Sailing in Guatemala

OK, let’s be clear here – there won’t be much actual sailing going on in Guatemala!  The Rio Dulce is a river that goes from the Caribbean Sea into the jungle of Guatemala.  There are lots of shoal spots and a constant current that need to be negotiated. and with high cliffs, the winds will be flukey where they exist at all.  The river does widen into some inland lakes, but these have a lot of native water lilies… which could also prove hazardous to our prop, rudder and water intake!  We’ll be motoring most  of the time here.  Or kayaking up the tributary rivers…

The Rio Dulce is one of THE shangri la’s for cruising sailors today.  Our opportunity to take a slow boat upriver into Guatemala’s rainforest is simply a priviledge.   Plan to add some time ashore to explore the jungle flora and fauna and the Mayan heritage further inland.


Getting There and Away

Belize and Guatemala aren’t the easiest places to get to, but then the best places never are! And to make things more difficult, this trip starts in one place and finishes in another… travellers may find it easiest to fly into Cancun in Mexico, which is well served from most continents, and take a connection to Placencia via Belize City, and from Guatemala City at the end. The local bus or taxi ride from Fronteras to the city is sure to be fascinating.

The Sailing

Day sailing with short (3 to 4 hours), inter-island hops in sheltered water, this trip is perfect for beginners. More experienced sailors will enjoy the reef navigation, river passage and the challenge of shallow water sailing amongst the reefs and cays.


Mainland Belize and Guatemala are tropical jungle reaching down to the coast and a backdrop of rainforest covered mountains. The offshore cays near Belize’s barrier reef are a mixture of mangrove islands and coral islands fringed by pristine white sand and swaying palm trees. The Rio Dulce in Guatemala is a unique place where limestone cliffs tower above our river passage.

Vibe / Ambience

Belize and Guatemala have a unique South American vibe, exciting, vibrant, bustling, noisy cities and sleepy coastal towns and villages steeped in Mayan history.

Things to Do & See

Take a dinghy ride into the jungle and spot toucans, parrots, wild cats and other wildlife; snorkel gin clear water and unspoiled reefs at the UNESCO protected second largest barrier reef in the world; explore a Mayan temple, hike to waterfalls and caves…

Our Sailing Holidays Coming Up in Guatemala