Sailing, kayaking and canoeing

The sea plays an important role in our colorful history. The Mayas who lived and fished nearby, traded local products with their counterparts on the interior. Sting Ray spines were used in ceremonies and have been found in temples deep in the jungle. Obsidian from the mainland has been discovered scattered on islands far from land. The Belize Barrier Reef acted as a marine 'barbed wire fence', restricting passage thru our magnificent reef systems to those who were familiar with and could maneuver their crafts thru this maze of jagged coral. Pirates, buccaneers and other scoundrels used these nautical hazards to their advantage, hiding from those in hot pursuit. Traders piloted their ships thru the reef and sought refuge from harsh weather within our protected harbors and up our rivers. Belize was a splendid place to replenish supplies and refurbish boats.

Belize enjoys a long tradition of boat building. Rivers served as roads on the mainland and the sea was our airport to the Caribbean and beyond. Boat makers were buoyed by the vast array of hardwoods they could extract from the jungles to fashion their crafts from. Guanacaste (Tubroos) is still a favorite used to carve out traditional river dories and abundant mahogany proved to be the best wood to fashion sea going vessels from.

Fisherman today still use variations of these sailboats. We have a burgeoning fiberglass boat building industry and a few artists who create custom designed masterpieces.

Our northeasters and light chop to choppy sea make Belize an ideal sailing and a boating Mecca. Coupled with the rich marine environment below the surface and the many friendly inhabited and beckoning uninhabited islands, these elements combine to produce a superlative experience.

Sailboat and yacht charters are an ideal way to explore this unique world. Bareboat and crewed sail boats are available for charter. We can engage a cook, do your provisioning and help chart your course.

Let us know what your needs are, what you want to see and do (or not do, you can hire a crew for that) and we'll offer a variety of choices for you to consider.

You may want to reserve time at the end of your watery journey for travel on the mainland to see our equally exquisite jungle, Maya ruins, and other activities. Trade the frigate bird for parrots and the sea air for wafting perfumed floral scents. Spend some time at one of our riverside jungle lodges and get your land legs back on tropical terra firma.

Sea and Jungle River Kayaking

Kayaking is another great way to explore the reef system, lagoons and inland jungle rivers. Our calm waters, gentle sea breezes and hundreds of uninhabited islands are the perfect paddling playground for kayakers. We offer weeklong sea kayaking and camping from island to island or jungle river kayaking and canoeing and camping. If you'd prefer an itinerary with one base camp, Glovers Reef Marine Reserve and Lighthouse Reef atolls (ring shaped coral island and reef that encompasses a shallow lagoon) are a wonderful place to call home. They are veritable underwater museums and Belize has three of the four atolls on the Caribbean. These atolls are biologically diverse, remote and idyllic.

The casual kayaker can arrange for a half day, full day and overnight kayaking on the sea and on jungle rivers or canoeing on jungle rivers.

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