CRUISING BELIZE – Privacy, Discretion & Solitude

Posted March 22, 2012, 9:50 a.m.
CRUISING BELIZE – Privacy, Discretion & Solitude By Carolyn Turton While most yachts choose to cruise the smaller islands of the Caribbean such as Antigua and St. Barts for the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, Belize will be sure to surprise and surpass all expectations. Belize, located in the Western Caribbean on the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, is one of the only Central American countries directly accessible by Yachts from the Caribbean. Belize is home to the longest living reef in the western hemisphere and the second longest in the world and some of the most spectacular dive sites on the planet. Whilst Belize is the size of New Jersey in square miles its population is a mere 300,000 people as compared to Jersey’s 9,000,000. The residents a variable hodgepodge of races, combine to make for a most eclectic diverse culture. Three different Maya cultures, Mestizo, Garinagu, Creole, various Latin American influences from neighboring Central American countries, to Hindu, Asian, Middle Eastern, European and North Americans call Belize home. With the diverse cornucopia of cultures comes a dynamic blend of cuisines, from food indigenous to the Ancient Maya and Garinagu to modern day influences introduced by migrants to the country, there is no shortage of delectable treats to satisfy even the most discerning of palettes. Close to 50% of the countries mainland and marine areas are under protective reserve status, this ensures the optimum experience in nature, jungle and marine activities. Cruising with your yacht in Belize waters is one of the most accessible and enjoyable experiences to be had and by using a reputable agent with local knowledge visitors can have a multitude of options made available to them. From cruising to Belize with their owners to owners meeting their yacht in Belize, every single need can be accommodated. A typical seven to ten day cruise would commence with clearing in the vessel in one of Belize’s four ports of entry, namely, San Pedro, Belize City, Big Creek or Punta Gorda. Belize City, the former capital of the country and the commercial hub of the nation still remains as the main port of entry and most proximate to the only international airport in the country. Awaken on your first day anchored near Goffs Caye to the breaking waves signifying the reef crest of Belize’s coastal treasure, the barrier reef clearly visible on the morning horizon, it is only understandable that the thriving offshore waters of Belize provide some of the country’s most spectacular and acclaimed dive venues. From shallow sea-grass beds to complex coral formations, every inch of the great barrier reefs aquatic eco-system is teeming with marine life. Depths range from as shallow as 10 feet in the ever popular Shark Ray Alley to over 150 feet in the mysterious Devil’s Canyon where steep canyon walls envelop a profusion of some of the area’s most diverse species of coral and tropical fish. Colourful sponges, branching anemones, staghorn and elkhorn coral formations, the majestic spotted eagle ray, several species of snapper, grouper, angelfish, and a multitude of other marine creatures, engulf the underwater wonderland and provide a memorable spectacle of marvel and enjoyment to all who traverse these vibrant waters. Locals such as Blue Ground Range, known for its frolicking wild dolphins, Queens Caye, encapsulated in white sandy beaches and Laughing Bird Caye, with its’ thriving underwater gardens and unique layout of sub-aquatic terrain provide sufficient water depth to accommodate the largest of yachts. Adventurous owners have been known to arrive on their private jet, join their yacht, and then be whisked to remote jungle locations using their onboard or a locally sourced helicopter to enjoy a pristine eco-experience, or to take a step back in time to when the Maya Priests ruled the local kingdoms. One of the most sought after inland shore excursion is the Actun Tunichl Muknal Caves, where guests will enter the ceremonial underworld of Ancient Maya Priests. Still visible are the human remains of a sacrifice to the Gods for good favor, and pottery too large to exit the caves entrance. Shore Excursions for yacht owners are always exclusive, there are no added guests and guides are the most experienced and qualified available in Belize. There are no restrictions and guests are limited only by their own will and imagination. As owners travel the country and enjoy all it has to offer Ventura Yacht Agency is aware that the ultimate experience comes from a piece of mind, not just in what the country has to offer but the needs of the yacht and its crew as well. The close proximity to the United States and English being its native language makes it easy for captains to plan and acquire all they need while cruising in Belize. Its noteworthy to mention that most of the two hundred plus islands are uninhabited and lie within the main barrier reef offering sheltered waters which makes it the opportune destination for those owners seeking privacy, discretion and solitude. Contact: Carolyn Turton W: E: [email protected] Ventura Yacht Agency - A Proud Member of the AYSS