Raggamuffin has put together this amazing adventure to access the more remote/ inaccessible parts of Belize’s reef to showcase some of her best snorkeling and fishing areas! The tour takes the route from Caye Caulker and finishes in Placencia (the tour is never undertaken in reverse – however there is the opportunity to travel back with the boat for those who are directionally challenged), remaining in the inner reef to allow for calm sailing waters.
The trip is designed as an island hopping adventure for all those want to experience this uninhabited Caribbean paradise. The adventure will take place over a period of three days and passengers will spend the night on beautiful Rendezvous Caye and Tobacco Cayes whilst visiting Goffs Caye or English Caye and South Water Caye.
During the day the sailboat will gently cruise through Belize’s crystal clear waters and picture postcard scenery whilst stopping to snorkel at least twice each day. Snorkeling opportunities can be maximized by those who are passionate snorkelers by additionally snorkeling around Rendezvous Caye and Tobacco Caye the afternoon they arrive and the morning before they depart.
Fishing is also an additional element to the trip. We carry with us hand lines, trawling rods, spin rods and a spear gun. For those passengers whose passion it is for fishing, this is an ideal opportunity to trawl off the boats, spin cast on the islands and to experience spear fishing! For fly fisherman, although whilst we are on the boat there is no way of accessing the flats, whilst on Rendezvous and Tobacco Caye the flats off these islands are abundant! (We do not provide fly fishing equipment for the trip).
During the evenings the crew will put together a camp fire and often toast marshmallows and watch the stars. The trip is a simple camping trip with Raggamuffin supplying all camping equipment with mats, sheets and pillows being provided. Passengers sleep in the units that they travel in ie on average 2 persons to each tent to allow for privacy. All sailboats are equipped with marine toilets.
For the smaller boats, additional fresh water is carried for the passengers to bathe. Of course, on Tobacco Caye on the second night, we provide shower and bathroom facilities! The water supply on Tobacco Caye is rainwater. This year we have invested in a new water tank and we have even taken the time to purchase water from the mainland to insure that our guests have fresh water to bathe in a year which has been excessively dry.
For many the quality of the food on the trip is a pleasant surprise! In season we will be providing lobster and conch and throughout the year shrimp and obviously there is plenty of fish. For those who do not eat fish we can provide chicken and for vegetarians the guides also make provisions – do not worry!
The trip includes all snorkeling equipment, camping gear and food and beverages. The cost of this package is $350US per person. Typically there are no group discounts. Trips depart regularly throughout the year on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Please note, trips running over Xmas and New Year and therefore will have an increased price of $400US. This increase of $50US will go directly to the crew to compensate them from being away from their friends and families over these holidays. All other departures are the standard price.
For many of those who ask why we do not run the trip from South to North ie from Placencia to Caye Caulker the answer is simple. The trips geography make it far more successful from North to South. Winds, currents and even the island geography lean towards this structure.
The return leg of the journey is undertaken without passengers and at night with no stops taking from between 12 – 14 hours. Occasionally the crew will permit the ‘die hard sea experienced passenger’ to return with the boat but this is down to the decision of the Captain. This is not the most direct method but it is by far the most time consuming and exhausting method of returning to Caye Caulker!!
The bus back to Belize City departs hourly and the express bus is both cost effective at $9US and only takes three and a half hours – the journey is both painless and picturesque!!
The weather is a vital component to the trips success however it is almost impossible to be 100% accurate about the weather. For a trip to be confirmed we need to be forecast that the rainfall is minimal. Cloud cover is not a reason to cancel a trip as clouds rarely stay around for more than a morning or an afternoon for us coastally. However heavy rain for more than a morning or an afternoon is reason to either cancel the trip or even postpone.
Determining an accurate weather forecast will be done the eve of the trip, often in the afternoon. To do this we take advice from the Belize Met office in person. They have recently acquired a Doppler radar which gives far more accuracy than many of our Caribbean counterparts. Due to the fact that weather can vary widely for the coast and for inland (which forecast are mainly put together for) we take the time to ring the Chief Forecaster directly and get their opinion.
We reserve the right to postpone or cancel a trip if this information gives us to believe that the trips success will be compromised due to the weather. This being said, most of the year we have good weather, with only rainfall at night and little or none during the day!
Dropping off at Tobacco Caye
Tobacco Caye has its own charm and many of our passengers ask that they want a ‘ride’ to Tobacco Caye. The quickest way to Tobacco Caye is by bus to Dangriga and then a water taxi ride to the island – the Raggamuffin tour is an adventure and not a means of transportation!
However, for those who want to undertake the adventure and then want to remain at Tobacco Caye, this is possible. These passengers stay with the crew and the boat whilst they remain on the island and therefore they are undertaking the ‘lions share’ of the trip, missing out on the last day only. For this the costs for the passenger are the same as if they completed the trip and therefore the discount for dropping off at Tobacco Caye is small – the cost of this shorter version is $325US.
This shorter route can also be used for passengers who have to say catch a plane on the third day as the departure date of the trip does not quite fit into their schedule ie if a passenger wants to take the Tuesday trip yet their flight out of the country is on Thursday. The passenger can depart Tobacco Caye on the regular taxi at 8.30am arriving in Dangriga at 9am. Depending on what time their flight departs there is either the bus (approx 3 hours to Belize City) or the flight (20 minutes).
Back to Caye Caulker ..
The bus – this four hour journey takes you on the Hummingbird Highway with some of the more scenic landscapes in Belize. The express bus departs Placencia at 6.30am and is approximately $9US. The Caye Caulker Water Taxi and the San Pedro Water Taxi offers boats to Caye Caulker.
The boat – as mentioned above, it is possible for passengers to travel back with the boat.
Into Guatemala via Cayo ..
This journey is undertaken by bus and is actually the same distance as one would travel direct from Caye Caulker to Cayo (approx 4 hours).