Travel Guide: Sailing in Belize with Raggamuffin

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

It is the year 2013, we are on the beach in Nice (France) and talk about the beautiful trips we want to make in the future. Ries says that he would like to go sailing in the tropics and I would like to go to the Caribbean. As we walk to the sea, we promise each other that within the next five years, we will make a sailing trip in the Caribbean.

Flash forward to the year 2018. We have just booked our tickets to Guatemala and Belize when we see that the company Raggamuffin* offers sailing trip along the many islands around the Caribbean Sea. Wauw, this feels meant to be and so we decide to join them on one of their famous adventures! In this blog, I will tell you everything about our sailing trip with Raggamuffin!

Islands Belize Raggamuffin


Departure from Caye Caulker

After first having spent a few nice days on Caye Caulker, we sail out from this nice island at 08.00 in the morning. The evening before we have had a briefing, where we got to know the crew and of course our fellow passengers. We have a nice and versatile group with people from Australia, Canada, Austria, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. In total, we are with sixteen passengers and three crew members. Captain Shawn, cook Chris and fisherman Reef immediately create a cosy atmosphere! They play ragga music and in the meantime tell about the Caribbean sea, the animals that live here and how our route will be.

We sail within the reef, so the sea is nice and calm. On some spots, it is so shallow that we see large fish and sometimes even rays swimming in the turquoise water. The weather is great and soon we climb on top of the roof of the sailboat to relax in the sun. We sail these days on the Raggaqueen, a beautiful blue sailboat. I start chatting to the Australian Lisa, Austrian Ela and the Dutch Laura. Meanwhile, Ries is on the deck trying to catch some fish together with other guys. Occasionally we hear delighted growls and when they catch one.Raggamuffin Belize sailing

After a few hours of sailing, it is time for our first stop. We arrive at a beautiful place for snorkelling. The group splits into two and swims behind either Shawn or Reef. The latter has a harpoon with him and soon catches a lobster under water. It is very impressive to see how these guys with just one breath can dive a few meters deep, swim around for minutes, and then shoot a fish or lobster with their harpoon. Besides lobsters, we see a lot of rays, coral, beautiful fish and a few turtles. After having played in the water for an hour, and marvelling at all the different fish, we go back on board. Exactly in time for lunch! Chris, the cook has gone to great lengths and full plates with rice, vegetables and chicken are served. After lunch, we climb again on the roof to sunbathe and chat.

This is how we spent the rest of the day as well. We swim, snorkel and come along beautiful islands. When we are on the boat, we get to know each other, we read books or dance to the ragga music that Shawn plays. During the golden hour, the hour before sunset, happy hour begins. We drink sweet rum punch and eat ceviche from the lobster that is caught this afternoon. Delicious!

Raggamuffin crew belize

Sleeping on a dream island!

During sunset, we arrive at the island where we are going to sleep tonight. It is exactly what you imagine from a tropical island: white sand, swaying palm trees, straw huts and turquoise water. In short, the perfect place to sleep tonight! We quickly set up our tents and Ries makes some pictures of the sunset. I plot our tent so that we can watch the sunrise from the entrance tomorrow morning.

The dinner the crew serves is delicious again. The fish they caught today is served with vegetables and rice. We drink more than enough rum punch and end the evening with a game Uno with over eleven people. Hilarious since everyone has slightly different rules. Around 10 pm we go back to our tent. From a day at sea with all the sun and the salt, you get tired so we fall fast asleep.

Ries wakes up in the middle of the night. He has set an alarm clock to photograph the stars, the sky is clear and the view is amazing. Then he crawls back into bed and we wake up the next morning with a beautiful sunrise. It is really magical to see that orange ball above the sea!

Sleeping Raggamuffin tent Belize

Spearfishing and dolphins!

After a good breakfast and a drone moment to capture this beautiful island, we board the boat again. Today we will go snorkelling in different places again. In addition, we receive a special lesson today: spearfishing. After a brief explanation, Shawn jumps into the water with us and everyone who wants to can try to shoot a fish. It turns out to be a lot harder than expected, and unfortunately, no one hits. But, just before we depart this spot, Reef comes swimming back with a huge barracuda that he shot. Perfect for lunch!

Meanwhile, we sail in an area where many more islands are located. From afar we see them, some have a few houses located on them, sometimes they are so small that there is only a palm tree. At one of the islands, we have a break to look around. There are only a few small houses and there is one bar. The residents sit quietly on their veranda or stand to fish. The island atmosphere makes it really relaxed here.

When we leave again, we suddenly see two dolphins in the distance. So beautiful to see their fins above the waves. Unfortunately, they swim in a different direction, but an hour later we have a lot more luck: There is suddenly a small school of dolphins swimming with us. Everyone runs to the front of the boat, where the dolphins swim along the bow. For over half an hour they play with each other and with the boat, they seem to have a lot of fun. It is great to see those beautiful shiny bodies that gracefully cut through the water. This is one of the things I really wanted to experience, I love dolphins, and to see them from so close is a real dream! It is the perfect end of the second day!

Also tonight we sleep on a beautiful island and after dinner, a few glasses of rum and a lot of games, we fall asleep in our tent.

Fish in Belize

Manatees

Our last day has arrived! We have a bit more time this morning and because there are some kayaks and Ries likes to make some nice drone shots, I step into the kayak to sail around the island. Actually, quite a hilarious moment, since I don’t really like kayaking, but because Ries isn’t shooting the right photo’s fast enough, I sail more than three laps around the island. Oh well, everything for a photo ;-).

drone kayaking Belize raggamuffin

Today we stay close to this island and first visit a nearby island which is a bird nature reserve. There are hundreds of birds and we see large pelicans and other beautiful birds. Then we sail to another nature reserve in search of manatees. These creatures are pretty shy, but we are lucky, suddenly we see one coming over the water. Unfortunately, there are crocodiles in the water so we can not go into it to see the animal up close.

In another place, we go snorkelling one last time and then we sail back to the island we slept last night. Here we get a nice lunch and relax in the sun. At three o’clock it’s time to go, there is a speed boat ready that will take us to Dangriga in over half an hour. We say goodbye to the crew, make one last group photo and then we step into the speedboat. After arriving in Dangriga we also say goodbye to the group. And so we end our sailing trip. The last three days were a wonderful adventure! An adventure that was certainly the highlight of our trip to Belize and that we can recommend to everyone!

Raggamuffin sailing Belize


Practical information

Sounds amazing this sailing trip from Raggamuffin, right? Below you will find some practical information if you want to join Raggamuffin on one of there tours as well!

What are you taking along?

As little as possible*. Your backpacks will be put in storage in the lower part of the boat (well packed), but you can not access them in the coming days. You will have to pack all the things you need for these three days in a backpack / waterproof bag. You will have access to this bag any time. We took the following things with us:

two sets of light clothing
sleeping shirt
twice swimwear
twice underwear
two towels
cap
sunglasses
raincoat (just in case)
 lots of sunscreen
toothbrush + toothpaste
baby oil (against the sandflies)
deodorant
facewash
seasickness pills / other medications
snorkel and mask
 camera
drone
Go Pro + stabilizer
phone (on day two you will have a connection)
extra battery
e-reader
two inflatable cushions 

We transported all of this in my North Face daypack and in a waterproof bag.

* A day before departure you will have a briefing in which you will be told what you have to take with you and what the days will look like.Sailing Belize

Where do you sleep?

In the most beautiful place ever. Do you see the picture below? This was one of the islands where we slept. Wonderful right? The first night you sleep in tents. You get bedding (two sheets per person) and a mattress (no pillow, so bring that yourself). You also set up your tent yourself. We slept really well and when we woke up, we saw a beautiful sunrise from our tent!

The second night you can choose to sleep in a dormitory with bunk beds or again in a tent. There is also the option to sleep in a private room for $ 100 (per two persons). We also slept again the second night in a tent and that was again great!Belize drone Raggamuffin islands

What do you eat?

Oooo the food, mouthwatering! Fresh caught fish, fruit, ceviche, lobster and a lot of vegetables! The food during this three-day trip was the best of our entire trip through Guatemala and Belize. We did not feel hungry for a moment, there was always something tasty ready. We were allowed to catch our own fish and Shawn taught us spearfishing and caught lobsters and barracudas. In the evening we drank sweet Rumpunch, or we mixed our own drinks.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, that is not a problem. Tell them in advance, so they will take care of special food.Belize food Raggamuffin

Where do you depart and where do you return?

You depart at 08.00AM from Caye Caulker (an island off the coast of Belize). Then you will be taken to the coastal town of Dangriga with a speed boat at around 3.30 pm three days later. This place is south to Belize city. From here you can take a bus to Belize city (2 to 3 hours for € 15) or to Hopkins (1 hour). Here you can find the bus schedules. It is not possible to return to Caye Caulker by boat. You can also fly from Dangriga to various places in Belize with Maya Air and Tropic Air.

We initially planned to go to Belize city by bus from 16.30, but this would mean arriving into the city at dark. Belize city is known as an unsafe place, so in the end, we decided to fly. In advance, we were afraid not to be in time for the flight, but when we arrived at the tiny airport it turned out to be no problem at all. And so we got for only € 45 per person in a small propeller plane and we made a breathtaking flight of just 20 minutes.Belize tropical islands

Cost?

For a three-day (two-night) sailing trip you pay $400 USD per person. That may sound like a lot of money, but this includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, lots of snacks and rum. In addition, you visit the most beautiful islands that you normally wouldn’t be able to see, and you get high-quality snorkelling gear. Also, activities and nature reserves are included in this amount. So when you consider what’s included, it’s not that much at all.

Please note that during the Christmas holidays (21-12 to 11-01) a surcharge of $50 per person applies. This amount goes directly to the staff because they have to work during the holidays.

A tip for the crew is not included in this amount. Keep this in mind when you want to give a tip.

Interested? Then take a look at the website of Raggamuffin or send them a message.Raggamuffin


Conclusion: our most beautiful days in Belize!

This sailing trip was amazing! These three days were definitely the highlight of our time in Belize and we would recommend this to everyone! The beautiful islands that you get to see, the beautiful underwater life and the continuous outdoors in the sun is top notch. The food was delicious and our group was super nice. And maybe the best: the crew! Shawn, Reef and Chris were really the best! They ensured that we never lacked anything, that there was the best reggae music and that there was always load of fun!


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Sailing Raggamuffin Belize


* We were guests of Raggamuffin, however, everything above is true to me, as always I reflect my own opinion and experience.


Here you will find all my blogs on Belize

 

Travel guide: Everything you need to know before visiting Tikal!
Budget tips: What did we spend in Belize?

3 Comments

  1. by C. Randen on 27 December 2018  05:52 Reply

    Absolutely amazing looking trip! I am going to check out Raggamuffin. Thank you for the great article and pics!

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 27 December 2018  18:57 Reply

      Ooo what a nice comment!! It definitely was an amazing trip! Are you planning a trip to Belize as well?

  2. by C. Randen on 29 December 2018  05:49 Reply

    I do not have anything planned yet, but I would like to get there in the near future to do some scuba diving and see the islands.

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