No toilets, showers, or electricity for 3 days?
SIGN ME UP!
Well, that’s not exactly how things went down.
A few months before my trip, I was doing some research on things to do in Belize. I somehow stumbled on a 3-day sailing Trip down the remote Cayes(pronounced Keys) of Belize. I had a goal to try something new in each country I visited, so this seemed like the perfect fit.
I was hesitant though. Sailing for 3 days? The longest I’d ever been on a boat was for 8 hours and I was struggling with that. How would I manage to be on a boat for 3 days? What if I got sea-sick?
It’s hard for me to make a decision on anything like this without reading reviews, so I pulled up TripAdvisor. The trip had 5 stars and people were saying it was the highlight of their time in Belize. There was hardly any mention of the uncomfortable aspects that went naturally came along with sailing.
After a few days of contemplation, I emailed Raggamuffin Tours. I figured I could handle the small discomforts if all of these other people could. I arranged the trip and counted down the days until this new adventure. I could hardly believe it - I'd be island hopping in the Caribbean!
LEAVING CAYE CAULKER
On my 7th morning in Belize, I met at the designated dock to drop my bag off with the crew. On one hand, I was bummed to be leaving Caye Caulker. On the other hand, I was excited to go sailing for the first time.
We removed our shoes before entering the boat and never saw them until we left the boat on our final day.
An even mix of couples, friends, and solo travelers stepped onto the boat. I believe I was the youngest on board. The crew, all born & bred in Belize, welcomed us aboard the ‘No-Stress Express’ as we greeted each other.
I knew this was going to a good time when they pulled out never-ending trays of fresh fruit and buckets of snacks.
On the particular day that we set off, the sun was shining in a perfect way - not too harsh, but just right. The Captain threw on some Reggae tunes and we started cruising.
We retreated into our own corners of the white sailboat, some of us on the deck above and some on the net hanging just at the front of the boat.
We were quite literally "smooth sailing". I didn't feel a hint of sea-sickness and I was way too relaxed to think about when my next shower would be. I spent time writing, reading, and thinking - all without distractions. This is a rarity in today’s world. I mean, I can hardly write this blog post without pulling up 8 tabs and picking up my phone to scroll on Instagram. So, it felt really good.
I’d often stare far off into the distance - in complete awe of the endless turquoise colored waves.
Was this even real life?
We’d watch the crew throw out their hook and line to catch what would hopefully be our next meal. They'd hand us spear guns, encouraging us to help them out. There was a tiny kitchen in the boat and Chef Larry would whip us up the best lunches, through some sort of sorcery.
Oh, and I haven’t mentioned the unlimited rum punch. It seemed that every hour the crew would yell out “RUM PUNCH!!!” and fill all of our cups to the brim.
We hardly had to lift a finger. The crew had it down. They told us our only job was to enjoy the views - above the water & below the water.
We'd make frequent stops to snorkel. The crew would split us into groups, showing us the best places to spot marine life. I'm not the best swimmer, so I was often at the back of the pack. Some people were even free-diving. Let's just say I sat that option out.
At one point, I found myself right above a stingray and I nearly died. See below.
A NIGHT AT RENDEZVOUZ CAYE
The sun & salt water definitely wore us out by the end of the day.
The boat slowed to a stop at Rendezvous Caye just before sunset. We were given tents and mats to pitch & set up on the white powdery sand. We had this tiny piece of paradise all to ourselves.
SLEEPING IN A TENT
This was my first time sleeping in a tent.
It turns out that I really enjoyed it - this was the first time I had a 'room' to myself after hopping from hostel to hostel for the past few weeks.
I was beyond happy to have my own little space, even if it was in a tent on the sand. It felt peaceful.
We gathered around the shore & watched as the blue sky slowly turned to a soft peach color. The sunset was absolutely breathtaking,
We all enjoyed a delicious dinner and got to know each other a bit more. Our group was pretty chill. It certainly wasn't a party boat.
Most people headed to sleep earlier and a few of us stayed up to hang out on the boat with the crew. The crew was always in such good spirits so they were such a joy to be around. I spent a lot of time getting to know them and trying to learn about their life in Belize.
Just before bed, I looked up at the stars and found myself so thankful for these moments.
DAY 2 - TEARS AT SUNRISE
The following morning, I rose with the sun.
I opened my tent to a pink-ish sunrise and nearly cried.
Look at that moon!
STOPPING AT TOBACCO CAYE
On Day 2, we did more snorkeling and made a stop at Tobacco Caye. This is a 3 acre, egg-shaped island that holds a population less than 30 people. When we arrived, the adults were hanging out at the island's only bar near the dock and the children were playing a game of volleyball.
The beautiful people of this tiny island wandered across the island barefoot - their dark skin glistening in the sun.
SLEEPING ON RAGGA CAYE
The snorkeling never stopped. We continued to explore the depths of the Caribbean sea.
My jaw continued to drop at every sight.
In between swimming, we were eating good and drinking better - to the sound of non-stop Reggae & Shane's(the crew member with dreads) constant singing.
By the end of night 2, we arrived at Ragga Caye. Here, we had the option to stay in a cabana or sleep in our tents. I surprised myself by opting for a tent again. After another dinner cooked by Chef Larry, we set up our tents right under the night sky.
I don't think I've ever seen stars so clearly.
BIRDWATCHING - WHO EVEN AM I?
On Day 3, we spent more time snorkeling. I told yall - I've never snorkeled so much in my life.
No complaints here though - it was incredible!
We even did a bit of bird watching. This was another first for me, and It was actually really fun! The crew never failed to show us the best of nature and wildlife.
THE FINAL DAY & VERDICT
By day 3, I felt so rejuvenated. Time had flown by, but I felt so grateful for this experience. I hardly recognized the negatives that I thought would be an issue before I decided to join this trip. Instead of seeing them as negatives, I saw them as simply being part of an unforgettable experience.I'm so glad that I didn't allow those things to hold me back, because this ended up being the highlight during my time in Belize.
Company: Raggamuffin tours
Pick-up point: Caye Caulker.
Drop-off point: Dangriga. There is no option to return to Caye Caulker with the crew for safety reasons.
Cost: an all-inclusive $400, which includes all meals, unlimited alcohol, pick up & drop off snorkeling gear, and all tent/sleeping equipment.
What to Bring: A day bag to put your clothes in, flip-flops, LOTS OF SUNSCREEN, a flashlight, multiple swimsuits, books, a hat, sunglasses, and an umbrella or poncho in case it rains.
PIN ME! ⇣⇣⇣
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disclaimer: when i reached out to raggamuffin, i requested a complimentary stay in exchange for a blog post. all opinions are my own.