On your self-guided Kayak Rental, we suggest taking a motorboat to Tobacco Caye and beginning the paddling trip from there. Water taxis are available from Dangriga to Tobacco Caye for $20 US per person and run from approximately 9 am to noon each day. You can talk with your IE Trip Planner about chartering a motorboat to Tobacco or other Cayes to begin and end your trip. We also suggest arriving in Dangriga at least a day early and giving yourself enough time to collect food and supplies in town.
Belize has an variety of fresh and dry foods and local, North American and European snack foods. It is a good idea to stock up on basic dry foods in Dangriga where you can readily find rice, beans, flour, biscuits, breads and canned goods. Fruit and fresh vegetables are readily available. The local open air market in Dangriga is open Monday to Saturday each week and is a good place to pick-up fresh supplies. We can provide you with a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable order form on arrival into Dangriga so that you can have these fresh food items delivered to our office and sent out to Tobacco Caye with your gear.
Cooking on the Cayes
We suggest taking a camp stove with you for cooking food as firewood is not easily found on the cayes. We have MSR Whisperlite and Trangia Cookset stoves available for rent. White gas/Naphtha can be found in Dangriga, other fuel sources are not as easy to find in Belize.
When paddling in the tropics hydration is your primary concern. Because of very limited supply of potable drinking water on the Cayes it is essential you have an ample water supply to keep you hydrated for the duration of your trip. Please bring your own water bags or let us know if you would like to rent these from us. We suggest planning for at least half a gallon, or 2 litres of fresh water, per person per day.
While most of mainland Belize’s water is potable, water on the Cayes is of unknown origin and therefore suspect. We recommend that any water you are unsure of be treated with some kind of water purification system. The treatment we use is called Pristine (www.pristine.ca) which is a Chorine Dioxide based system and can be found at most outdoor travel outfitters. Water purification options are readily available in North America so plan to bring this along with you.
Our Operations Base in Dangriga monitors a Marine VHF radio and if you bring your own VHF marine band radio you may be able to communicate with our Dangriga base while on the Cayes. Contact our office 1-800-667-1630 for more details. Cellular phones work from many areas along the reef. A clear line of site to one of the cel towers on the mainland is important.
*NOTE: there is no VHF channel broadcasting weather conditions in Belize. It is important that you check weather conditions BEFORE you depart for the reef.
Belize Marine Charts
For the most accurate information regarding the Belize Barrier Reef we recommend the British Admiralty series of marine charts. For paddling on the Southern Barrier Reef, as well as in and around Dangriga, you should obtain the following chart:
British Admiralty Chart #1797 - Monkey River to Colson Point. It may be found in your area or you can contact Maritime Services in Vancouver, BC and they can send it to you in advance.
MARITIME SERVICES LTD.—WEBSITE: HTTP://MARITIMESERVICES.CA/
Hotel stays may be needed before or after your kayak trip in either Dangriga or Belize City. Below are some suggestions we recommend. They are chosen for their location and good value:
The Bonefish Hotel: 15 Mahogany St, Dangriga Town, Stann Creek, Belize
Tel: 011-501-522-2243 Email: Reservations@BlueMarlinBeachResort.com
*The Bonefish Hotel is a nice hotel at a fair price located centrally in Dangriga, just a few blocks from our office.
Pal’s Guesthouse: 868 Magoon Street, Dangriga Town, Stann Creek, Belize
Tel: 011-501-522-2365 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.palsbelize.com
*Pal’s is an economically-priced rustic guest house and good for a quick, basic single night stay. It doesn’t offer amenities or a restaurant. It is a few doors away from our office.
Belize Biltmore Hotel: 3-1/2 miles Northern Highway, Belize City, Belize, Central America
Email: email@example.com Website: www.belizebiltmore.com
*A clean, comfortable, and moderately priced hotel outside the city center. Newly renovated with central courtyard and a swimming pool.
On reef trips you will likely be camping on islands of varying size and character. Often the islands have coconut trees and white coral sands, other times a large part of the island may be covered with mangroves. To ensure a good night’s sleep, a quality sleeping pad (Thermarest or equivalent) will help smooth out uneven terrain. A pillow can be made from a jacket/sweater stuffed into a pillowcase. A small length of nylon cord (15-20 ft) makes an excellent clothesline to dry out your wet gear and air out bedding. A lightweight sleeping bag or blanket and sheet will be more comfortable than a bulky sleeping bag as well as being easier to pack into a kayak.
Camping Fees & Park Fees
When paddling and camping inside the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, guests should expect to pay park fees and camping fees when applicable. If you come across member of Belize’s fisheries department, they will ask for payment of $5 US per person, per day while you’re in the reserve, up to a maximum of $15 each (make sure to keep your receipt to prevent paying again). Camping fees can range from $5-20 per person, per night on privately owned islands. when camping on different islands.
Snorkeling: While out snorkeling it is very important that you not touch any of the corals, whether alive or dead. Although it may seem harmless, oils from our hands can effect living tissue on both soft and hard corals. Also, there are many species of corals which are dangerous and can sting or burn when touched, so please do NOT touch the coral. Also, please avoid touching the sandy bottom with your fins while snorkeling in areas where there are live corals. The sand and sediment kicked up from your fins will damage the corals. If you need to stop or rest or adjust your mask while snorkeling please turn over on your back and keep a horizontal position in the water.
Walking on the Barrier Reef: While out paddling and snorkeling, please do NOT walk on the Barrier Reef. Although it appears the Barrier Reef is made of dead coral, the truth is there are many invertebrates and smaller creatures living among the rubble zone and walking on it can either damage or kill some of these creatures. It is forbidden to walk on the reef anywhere in Belize. Please respect the corals!