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 care free. 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
8:00am – 5:00pm, 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 is approximately 45 minutes.
By taxi to Belize City; then by bus from Belize City to Placencia via Dangriga. Bus trip takes a minimum of 6 hours.

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

Due to the number of flights which we organize, The Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact your Vacation Planning Specialist 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 3 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.
Expiration date must be no earlier than 3 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 6:00pm (with evening start).
Briefing Times: Boat/chart Briefings are scheduled at 9:00am for noon starts / 4:00 pm for evening starts. All head charterers are required to attend the briefings.
Disembarkation: All charters end at 12:00 noon at 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 $56 USD per person is charged when leaving Belize; this must be paid in US Dollars ONLY. 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 $0.75 US 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 and 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 in Placencia will be charged. Car rentals in Belize range from $75 US to $85 US 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 cays (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 on the north by Mexico, on the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. It's separated by sea from its neighbor to the southwest, Honduras.
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 & 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 Laur 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: 8:30am - 12:00pm & 1:00pm - 4:00pm (Weekdays)

There is no post office at the Moorings Marina.
Rates to the US are: $0.30(USD) for letters
Rates to Europe are: $0.40(USD) for letters
First class mail between Belize and the US averates 8-10 days to delivery.
International Express mail from the US to Belize usually arrives in 3 business days; cost is $14.00.

Internet Connectivity
WiFi is available at The Moorings base in Belize
WiFi Connection at Thatch Cay Resort and Hatchet Cay

Cellular Phones
Guests who have Sprint or Verizon should check with their carrier before leaving the USA to make sure phones are set up for international roaming and they will then be able to use those phones in Belize. Coverage in outlying areas with this system appears to be somewhat better than the GSM network phones.

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: info@travelbelize.org
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: 8:00am – 2:00pm / M – F

Currencies / Money Exchange
Currency: The local currency is the Belizean dollar. 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 travelers checks accepted throughout. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted at resorts and most restaurants on the mainland but supermarkets in Placencia and restaurants at the cays will require cash.

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Activities & Sports

Fishing
Game fishing charters available; local inner reef charter services available. Fish life abounds within the main reef. When trolling, you can catch Tuna, Wahoo, Kingfish, Spanish Mackerel, Dorado, Barracuda. Bottom fishing has rewards of Snapper and Grouper. We have local suppliers who can rent a good quality rod, reel and lures for $10 USD 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 license. The fees are US$25 per week. Fines for non-compliance can/will be US$250 or 6 months, imprisonment or both. You may purchase these licenses at the base.

Spear Fishing
Spear fishing guns are legal only when free-diving. No tanks allowed when using spear guns. Big fines and prison terms will apply if caught using with tanks. Also, it's totally ILLEGAL with scuba equipment or any type of fishing equipment within Marine Reserves and punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Lobster
The lobster closed season runs from midnight February 14 to midnight June 15.

Snorkeling or Diving
Snorkeling gear is provided at this location. Please check availability for children’s sizes. You may wish to pack your own snorkeling gear.

Scuba diving packages are available through several dive operations in the area. 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 Paddle Boards
Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards are available at the base and can be ordered in advance through your Moorings Vacation Planning specialist.

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Cruising Information

Bareboat Cruising Requirements: To charter in Belize without a skipper, you must fill out this application to obtain a temporary Certificate of Competency and send it along with a color 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 is required for all bareboat charters in Belize.  

Cruising Guide: Currently, we do not offer a cruising guide for Belize.  You can purchase one on 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 $10 USD per person per day applies in all of them now, including at Laughing Bird Cay. These fees are not for use of the mooring buoys, which are now in place in some of the cays, but are simply a fee to be in the marine reserve* and these fees apply to people staying on cays there too.

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

  • South Water Cay 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 Cay and all places between
  • Gladden Spit/Silk Cayes* Marine Reserve - From Gladden Spit* south to and including Queen Cayes
  • Laughing Bird Cay*
  • Sapodilla Cayes* - stretching from Tom Owens in the north to Sapodilla Cay* in the south and out to Seal Cay 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 snorkeling 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 day-time 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 is going to cost about US$50; if we have to arrange transport to the reserve, it will cost in the region of US$150 for the guide. 

Mooring Balls
3 moorings in the Pelican Cayes range near Hideaway Cay
3 moorings on the east side of Thatch Cay Resort
3 moorings on the west side of Thatch Cay Resort in the Inner Channel
11 moorings at Hatchet Cay, $15 USD per night

Electricity Information
No shore power for yachts.
There is a 12V cigarette lighter outlet by the chart table on the majority of our yachts.
Electrical System: 110 volts AC.

Sailing Area Restrictions
All charters are restricted to sail 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 Immigrations.
  • 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 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), that 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 $100 per boat and an additional $30 pp. 

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 Cay,King Lewey's Cay on Slasher Sand Bore and Ranguana Cay. 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 Cay. 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 a 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 Harbor, 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. 

Supermakets
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 Vis and Mastercard. 
Publix supermarket in Seine Bight Village, about 15 minute walk from the base
Most other supermarkets: 8am - 10pm 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 of your Moorings vacation.

Vaccination and Immunization Information
There are no required inoculations for Belize, but it's a good idea to check with your physician for recommendations of optional inoculations and health precautions. However, for the most current information on immunizations and heath risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov/travel) maintains an international traveler’s hotline at 1-888-232-3228 or (404) 332-4559. Detailed traveler's advice on traveling abroad can also be found at www.cdc.gov/travel/index. This website is in English.

For Americans, useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
 

Medical Facilities
The closest hospital to Placencia is in Dangriga - the next town up.
Dangriga Hospital
Dangriga, Belize, C.A.
Tel: +501 5 22084
Travel time from Dangriga to Placencia varies from 1.5 - 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.

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*Please note country entry/exit and vaccination/immunization 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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