We woke that morning to the sound of seagulls calling and a gentle breeze blowing across our sea salt-encrusted skin.
After camping in paradise during a tropical storm and witnessing the hatching of baby sea turtles, we weren’t sure the third, and final, day of our sailing and snorkeling adventure with Raggamuffin Tours in Belize could even come close to topping the previous two days.
And we were right. It didn’t.
Although there was no impressive crescendo at the end of this day, it was relaxing, amazing, and equally enjoyable, nonetheless.
When you wake to a view like this, who could complain?
Because our tents and bedding remained soaked from the storm of night one, we slept in basic, but cozy, rooms on Tobacco Caye on night two. Although this meant we didn’t get to camp again (something which we really looked forward to, despite the previous night’s storm), it did provide us with a second-story view of the turqoise waters of the Caribbean from the comfort of the balcony hammock.
We had several hours to lounge around the island and get in some last-minute snorkeling before it was time to set sail and head toward our final destination: Placencia.
The sun was shining brightly as our boat departed the island. Finally, no more rain clouds!
Back on the boat, we caught a few quick naps and soaked up the sun in between snorkeling stops. Justin tried hard again to catch a barracuda, but he was met without success.
Poor guy ... he tried!
Our final snorkel stop of the day was my favorite of the entire trip: the luxurious private resort island of Southwater Caye. The water was crystal clear in many places and you could stand and watch fish glide along the ocean floor. We also saw some of the largest and most beautiful coral we had seen yet along the reef. Justin and some of the stronger swimmers swam further out to sea, while I returned to sit in the gorgeous white sand with some of the other women my age.
While my time in the sand was fairly uneventful and relaxing, Justin’s group saw seven — seven! — tarpins all lined up staring back at the snorkelers. Each tarpin was at least six feet in length. At first they mistook them for sharks! Although I’m sorry I missed the tarpins, I would not trade my time along the shore for anything. My memory of it is so strong I can still feel and smell the pristine water gently splashing up against me as a refreshing breeze blew across my face.
Did I say I wasn’t a beach person? Nonsense!
Unfortunately, our time at Southwater Caye eventually came to an end and we bounced up and down along the rolling Caribbean waves until we reached Placencia.
Once the boat reached Placencia, it was time to disembark and unload our stored luggage. Although passengers do have the option to sail back to Caye Caulker overnight with the crew, we opted to stay the night in Placencia to catch up on rest before heading inland to our next stop, the jungle town of San Ignacio.
We bid a bittersweet goodbye to our fantastic Raggamuffin crew and headed off for a night of land-based fun with some of our new friends.
Why not spend the night in Placencia and wake up to this?
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing along the beach, enjoying a few Belikin beers and eating (or attempting to eat!) the biggest burrito and quesadillas of our lives at the Tipsy Tuna bar (highly recommend).
Whoa ... now THAT is what I call a Burrito!
So now that you’ve read about our three amazing days with Raggamuffin Tours, are you thinking of taking an adventure of your own?
Here’s what you need to know before deciding whether Raggamuffin’s 3-day/2-night sailing, snorkeling, and camping adventure is right for you:
The Route: Raggamuffin’s overnight adventure departs from Caye Caulker, a small island located less than an hour by water taxi from Belize City. The boat makes its way to the remote island of Rondevouz Caye, where you’ll camp for the first night. The second day will take you to Tobacco Caye, where you will spend the second night. The third day, you will make your way to the final destination, the coastal Belizian town of Placencia.
The Food: The food on Raggamuffin’s trips is amazing. They prepare full spreads for breakfast and dinner, with hearty lunches as well. A wide variety of options is available to meet all preferences and dietary limitations. If you are a vegetarian or have a food sensitivity, notify the crew ahead of time. They will prepare something special for you. They take their responsibility to make sure all passengers are well-fed and satisfied very seriously. One of the most fun aspects of meals on the tour is getting to enjoy the day’s catch, which usually ends up being barracuda.
Captain Jerry cleans the day's catch to prepare it for dinner. Photo by Raggamuffin Tours.
The Accommodations: Unless your bedding gets ruined like ours did, you will be camping on the beach for both nights of your tour. The tents comfortably, but not spaciously, accommodate two persons, and those traveling individually will receive their own personal tent. If you are not comfortable camping, then this adventure is probably not for you.
The Weather: The company takes their responsibility to protect its passengers very seriously, and monitors the weather regularly. If a severe storm is predicted, the trip will be cancelled. However, due to the unpredictability of tropical weather, it is not always possible to anticipate all possible weather challenges (like, for example, the storm we experienced our first night on Rondevouz Caye). Therefore, passengers should be aware that they are willingly putting themselves in a potentially unpredictable and hazardous situation, and those travelers who are not comfortable with such risks should not embark on an overnight Raggamuffin adventure.
Equipment: Raggamuffin Tours will provide all your equipment for the weekend. They will fit you with a snorkel and fins, and they also provide high-quality sport fishing poles. They will provide tents and bedding. Please treat all this equipment with respect!
Other considerations: Don’t forget to bring your own towel to dry off after your time in the water. Bring a separate towel or a sarong to wear around the boat. We also recommend bringing a rain coat, a windbreaker, or a fleece pullover in case the day is cool and breezy, or in the event you feel cold at night in your tent. Your larger luggage will be stored underneath the boat during the entirety of your journey, so you should bring a smaller overnight bag to keep everything you will need for three days. Do not overpack! You will be camping, swimming, and overall getting dirty. Be practical. Finally, we recommend you bring several zip-lock or sealed plastic baggies to protect your camera and electronic equipment from splashing salt water and potential rain damage. This proved to be a life-saver on our trip.†
Photo by Raggamuffin Tours
Our Raggamuffin Tours adventure has proven one of the highlights of all our travels thus far. We cannot recommend this tour enough for people who enjoy being moderately active while on vacation. To learn more about how you can start booking your own trip, visit their website.
A trip with Raggamuffin is an investment you won’t regret and an experience you will never forget.
Editorís Note: Raggamuffin Tours provided us with a 2-for-1 deal for their Overnight Sailing Adventure, but all opinions expressed here are our own.