Boating, Sailing, and Fishing Off Ambergris Caye

Explore the Caribbean the way it was meant to be traveled: by sea. Old standby boats include the “old-school sailing trip” aboard the refurbished Rum Punch II (parked north of Cholo’s Bar, tel. 501/610-3240), operated by longtime resident and captain George Eiley, offering glass-bottom-boat snorkel tours, beach barbecues, and sunset charters.

The Sirena Azul is a 40-foot Belizean hardwood beauty operated out of the Blue Tang Inn. Built by a boat-building family in the northern village of Sarteneja, and with an added diesel onboard engine and restroom, it’s an experience worth the extra cost. Sunset sails (US$50 pp, drinks included; private charter US$350 for 1-6 people) are popular, although the boat also goes on snorkeling day trips.

Photo of Ambergris Caye, with palm trees along the shore and a distant dock.

The blue waters of Ambergris Caye in Belize. Photo © Carol Neuschul, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Another popular and fancy cat for private rent or for sunset sails is Seaduction, operated by Seaduced by Belize (tel. 501/226-2254). Ecological divers now offer sailing charters aboard their two 50-foot catamarans as well as sunset dinner cruises by the reef.

For a more rustic and laid-back sail, spend the day with the Rubio brothers snorkeling, fishing, drinking aboard No Rush, a quaint 36-foot catamaran that can be booked through Unity Tours (tel. 501/600-5022, full-day snorkel US$75 pp, half-day US$50 pp). Reef Runners (tel. 501/602-5055 or 501/610-1061, full-day snorkel US$45 adults) has 24-foot-long glass-bottom boats for snorkel tours and fishing trips, and they know these waters well. You can’t miss their bright-yellow boats docked beside the San Pedro Belize water taxi terminal. Searious Adventures (tel. 501/226-4202) offers sailing and snorkeling activities.

A notch up is Belize Sailing Vacations (tel. 501/621-0417 or 501/664-5300, U.S. tel. 800/640-2182, from US$1,295), providing luxury sailing charters with “the amenities of an all-inclusive luxury resort aboard your own private catamaran, tailored to your own personalized itinerary.” This dream itinerary goes from island-hopping to snorkeling and diving on the way or just relaxing on board. A popular choice is Doris, a 50-foot catamaran with four air-conditioned cabins, four baths, lounge areas, plasma TVs, and your very own chef on board.


The area within the reef is a favorite for tarpon and bonefish. Outside the reef, the choice of big game is endless. Most hotels and dive shops will make arrangements for fishing, including a boat and a guide. Ask around the docks (and your hotel) for the best guides. Serious anglers should consider Abner Marin at Go Fish Belize (beachfront at Boca del Rio Dr., tel. 501/226-3121), one of the most qualified and reputable guides around. Or try Fishing San Pedro (Front St., above Manelly’s, tel. 501/607-9967), another sure bet where half- or full-day chartered fishing trips are relatively affordable at US$325 for a full day for two people, including tackle, bait, soft drinks, and water; a fish or lobster barbecue costs a bit extra.

Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Belize Cayes.

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