This page provides useful pre-departure, travel and base information. From airport procedures to provisioning, it will tell you what to expect to make your vacation smooth and carefree. We suggest you read the following information carefully several weeks prior to departure and also print a copy to take with you.

Address & Map

Address
The Moorings Belize Ltd
(c/o Laru Beya Resort)
Placencia Peninsula
Placencia, Belize,C.A.

Hours of operation
8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. 7 days a week

Base facilities
Your comfort is assured by extensive facilities including a hotel, restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

Base map
New map coming soon!

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Arrival & Departure

How to get there
By air from Belize International Airport to Placencia Airstrip; then by taxi from the airstrip to the Laru Beya Marina. Flight time is approximately 45 minutes.
By taxi to Belize City; then by bus from Belize City to Placencia via Dangriga. The bus trip takes a minimum of six hours.

Servicing airlines
Flights to Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport:  
American Airlines
United Airlines
Delta Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Avianca
Copa
West Jet
Air Canada

Due to the number of flights that we organise, The Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact your Holiday Planner before you book your flights.

Airport
Placencia Regional Airport is approximately a 45-minute flight from Belize City International Airport.

Airport transfers
Two local airlines serve Belize: Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. For your convenience you can make advance bookings with Tropic Air through The Moorings.
The distance from the airstrip to the base is approximately three miles. Taxi fares are USD 3 per person with a minimum charge of USD 10.

Customs / immigration information
A valid passport (for each passenger) and crew list is compulsory for clearance.
Passport expiry date must be no earlier than three months after your planned return. 
A customs declaration form must be completed at the port of entry.

Arrival / departure procedure
Embarkation: Charters start at 12.00 noon or 6.00 p.m. (with evening start).
Briefing Times: Boat/chart briefings are scheduled at 9.00 a.m. for noon starts and 4.00 p.m. for evening starts. All head charterers are required to attend the briefings.

Disembarkation: All charters end at 11am by which time the boat must be returned and ready for debriefing and checks.

Late arrival procedure
If clients arrive after office hours, their yacht will be on the C Dock in front of the office.

Taxes / departure tax
Departure tax: A tax of USD 56 per person is charged when leaving Belize; this MUST be paid in US Dollars. If paid by credit card there is an additional charge.  
Travellers entering Belize International by air and connecting to in-country flights are charged an additional USD 0.75 security fee.

Car rental
If you are planning to make a tour of the country, spending a few days in the mountains and a few days at the beach, you might want to rent a car. However, if you are just coming to the base, we suggest that you fly to Placencia. The scenery driving down is quite lovely, but chances are, once you make the drive down, you won't feel like driving back. If you are renting a car in Belize, you must return your vehicle to where you picked it up, otherwise a one-way drop-off fee will be charged in Placencia. Car rentals in Belize range from USD 75 to USD 85 per day. It is possible to rent a golf cart in Placencia for local exploring and shopping.

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General Information

Area: Approximately 8,866 square miles. Belize's mainland is approximately 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide. Belize also consists of over 200 cayes (islands), ranging in size from a few hundred feet to 25 miles long and four miles wide; most of which are located inside the 200 mile Belize Reef.
Location: Belize lies on the eastern coastline of Central America, bordered in the north by Mexico, in the west and south by Guatemala, and in the east by the Caribbean Sea. It's separated by sea from Honduras, its neighbour to the south-west.
Capital city: Belize City 
Population: 350,000 
People: There is a great deal of ethnic diversity among Belizeans, who include Creoles (African-European), Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), Garifuna (African-Indian), Mayan, Anglo-European, Middle Eastern and Asian. 
Language: English is the official language and is widely spoken, as is Spanish. Other languages include Creole, Mayan and Garifuna.
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant, others.
Government: Independent nation since 1981, member of British Commonwealth of Nations.  Belize has a Constitution, which includes a Bill of Rights.
Major industries: garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil
Tipping:  10–15% is generally acceptable if it has not been added already.
Time: UTC/GMT -6 hours.

Festivals and holidays
New Year's Day
Baron Bliss Day
Labour Day
Commonwealth Day
St. George's Caye Day
National Independence Day
Columbus Day
Garifuna Day

Movable holidays
Good Friday
Easter
Easter Monday

Hotels
The Placencia Hotel
South Waters Resort
Laru Beya Resort
The Inn at Robert’s Grove

Restaurants
Quarterdeck at Laru Beya 
Habanero's Mexican Restaurant at Robert’s Grove 
Paradise Hotel Restaurant 
Wendy’s Creole Restaurant 
The Inn at Robert’s Grove 
Merlene’s Café 
The Galley
Rumfish in Placencia 

Post office
Placencia Post Office
Main Road, Placencia - halfway to the airstrip
South end of sidewalk
Hours: 8.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and 1.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

There is no post office at the Moorings Marina.
Rates to the US: USD 0.30 for letters
Rates to Europe: USD 0.40 for letters
First class mail between Belize and the US averages an 8 to 10-day delivery time.
International Express mail from the US to Belize within three business days and costs USD 14.

Internet connectivity
Wi-Fi is available at The Moorings base in Belize
Wi-Fi Connection at Thatch Caye Resort and Hatchet Caye

Mobile phones
Before you leave home check with your service provider if you can use international roaming in Belize. Coverage in outlying areas can be better with international roaming than with a GSM network connection.

Tourist information centres
Belize Tourism Board
New Central Bank Building,
Level 2 Gabourel Lane P.O. Box 325
Belize City, Belize
Tel: 501 223 1913
Fax: 501 223 1943
Toll free: 1-800-624-0686
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.travelbelize.org

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Banks & Money Exchange

Banks
While most banks have automated teller machines, only Barclays Bank offers ATMs that accept foreign cards. This could be a problem because there are only two Barclays Banks in Belize – one in Belize City and the other in Dangriga.
Banking Hours: 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Currencies / money exchange
The local currency is the Belizean dollar (BZD). Most restaurants, markets, and other service providers will readily accept US dollars. They will generally give you change in Belizean dollars unless you request otherwise.
Accepted Forms of Payment: US Dollars and US travellers cheques accepted throughout Belize. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted at resorts and most restaurants on the mainland but supermarkets in Placencia and restaurants at the cayes will require cash.

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Activities & Sports

Fishing
Game fishing charters and local, inner reef charter services are available. Thereare plenty of fish to be caught within the main reef. When trolling, you can catch tuna, wahoo, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, dorado, and barracuda. Bottom fishing has rewards of snapper and grouper. We have local suppliers who can rent a good quality rod, reel and lures for USD 10 per day. Hand lines are also available.
Note: Due to Belize fishing laws, charterers who are interested in fishing for leisure or sport must hold a sport fishing licence. The licence fee is USD 25 per week. Penalties for non-compliance can be a fine of USD 250 or six months imprisonment, or bothYou can buy a fishing licence at the base.

Spearfishing
Spearfishing guns are legal only when free-diving. No tanks allowed when using spearguns. Big fines and prison terms will apply if you are caught spearfishing with scuba diving equipment. Also, it's totally ILLEGAL with scuba equipment or any type of fishing equipment within Marine Reserves and punishable by up to five years in prison.
Lobster
The lobster closed season runs from midnight 14 February to midnight on 15 June.

Snorkelling or diving
Snorkelling gear is provided at this location. Please check for availability of children’s sizes. You may wish to pack your own snorkelling gear.

Scuba-diving packages are available from several local dive operations. Go Sea Tours is a reputable local dive operator. Please note that dive rental gear is subject to availability during the season.

You may also contact the base for details of other operators. 

Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards
Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available at the base and can be ordered in advance through your Moorings Holiday Planner.

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Cruising Information

Bareboat cruising requirements: To charter in Belize without a skipper, you must fill out an application to obtain a Temporary Certificate of Competency and Disclosure and send it along with a colour copy of your passport and a clear head-shot picture.  Your application will be submitted to the Belizean Port Authorities. This “Temporary Certificate of Competency & Disclosure” is required for all bareboat charters in Belize.  

Cruising guide: We do not currently offer a cruising guide for Belize. You can purchase one at Landfall Navigation or any other online store.  We are accepting suggestions for a preferred recommendation. If you have a recommendation, please fill out our submission form on our Contact Us page.

Marina information
Local dockage facilities:
Soulshine Resort dock. Lagoon side Placencia Village, Roberts Grove dock. Lagoon side, Seine Bight village.
Placencia Sailing Club (Chabil Mar Marina) south of base in lagoon
The Placencia Marina, ocean side north of Maya Beach
The Reserve Marina, located in the Sapodilla Lagoon
Cucmber Beach Marina, south of Belize Ciy

Tax / cruising permits
There are marine park fees in effect in large parts of our cruising grounds and a flat rate of USD 10 per person per day applies in all of them now, including at Laughing Bird Caye. These fees are not for use of the mooring buoys, which are now in place in some of the cayes, but are simply a fee to be in the marine reserve*; these fees also apply to people staying on cayes within the marine reserve.

The marine reserves in the southern cruising grounds are the following:

  • South Water Caye Marine Reserve – stretches from the Tobacco Range in the north through Southwater and Twin Cayes, Blue Ground Range, Pelican and Lagoon, south as far as Crawl Caye and all places in between
  • Gladden Spit/Silk Cayes* Marine Reserve – From Gladden Spit* south to and including Queen Cayes
  • Laughing Bird Caye*
  • Sapodilla Cayes* – stretching from Tom Owens in the north to Sapodilla Caye* in the south and out to Seal Caye in the west

*These reserves require guides for entry and have a daily fee.  Our Belize base will go over these requirements during the charter briefing and share the ways we can get tour guides to the yachts you would like to enter those reserves. They will also be able to suggest alternative snorkelling sites.

Although the base can assist in securing a guide for your yacht, this will be an additional expense that the charterer must pay. This includes entry for daytime activities, as well as overnight stays. The cost of a guide will vary depending on how we get him/her out to the yacht. If they accompany a boat going out to the reserve and we can arrange a minimal cost for the transport to and from the reserve, the guide will cost around USD 50; if we have to arrange transport to the reserve, the guide will cost around USD 150. 

Mooring balls
Three moorings in the Pelican Cayes range near Hideaway Caye
Three moorings on the east side of Thatch Caye Resort
Three moorings on the west side of Thatch Caye Resort in the Inner Channel
11 moorings at Hatchet Caye, USD 15 per night

Electricity information
No shore power for yachts.
There is a 12V cigarette lighter outlet by the chart table on most of our yachts.
Electrical system: 110V AC.

Sailing area restrictions

The Belize authorities take the protection of their reefs very seriously and you must ensure you are aware of and understand the strict sailing area restrictions and regulations of where sailing is prohibited; make sure you stay well clear of the reefs at all times during your charter. Please be aware that if you damage the reef during your charter the Belize authorities have the option of imposing fines and/or confiscating your passport, with potential criminal implications, until such time as any fine or resolution is achieved.

You will be required to read and sign the Belize Temporary Certificate of Competence Application & Disclosure after you book to confirm that you are aware of the restrictions. Rest assured that we will provide a detailed chart briefing at the base to clearly identify the restricted areas before you sail.

All charters are restricted to sailing inside the barrier reef.
Restricted zones – Glover's reef, Turneffe reef and Lighthouse reef. Local skippers must be on board for any and all excursions outside the barrier reef.
Tom Owens – A definite red area for our boats: approach is difficult and full of reefs and we discourage people from going there.
Cruising information – Charterers will receive a sailing chart that outlines red zones for the cruising ground.

Sailing to Guatemala
There is no restriction on sailing to Guatemala, but the following details need to be pointed out to our clients.

  • They will most definitely have to stay in marinas overnight as there is a form of piracy on Dulce River (Rio Dulce) itself.
  • Clearing out of Belize can be quite time-consuming and frustrating.
  • They would need to go to Big Creek (near Placencia) to clear out with customs, then take a taxi to Mango Creek to clear out with immigration.
  • On their return they will also need to clear in with the BAHA (Belize Agricultural Authority) and stand a very good chance of all fresh produce and meats being confiscated, regardless of whether it was purchased in Belize or not.
  • In Guatemala, they would need to clear in at Livingston, and it's recommended that when they leave Livingston to enter the Dulce River (Rio Dulce), they secure the services of a local fisherman as guide as it can be quite tricky.
  • Naturally, they would be responsible for all expenses incurred. Generally when our clients go to Guatemala, they go with a local skipper who can deal with all the frustrations and legwork.
  • The approximate cost for the above mentioned immigration and customs fees is BZD 100 per boat and an additional BZD 30 per passenger. 

Interesting sites

Please visit the Itinerary page for more of the best places to visit on your trip.
Most Popular Places to Visit: Anchorages in the southern cruising grounds of Belize are quiet and isolated.
Restaurants are located on South Water Caye, King Lewey's Caye on Slasher Sand Bore and Ranguana Caye. Advance arrangements must be made for the latter two.
A small resort has recently opened in the Blue Ground Range. Arrangements can be made with the operators for a pick up from Nicholas Caye. No Name Point is good for a pick up to tour Monkey River.

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Provisioning (Food & Drink for your boat)

Moorings Provisioning
This destination offers the convenience of The Moorings Provisioning Service! Let The Moorings take all the hassle out of provisioning your yacht with the highest quality beverages, fresh foods, and non-food items. Order complete packages when booking online or over the phone. Or choose to order online from our Online Provisioning Store which also offers all packages and an extensive à la carte inventory. We’ll coordinate the details and guarantee that everything is aboard your yacht when you arrive. Visit our Provisioning Page to learn more.

*Restocking near Placencia can be difficult and costly. Water can be purchased from Placencia Harbour, but is expensive and subject to availability throughout the rest of the cruising grounds. If you are making arrangements with a dive shop, we recommend asking them to bring out ice on the dive boat if you are in need. 

Supermarkets
Supermarkets are located in Placencia Village. Supermarkets are generally open daily and the hours of operation vary based on the day of the week and the supermarket. All supermarkets accept Visa and Mastercard. 
Publix supermarket in Seine Bight Village, about a 15-minute walk from the base.
Most other supermarkets are open from 8.00 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and seldom closed on public holidays.

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Health & Safety

Travel insurance
Moorings offers “Charter Care” which is a comprehensive travel insurance scheme for your complete peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, please make sure that it covers all of the destinations and activities on your Moorings holiday.

Vaccination and immunization information
It's a good idea to check with your doctor for recommendations of optional or required inoculations and health precautions. However, for the most current information on immunizations and heath risks, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Currently, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers over one year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers who have transitted through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Additional information can also be found at the World Health Organization

Medical facilities
The nearest hospital to Placencia is in Dangriga – the next town.
Dangriga Hospital
Dangriga, Belize, C.A.
Tel: +501 5 22084
Travel time from Dangriga to Placencia varies from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on road conditions. Medical care for minor conditions is generally available in urban areas. Trauma or advanced medical care is limited even in Belize City; it's extremely limited or unavailable in rural areas. Serious injuries or illnesses often necessitate evacuation to another country.

Travel Advisory

A Travel Advisory is in place for Belize.  For complete details please visit Gov.UK

 

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*Please note that country entry/exit and vaccination/immunisation requirements can and do change. The Moorings is not accountable for these requirement changes and we advise visiting the destination’s authority website to receive the latest updates.

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