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#110864 - 11/05/05 07:40 AM Sail Charter-- San Pedro or Placencia
Fengshui Offline
Hi all, I'm a new member and I posted this message on the other forum, but though I should post here too:

We are considering our first sail charter to Belize. We've been to the Grenadines and BVI a couple times. We were going to the Abacos next, but now are nearly persuaded to go to Belize instead. My first of many questions to follow, is: Is it better to charter out of San Pedro or Placencia?

Advice we've gotten so far is that islands get much prettier and snorkeling gets much better the further south you can get and it would be better to charter out of Placencia. But this is from people who have not done both, so not so sure how valid the advice is.

What is the concensus among sailors who have chartered in both areas?

Also, I get the impression Ambergris Caye is more "touristy" than Placencia. We're not really looking for touristy on a sailing charter---just good sailing conditions, good beaches, good snorkeling, gorgeous anchorages. We don't need gift shops, nightlife, discos, hotels, etc. But we would like nice scenery and interesting sights. Again, the emphasis is on where to base our sailing trip. We may decide to visit other parts of Belize before and after the sailing and I'll inquire about that after we've decided where to base the sail charter.

Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide on sailing north or south.

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#110865 - 11/05/05 02:43 PM Re: Sail Charter-- San Pedro or Placencia
SimonB Offline
AC is generally just a start and end (if you do a round trip) point for charters. AC has much better provisioning opportunities than PLA, it's hard to get even the basics at times down there.

As for the sailing and snorkeling, the snorkeling from San Pedro doesn't start to get really good until you get to English Caye and head South. From there you can hug the reef and snorkel anywhere, most places being untouched by other travelers for months at a time. On the anchorages side your first stop from San Pedro is Caye Caulker, great anchorage and a very laid back island. It's only a 2 hour or so sail so it's a nice start to your trip. The next day opens up many options for where you can go, reef side or down the main channel. Caye Caulker to Placencia is about a 10-12 hour run from Caye Caulker so you could even head down there in one day if you wished (better to take 2 or 3 days). The islands in the North tend to be more Mangrove based while the South are Coral island based.

If I had to do it I would do a 10-day out of San Pedro, one-way to Placencia with a re-provision in Placencia or Dangriga (very weather dependent and not an overnight anchorage but better supplies.) A 7 day would work fine but I would push to get further down South after Cay Caulker.

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#110866 - 11/06/05 12:51 AM Re: Sail Charter-- San Pedro or Placencia
Fengshui Offline
SimonB, I guess what you're saying is that, aside from the provisioning, the sailing and snorkeling is indeed better the farther south you go. It would then seem to make more sense to have the charter company do the provisioning for us in Placencia and start our charter in the south, or are the islands from English Cay south to Placencia worth it? Thanks again.

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