The country’s vast reef system can make navigation complex and a local guide is recommended for all navigation in internal waters, but here Belize Tourism reveals the top anchorages for visiting superyachts.
Start your trip in Belize by taking in the country’s most famous landmark – the Blue Hole. Anchor at the Long Caye Lighthouse Reef Atoll and then take the tender to visit the huge circular marine sinkhole, which spans 300 metres in diameter and is more than 100 metres deep.
While at this anchorage you may also wish to take time to explore the crescent shaped Half Moon Caye. The untouched island was the first nature reserve established in Belize.
After leaving the Lighthouse Reef superyachts can then head east-southeast around the south end of Turneffe Atoll to the English Caye Channel pilot station. A local guide will then board the vessel so ensure a smooth transit to Belize City harbour or Robinson Point.
After any necessary provisioning in Belize City, superyachts can head south to the inner channel, and anchor just west of Coco Plum Caye. This island is the ideal position to take the tender to explore Tobacco Caye and South Water Caye. The latter is the largest marine reserve in Belize and covers an area of 117,878 acres. The off-the-beaten-track dive location is famed for rich biodiversity and the reserve is home to numerous spotted eagle rays and large southern stingrays.
From Coco Plum yachts are then recommended to travel south through to the Victoria Channel to anchor near Hatchet Caye. The island is now known as Ray Caye and is home to a private resort. You can stop in for lunch or dinner at its Lionfish Bar and Grill to sample its famous Lionfish tacos.
The anchorage also serves as a great jumping off spot to visit Gladden Split, which is one of the best locations for diving with whale sharks. The season revolves around the full moon, when the gentle giants rise closer to the surface to feed on fish spawn and plankton, and the most common time to see them is between April and May.
Superyachts can then head south and closer to the coast near Placencia. This anchorage is ideal for spending time exploring the surrounding islands and dive sites by tender. Many of the islands are uninhabited, leaving your crew free to set up beach picnics, or others are available for private hire. Scipio Caye, for examples, has a vast pizza oven and outdoor grill area to welcome guests in style.
The final anchorage brings you to Placencia Harbour, where yachts can get clearance to depart Belizean waters. Make sure you spend some time on shore to explore the resort town, which is famed for having the narrowest main street in the world. If you want to extend your trip on land, the peninsula is home to a selection of world-class resorts, including Itz’ana Resort & Residence. Placencia can also serve as a jumping off point to take in some of Belize’s remarkable inland experiences, including its wildlife-filled rainforest and Mayan ruins.
**All the above anchorages are recommended for vessels with a draft of 5.8-meters or less