Overview – Belize
Our Belize yacht charter itinerary was crafted for the adventurous, those ready to snorkel or scuba dive around one of the world’s most serene and protected reefs— the Belize Barrier Reef— second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in size. This trip also speaks to the more dossel soul, who appreciates the view of scenic anchorages and the peaceful retreat of deserted cayes.
With calm waters and short, line-of-sight passages, bareboat charters enjoy the freedom of mapping their own course. Vacationers on luxury crewed charters love our robust itineraries and the year round, sunny 70-80 °F weather. It’s hard to pick a favorite stop, as many naturally preserved escapes stretch across 350 stunning miles— but we’re dying to share a taste of all that a Belize charter has to offer.
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Activities & Events – Belize
Combine relaxation with adventure, easily, on your Belize yacht charter. Enjoy uncrowded beaches and thrilling water activities, discover the region’s ancient history and celebrate its present beauty— you choose on your Belizean getaway. Eight days of sunshine and serene vistas beckon.
Here’s a preview of a few things you can expect during your trip with Virgin Island Sailing®:
- Exploration of up to 185 miles of the protected and vibrant Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world
- Superb snorkeling and scuba diving through estuaries, bays and crystal blue waters— surrounded by cayes with palm-fringed beaches, mangrove atolls, coral and exquisite marine life
- Singing, dancing and merriment at local festivals and island celebrations
- Peaceful, secluded beaches and open line-of-sight sailing
A Few of the Best Places to Visit in Belize:
The Great Blue Hole.With a local skipper on board or on a day charter, you can witness the largest blue hole in the world. Thousands of years ago, The Great Blue Hole was once a series of caverns until rising tides flooded the caves. Today, deep divers can still see the submerged stalactites and stalagmites— some 40 feet tall— to prove its above-ground origin. The nearly perfect cyclindal circle stretches approximately 1,000 feet across, surrounded by the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, and plummets over 400 feet deep. This mysterious natural wonder is located about 62 miles off of Belize City, and while only experienced divers (with at least 24 registered dives) can sink in, the mere sight of the deep topaz ring is sure to wow. It’s no wonder the Discovery Channel ranked it as the “#1 most amazing place on earth.”
South Water Caye. As the country’s largest marine reserve, these 15-acres of protected land and reefs are overflowing with exotic life. Filled with mangrove forests, estuaries and lagoons, the region is home to unique marine life— like the rare brown boobies, found at Man-of-War Caye— and with lush palms, hibiscus and other brilliant flowers, it’s positively stunning. Plus, because it’s a secluded island with no facilities other than two resorts and a marine study abroad dorm, South Water Caye is a lovely, quiet escape far from the crowds. Sunbathe on the south-end beach or take a short swim to snorkel the reef. Depending on the weather, it’s only about a 45 minute sail from Dangriga.
Ambergris Caye & San Pedro. In Mayan times, San Pedro was once a fishing village and trading post. Today, it’s a booming town on Ambergris Caye. On San Pedro, no building is taller than a palm tree! Explore the colorful streets with golf carts and bicycles, do a little shopping and enjoy fresh-caught fish and lobster— as well as local beer and drinks— before visiting the coastline. Unlike other tourist-heavy regions like Cancun, there’s no fighting for room on the beach. It’s a wonderful spot away from the center of town to sit amongst the trees and tropical flora, splash around or fish in the Caribbean Sea.
Dance to live punta music, fill up at fresh food festivals and join locals in their annual celebrations and competitions. While we only shared a few of our favorite events each month, there’s fun around every corner on a yacht charter to Belize.
New Year’s Day celebrations
Horse Race in Burrel Boom
Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic
San Pedro Carnival
Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival
Fiesta de Carnaval
La Ruta Maya Canoe River Challenge
San Pedro Lagoon-Reef
The National Agricultural Trade Show
Monkey River Festival
Dia de San Pedro
Benque Viejo del Carmen Fiesta
Belize International Film Festival
International Costa Maya Festival
Tres Pescados Slam
La Fiesta de San Joaquín
Carnival Road March
Independence Day celebrations
World Indigenous Music Festival
Hike & Bike for the Rainforest
Garifuna Settlement Day
San Pedro Township Celebration
Battle of the Drums
Holiday Boat Lighting Parade
Explore the Events Calendar
Weather & Seasons – Belize
Like any subtropical destination, your Belize yacht charter will almost always be sunny and warm. With year-round high temperatures averaging in the 80’s— and water temperatures between 79-83 °F— combined with mild winds, it’s many sailors’ dream getaway.
Many travel to this destination during the dry season, between December to May, but even the summer season doesn’t deter boaters. Experience the wonders of the great reefs and excellent sailing conditions no matter when you book your trip.
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Sample Itinerary - Placencia, Belize
Placencia Harbour, Belize
- Beautiful Landscape
- Local Markets
- Cresent-Shaped Beach
Your Belize charter starts out in the delightfully picturesque village of Placencia. A lovely, crescent-shaped beach lined with a long row of palms borders the small town. Beautiful flowers, thick stands of trees, and quaint framed houses on stilts add to the idyllic tropical setting. While you wait to board your yacht Placencia has many restaurants to choose from or spend some time browsing in one of their great markets where you can buy local products.
Whipray Caye, Belize
2 hours | 10 miles
- Great Fishing
- Crystal Clear Waters
- Delicious Restaurants
Start your week long Belize yachting vacation on Whipray Caye, here you will start living the island life in some of the best fishing grounds in the world. Catch anything from tarpon, bonefish, snapper, grouper, and more. Visit the Lodge’s open air Sea Urchin Bar and Restaurant that serves up a variety of Belizean and American food, mostly fresh catches, and the fully stocked bar serves the coldest beer for miles around. Cruising in Whipray Caye waters is a delightful part of any cruise in Belize.
Hideaway Caye, Pelican Cayes, Belize
2 hours |10 miles
- Short distance
- Local Rums
Next you’ll sail north from Whipray Caye to Hideaway Caye, nestled in the heart of the Pelican Caye range. This tiny mangrove-covered island features its own dinghy dock and a network of elevated wooden walkways that wind around the mangrove trees. Snorkel the colourful coral reefs or fish in the crystal clear water. Relax and watch a beautiful Caribbean sunset and rest up for another full day of adventures in Belize.
South Water Caye, Belize
2.5 hours | 15 miles
- Barrier Reef Snorkel
- Great Seafood
- Learn about the local Ecosystem
Catch a cooling trade wind and continue to South Water Caye. This idyllic private island is one of the few in Belize that sits right on top of the barrier reef. Practice your shallow water navigation skills as you gently wind your way through patchy reefs. Grab a mooring buoy and dinghy ashore to unwind on a hammock or grab your mask and flippers and snorkel the magnificent barrier reef just offshore. Dine ashore at Carrie Bow Caye and you wil have three restaurants to choose from so sit back and enjoy some of the region’s spectacular seafood. Visit the Smithsonian Research Station on Carrie Bow Caye to learn more about this valuable ecosystem.
Thatch Caye, Belize
1.5 hours | 7 miles
- Watch the Spider Monkeys
- Great Swimming
- Bird Watching
Leave South Water Caye behind and point your bow northwest to Thatch Caye. Located in the Coco Plum chain, Thatch Caye is an eco-resort that forms part of a marine park. Relax on the pristine white sand as spider monkeys scamper through the undergrowth, or head to nearby Man-O-War Caye to see a breeding colony of spectacular frigate birds. South Water Caye offers some of the best bird watching in Belize. Kick off your shoes and walk between the shallow cayes or head for the water and enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, fly fishing and swimming. Take in the beautiful sunset views while treating yourself to a rum punch and delicious Belizean dishes.
Tobacco Caye, Belize
1 hours | 4 miles
• Wonderful Restaraunts
• Caribbean Paradise
Tobacco Caye is a 5 acre palm-fringed coral island perched on the barrier reef, which makes it a great place to snorkel or dive from the shore. There are a couple of small laid-back resorts and a tiny beach bar serving fresh coconut water and icy cold rum cocktails with hammocks to lounge in. Tobacco Caye is a little piece of Caribbean paradise. Enjoy dinner and feast on mahi mahi or tarpon at one of the restaurants.
Tobacco Caye, Belize
- Morning Swim
- Lounge in a Hammock
Start your morning off with a morning dip in the warm, clear Caribbean water or maybe sipping a morning cocktail as you get ready to head to Lagoon Caye for the night!
Lagoon Caye, Belize
3.5 hours | 20 miles
Today you’ll head for the unique and splendid Lagoon Caye. This tiny picturesque Belizean coastline has a verdant ring of island creatures, a stunning deep blue lagoon, and glassy waters to kayak over. Also, a ring of shallow coral around the island offers good snorkeling possibilities. Work up an appetite and make your way to the remote inner reef cayes and drop anchor at Quamino Caye for a peaceful lunch in the Caribbean sun.
Hatchet Caye, Belize
2.5 hours | 15 miles
- Great Fishing
- Yummy Seafood
Continue your journey south until you reach Hatchet Caye. This also tiny, remote Caye is on the most popular Belize destinations. If you’re big into fishing take a short hop to Gladden Split and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, here you will enjoy world-class fishing and diving. Hatchet Caye is also home to the premier Hatchet Caye Resort, seclusion and leisure take on new meaning at this exclusive little island, Take advantage of the resort’s restaurant to the luxurious menu of spa services.
Silk Cays, Belize
0.5 hours | 3 miles
- Excellent Snorkeling
- Crystal Clear Water
- Second-Largest Barrier Reef in the World
Your second stop will take you to the picturesque Silk Cays, this wonderland of the marine ecosystem is home to numerous endangered species of corals, turtles and fishes. Located on the outer region of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The first thing you’ll notice when you get to the Silk Cayes is that the water is incredibly clear, almost as transparent as glass. Standing on the sugar-white soft sandy beach, you’ll see nothing in every direction, only the open ocean. But as you wade deeper into the water, you’ll start to see why people from around the planet travel to these remote islands to go snorkeling.
Ranguana Caye, Placencia, Bleze
3 hours | 18 miles
- National Park
- Top knotch Sailing
Your Belize sailing itinerary takes you clear, open waters of Ranguana Cay. Take an exciting detour to Laughing Bird Cay National Park for a day of bird watching and snorkeling will add another four nautical miles to the passage, but it’s a leisurely off-the-wind sail and well worth the endeavor. Named for the laughing gulls that nest there, the cay has one mooring. Both Laughing Bird Cay and Ranguana Cay are incredibly beautiful examples of Belizean sailing.
Lark Caye, Belize
2 hours | 9 miles
After a day of exploring Ranguana Caye head to Lark Caye, a pristine location ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.Snorkeling on the patch reefs near the anchorage is impressive and pleasant. Fishing is great in this area, as is diving. Snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing are highly recommended on Lark Caye.
Maya Beach, Placencia, Belize
1.5 hours | 8 miles
- Secluded Beach
Start your day off at Maya Beach is a very small and quiet beach community on the Placencia peninsula that consists of a long, clean strip of sand, beach loungers, wooden docks jutting out over the sea, and hammocks strung between palm trees. Maya Beach has stores where you can stock up on supplies. It also has excellent beach bars where you can cool off with a rum-based tropical cocktail or a cold Belikin beer. Visitors who come here do so to relax, sunbathe, and dine.
Placencia Habor, Belize
1.5 hours | 8 miles
- Great Dining
On the last night of your Belize Charter brings you to a delightfully picturesque village A lovely, crescent-shaped beach lined with a long row of palms borders the small town. Beautiful flowers, thick stands of trees, and quaint framed houses on stilts add to the idyllic tropical setting. The people of Placencia are warm and friendly, making your visit even more pleasant. Placencia’s famous “Main Road” is a 3 foot wide concrete path meandering through the sand, passing lots of little local shops and restaurants. Dining out at one of the many restaurants is a delightful way to spend an early evening. There are also a number of bars to celebrate the end of a great charter.
Back to Marina
Placencia Harbour, Belize
0.5 hours | 1 mile
- Local Delicacies
On the last day of your Belize bareboat charter you’ll head back to Placencia Harbour to return your yacht. Use any extra time to explore the open-air markets and colorful shops. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste two of Placencia’s local delicacies: lobster and ice cream.
Travel Info – Belize
It’s a lot easier to visit Belize than you might think— no matter how you choose to cruise the waters. Many U.S. airports offers flights that land directly in Belize City, where many of our crewed yachts board. Most of our bareboat charters board in Placencia, which is roughly a 45 minute flight from Belize City on Tropic Air or Maya Island Air.
We’re also here to recommend lodging and land excursions, should you want to extend your vacation, as well as to provide options for trip insurance.