacht of your choosing. You can also follow the 174-mile (280 km) coastline of Belize itself, taking in the unique and wondrous scenery of this little tropical nation.
Though sailing will be the highlight, make sure to also experience some mainland-based fun on a vacation to Belize. The country is well visited but the least densely populated country in Central America, meaning it has retained its natural beauty better than other countries. From jungle walks to visiting ancient ruins to scuba diving, there is an abundance of activities to experience besides sailing the country’s crystal waters.
Belize is the home to beaches, marshes, jungles, and ancient Mayan history. With so many options, it will be hard to choose, but even harder to do all with the time that they each deserve. Belize’s Institute of Archaeology manages the Mayan temples still being uncovered throughout the country. Learn about the ancient civilization while looking at their creations, and likely hearing the information from a 21st-century Maya still living in his or her ancestral home.
If you’re more a friend of wildlife than of history, check out the more than 500 species of birds living in Belize’s forests. Though you will see many feathered friends wherever you are in the country, there are special tour operators available to show you prime bird-viewing locations. Have a glimpse of a toucan, among hundreds of others of species, in its natural habitat.
Described by French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as “One of the four must-dive locations on this blue planet,” you can’t go to Belize and not go scuba diving. The Belize Barrier Reef runs along 185 miles of the country’s coastline, and is the second longest barrier reef in the world. Swim among turtles, brightly colored fishes, and impressive coral in always-warm waters with visibility of several hundred feet. Dive at the Blue Hole to explore a location visible from space, originating as a cave 10,000 years ago. If you go to Belize without going scuba diving, you will be kicking yourself for years to come – or at least until you go back to Belize and do it
The benefit of hiring a yacht in Belize, or anywhere, is in the privacy and independence the vessel allows you. With a private boat on the coast of Belize, you can sail to the most amazing snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and stunning locations in and around the entire country. Start at San Pedro Harbour on the tiny peninsula of Belize in the north, a little out at sea, connected to Mexico. Sail along the peninsula and then east to get to Corozal Bay in the very north of Belize. Often overlooked by travelers, Corozal has a quiet, family-friendly feel that nearby Cancun, Mexico does not. Enjoy the relaxing pace of life in the town, and take advantage of your location to visit Cerros, the coastal trading center of the ancient Maya.
After your trip north, sail south along mainland Belize’s awe-inspiring coastline. Stop along the way at your selected destinations to grab some delicious food, visit a beautiful town, or go scuba diving or snorkeling on your way south.
If you’d rather take advantage of Belize’s central location and visit some other countries while in the area, sail south to Honduras or northeast to Cuba or the Cayman Islands to experience some of the other cultures, and beaches, around the Caribbean. On your way to all of those places are dozens of tiny islands and cays waiting to be explored and awed at, a task that anyone is lucky to have.
Tiny islands and locations around Belize are also perfect opportunities for daytrips. Decide on a location that you’d like as a base for anchoring, and spend the days visiting a new place each time. With a 174-mile coastline and many opportunities throughout the country, finding a new place to visit and different activity to do each day with be a pleasant, exciting prospect, which will allow you to see exactly the parts of the country you wish to see.
The climate in Belize is a tropical one, with warm temperatures throughout the year. Each region varies in its climate, but generally the country experiences a wet and dry season every year. Along the coast, the temperature ranges from an average of 75.2ºF (24ºC) in January to an average of 80.6ºF (27ºC) in July – hardly any difference at all. The warm air temperatures and consistent current of the Caribbean pulling water up from the Equator make the temperature of the water also remain warm throughout the year. It is best to take advantage of the mild waters and calm currents by scuba diving or snorkeling at the Belize Barrier Reef.
Though the amount of rainfall varies throughout the regions of Belize, the southern part of the country tends to get a lot more precipitation than the north and west. However, the months from January through April and sometimes May experience very little rainfall, and are therefore excellent times to have a sailing trip in Belize. Less precipitation means calmer waters, and calmer waters means a more relaxing, manageable sailing experience.
The early part of the year is also an ideal time to visit Belize because there is no threat of hurricane activity. Though the country does not always experience the effects of hurricane season, the storms have affected Belize and devastated parts of the country. It is best to just avoid the danger altogether.
The number of boats available through Yachtico in Belize isn’t large, but we are confident that you will find the perfect yacht for your holiday in our selection. With five catamarans ranging in price from 2,700 Euros to 4,500 Euros per week, you can select the yacht that best fits your needs for comfort, space, and sailing qualities.
Keep in mind that you do not need to man the boat yourself: it is also possible to hire a skipper and a crew for your vacation at sea. If you have no sailing experience at all, if you feel that your skills might need a tune-up, or if you can sail perfectly but just want to relax on your trip to Belize, a skipper on board is an excellent decision. If you would rather take a more hands-on approach to your vacation, have an amazing time sailing the beautiful, pristine waters around Belize and the entire Caribbean if you so choose.
Inspiration, articles and insider tips: Steffen Bruenn
Tip from the editor: Taking a boat charter vacation is a welcome change from the usual holiday package of common travel agencies. Once you have decided on the beautiful region in which to take your charter holiday, one question still remains: What type of boat is best suited for me and my needs? A sailing boat, motor boat, catamaran or a houseboat? The answer can be found on this page "which boat should I choose" Discover all of the different types of boats and their features, and match your boat to your needs.