BELIZE (PART 2) – AN UN-BELIZEABLE SAILING TRIP
Back in January 2017, I decided to embark on my latest adventure. I decided to travel to Central America to see the wonderful Belize. I was both very excited and nervous at the same time as I was travelling by myself for the very first time.
Before I left Ireland I planned my entire trip and showed a friend who had been through all of South and Central America, including Belize, a few years ago. After showing him my plan he advised me to change three days of it and recommended that I look into the Raggamuffin Tours Overnight Sailing Trip. He didn’t do the trip but he knew someone who did and they raved about it. I actually came across the trip when I was researching, “things to do in Belize”, but honestly it never crossed my mind to actually do it.
Looking back on it now, it was definitely the best decision I made and I am very grateful to my friend for suggesting it.
To sum this post up, Raggamuffin Tours offer a unique three day, two night trip where you sail down the Belizean Coast, staying at two exclusive private islands. There’s plenty of snorkelling, rum punch and fun along the way. The cost of the trip is $400USD and it includes all food, unlimited drinks, snacks, accommodation, marine reserve fees, island fees and transfers over the three days. Yes the trip is pricey but I can assure you it’s worth every cent. It was hands down the best thing I did on my trip in Belize as I felt like I saw so much more of the country than if I had skipped it. If you have any doubts about going, don’t. JUST DO IT, trust me, you won’t regret it.
Check out the promo video I made showcasing all the highlights from the trip.
(WARNING! Proceed with caution though, as it’ll definitely make you want to go)
Saturday morning started at 8.00am where we had to drop our bags off at the Raggamuffin office so the crew could load them onto the boat along with all of the supplies we’d need for the next three days. This meant we were able to enjoy one last meal and do anything else we needed before setting sail at 9.00am.
Sadly the catamaran boat was undergoing maintenance when we took the trip, so we had to make due with the red sailboat, the Ragga King instead. The boat is reasonably sized and it was well able to house everyone comfortably for the three days.
Each day would begin with a few hours of sailing through the most amazing fluorescent turquoise waters on the inner reef. The water around the reef is quite shallow (max depth is like 16-20ft I think they said) and you could almost always see the bottom.
The first day has the most travel time but it’s nice to kick back, chill in the sun, take in the beautiful surroundings and get to know some of the other guests. About an hour into the journey we were served fresh fruit, juices and minerals and then another while passed before we were handed our lunch, which consisted of BBQ chicken, rice with beans and potato salad.
Shortly after this we had our first snorkel stop. We stopped at a place where there was a natural break in the reef as it was meant to be home to some larger fish that come and go from the shallows of the inner reef to the deeper depths of the Caribbean Sea. Unfortunately for us the visibility was poor so we didn’t see much and didn’t hang around too long before jumping back on the boat.
After sailing a bit more, we stopped for snorkel tour number two and by the time we were back on the boat the rum punch came out. There was literally gallons of it, no joke. And if rum punch isn’t your thing then there are other types of rum available too.
Our first night was spent on the uninhabited Rendezvous Caye, which looked like a mirage in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t believe that we were getting to camp on it. A tiny island in the middle of nowhere on top of the reef with pristine white sand, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
With the sun setting and limited daylight still left we grabbed our masks and fins and jumped in the sea for one last snorkel. The island is literally on top of the reef, so the snorkeling is just as amazing as it was while we were sailing. It was a great way to end the first day.
While we were out snorkelling the rest of the crew set up our tents for the night and started to prepare the dinner. Once we’d dried off and made ourselves at home for the night it was time to tuck into some rum punch and food.
Dinner was served buffet style and everyone ate together on a long table. Even though we were fed very well throughout the day we had built up a real appetite from all the snorkelling. Our resident chef Linthon cooked up a storm which was really delicious, it included an array of seafood, vegetables and rice. After dinner we continued to enjoy lots of rum and played the box game, which got very competitive I must say. Most people ended up going to bed pretty early that night, but a few stayed up chatting to the crew from the boat and stargazed at the spectacular display in the sky.
Waking up on the island was incredible. We literally woke up in a tropical paradise. I even had to rub my eyes because I thought I was dreaming. It’s an early start to the day with breakfast starting at 7.00am, but waking up to your own uninhabited island in the middle of Caribbean Sea made it that much more bearable.
If you are an avid snorkeler you can wake up early and explore straight from the island. Alternatively you can simply wander around and bask in the beauty of the island while appreciating an unbelievable sunrise. Breakfast is served buffet style with lots of different options, catering for all tastes and needs.
Unfortunately after breakfast we had to tear ourselves away from the beauty of our own island and set sail to our next destination.
The snorkelling the second day was much better than the first, as the water was a lot calmer and clearer. We saw lots of beautiful fish and most of us were lucky enough to spot some enormous eagle rays, while hunting for our dinner. It’s a good idea to stick by the crew whenever there is a snorkel stop because they are great at spotting the marine life and are also very informative. They’re also pretty handy at catching fish with the spear guns, which is a good thing as they were able to do what most of us couldn’t, and catch our dinner for us.
Three snorkel stops later and with a fresh catch we were edging closer to our second night’s destination.
On route to Ragga Caye we stopped at Tobacco Caye, which is a much more built up island where people actually live. It even has a bar, a small shop and wifi.
A few of us grabbed some cold beers and strolled around the island taking some photos and checking out the newly born puppies beside the bar. The island was pretty nice, but because we had spent the night before camping on an uninhabited island we didn’t give it much time.
As the winds were unfavourable for sailing our travel time took a little longer than usual so we didn’t have time to stop at any other islands and instead made headway towards the newly acquired Ragga Caye.
When we finally arrived at around 5.00 pm we were welcomed to yet another uninhabited private island just for us. It was incredible. Tonight we had the option to stay in 4 bed dormitories, camp in tents on the beach or upgrade to private water bungalows.
Once everyone got their sleeping arrangements sorted people began to flock towards the dining area to avail of the free wifi while some people took out kayaks for sunset.
After freshening up with some much needed showers we all chilled in the dining area having a few drinks while we waited for dinner. Another amazing feast was prepared for us where we each had a grilled lobster, and a buffet selection of things like, hot chilli red snapper, and curried conch to name but a few of the dishes. Needless to say all dishes were unbelievable.
Once dinner was finished we chilled on the deck with our rum punch and played a few drinking games. Most people dispersed to their beds early enough again but a solid crew of us made it till about midnight before deciding to call it a night.
Day 9: (Last day of the trip)
We woke on the last day of the trip where breakfast was served at 7.00am and once again we were treated to an epic feast. Eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, homemade fry jacks you name it and they had it. We had the morning to chill, walk around the island, take photos or use the kayaks before going out on the boat for one last trip.
For our last trip we visited Bird Island, went manatee spotting and stopped for one last breathtaking snorkel at South Long Caye before making our way back to Ragga Caye for our last meal.
As we arrived back to the island we were treated to an extravagant BBQ meal that would fill us up for the day. At 3.00pm we were picked up by a speed boat that would bring us to Dangriga on the mainland.
So we said our goodbyes to Ragga Caye, captain Jacob, Dane and Linthon and were on our way back to civilisation.
It marked the end of what was an amazing trip and one I’ll never forget.
This trip was definitely one of the best things I have done while travelling and I’ve done quite a lot. It was incredible from start to finish and I really can’t recommend it enough!
A special mention needs to be given to the crew we had. Captain Jacob, Dane and Linthon were amazing and they definitely made the three days more enjoyable. They provided us with top class hospitality as they were always happy, even after a late night with lots of rum, they were always up for a good chat and they provided us with some epic reggae tunes for the duration of the trip. Each crew member has such passion for what they do and their continual hard work and happiness blew us all away.
Although Raggamuffin Tours are one of the more expensive tour companies in Caye Caulker, it’s because they offer such high quality on their tours, from the equipment to the food and crew. It’s these things that set them above the competition and why they have such a good reputation.