Unspoiled and less crowded than other areas in the Caribbean, Belize is a laid-back paradise very similar in vibe to the cruising grounds of the South Pacific. Boasting world-class snorkeling and scuba diving, superior chartering in protected waters, and unparalleled natural beauty, this tropical delight offers a special yachting destination.
The small country in northern Central American is just slightly larger in geographical size than the state of Massachusetts. Mexico is located to the north and Guatemala to the west, while the western Caribbean fronts the remainder of the country. One of the most remarkable features of Belize is the Mesoamerican reef that stretches approximately 350 nautical miles from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down along most of the Belizean coast. (Only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is larger.) The reef shelters more than 400 cays and most are fringed with additional reefs comprised of at least 50 species of hard and soft coral. Manatees, whale sharks, and over 500 species of tropical fish thrive in these waters. Up above, all manner of birds frequent the skies, including the magnificent frigatebird and brown booby.
A yacht charter through these waters naturally focuses on the superlative onboard experience as you cruise the palm tree-fringed and mangrove-lined coasts. However, a Belize yacht charter can encompass so much more, and often does. Imagine: embarking on a guided dive to the Great Blue Hole, a geological wonder of the world located within Lighthouse Reef; sampling local cuisine and experiencing the Belizean culture while exploring on land; or touring the stunning ancient Mayan ruins of Xunantunich. It’s all yours for the taking.
Arrive at sunset for evening cocktails, followed by a delightful dinner prepared by your chef. As you settle into life onboard, take in the cityscape of Belize City. Perched on a peninsula, this vibrant city even features an artificial beach built for the visiting cruise ships.
This private island is located an hour outside of Belize City. The short cruise makes it a perfect destination after your sunset cruise. The white sand beaches and shallow waters are ideal for a day spent on the beach. Lounge in the crystal clear waters while drinking rum punch.
Turneffe Reef Atoll
After a short two-hour cruise, arrive at Turneffe Atoll. One of three atolls along the Belize Barrier Reef, this is an ideal location to spend the day exploring the ocean. The premier fishing and diving here ensure you’ll enjoy every minute.
Lighthouse Reef Atoll
The easternmost section of Belize’s Barrier Reef, Lighthouse Reef is the perfect location for diving. Home to the Great Blue Hole, your dive experience is sure to be unique. This is also the site of the country’s oldest protected wildlife sanctuary, so your cruise is sure to produce many colorful and unique sightings.
Half Moon Cay
Half Moon Cay is a natural wonderland as this nature reserve is home to 4,000 red-footed booby birds. Be sure to hop in the tender and head ashore to find a nature trail that leads to an observation platform with extraordinary views of the idyllic scenery.
Anchor near Hatchet Cay where you can spend time enjoying your yacht’s plethora of water toys. Paddleboard through the smooth seas before enjoying lunch served al fresco on the aft deck. Finish the day with an adventurous attempt to water ski.
Boasting gleaming white beaches, Queen’s Cay is the perfect island to visit for some sun bathing. Here, you can also anchor in about 20 feet of water that’s excellent for snorkeling and spying the 80 species of fish that swim through the coral infrastructure in these waters. Diving offers excellent walls, grottos, and canyons ranging from 35 feet to 3,000 feet deep.
Discover the extensive flora and fauna of Belize while on the Monkey River Magic guided tour of the Monkey River. After spending the day adventuring, enjoy dinner at the French Connection Restaurant, voted best food in Belize.
Every year, from March through June, whale sharks migrate approximately 26 miles off the shores of Placencia, in an area known as the Gladden Spit Cut. If you are lucky enough to visit during that time, you’ll have the opportunity to swim with these magnificent creatures, yet another bucket list item that you can tick off in this beautiful country.