Watersports are a great way to enjoy Belize’s waters and add fun and adventure to your vacation. The steady winds and relatively calm waters provided by the barrier reef make for smooth sailing off the coast. Windsurfing is popular and boards are often seen racing across the shoreline. The small catamaran Hobicats are great for a cruise in the afternoon. The relatively new sport of kite surfing uses sleek traction kites that offer a lot of speed and air on your board. Jet-skies are a lot of fun and anyone can ride them; cruise along the shoreline or head towards the barrier reef for some snorkeling. Parasailing will take you up into the sky for spectacular aerial views. Kayaks are popular because of their versatility. You can take it around an island to explore, often spotting birds and wildlife along the shoreline. Embark on an island-hopping expedition on kayaks where you camp out on the beach. Or paddle to the reef, anchor your kayak on a buoy and enjoy some snorkeling. The many rivers that etch through the jungle are also excellent for watersports. You can paddle along calm waters and observe wildlife along the banks, while the more adventurous might try the various classes of white-water rapids.
Watersports Equipment & Weather
The water conditions and weather are generally great for watersports and equipment is easy to come across. Off the northern islands like Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, the barrier reef (less than a mile off the shoreline) creates calm protected waters. Close to the shore there is some chop for bumps and jumps. Near the reef it’s smooth for getting high speeds. Finally, the channels through the reef form large waves when the winds pick up. The wind averages between 12 and 20 knots with February through June brining the highest wind speeds. Further south, off the coastal beaches like Dangriga and Placencia, the water is generally calm in the morning with good waves forming later in the day as winds pick up. Several rivers wind through the land and are usually explored on kayaks or canoes. Some of the most scenic rivers include Monkey, Macal, Mopan, Rio Grande, Temash, Caves Branch, Sittee and New River. Along stretches of some rivers, like the Macal and Mopan, you can find white-water rapids ranging through different classes, from easy to difficult. Most beachfront resorts on the islands, atolls and coastal beaches (as well as jungle lodges beside rivers or lakes) offer complimentary use of watersports equipment. Courses are also available for various equipment like windsurfing boards, sailboats and kite boards.