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Belize is blessed with some wonderful cruising grounds. Steady yet gentle trade winds, combined with protected internal passages and innumerable isolated islands and anchorages, make this a perfect place to explore by boat. Cruising options in Belize range from bareboat charters of modern catamarans and monohulls to funky converted Belizean fishing sloops pressed into the snorkel-and-sunset cruise market. Belize is also a major port of call for many Caribbean cruise lines.

Virtually any section of Belize's coast and its outlying cayes and barrier reef are perfect for sailing. At nearly every beach or dive destination, it is possible to get out on the water for a cruise. Given the choice, I'd say the more remote and isolated cayes of southern Belize are the best places to venture out to sea. The two operations listed below are by far your best bets for bareboat cruising.

Yacht Outfitters

With operations in both Placencia and Ambergris Caye, TMM (tel. 800/633-0155 in the U.S., or 226-3026; www.sailtmm.com) offers mostly catamarans, with the option for either bareboat or crewed chartering.

The Moorings (tel. 888/952-8420 in the U.S. and Canada, or 523-3351; www.moorings.com) has its main base in Placencia. They offer bareboat and crewed charters on both monohull and catamaran yachts.

Depending on the season and boat size, rates for a bareboat run between US$2,000 and US$7,000 (£1,060-£3,710) per week, and crewed charters cost from US$3,000 to US$9,000 (£1,590-£4,770) per week.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.