Jan 4, 2008
Author: Chris Beaumont
Belize is a relatively unknown kitesurfer’s paradise. The longest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere runs the length of the country, creating a flatwater paradise with clear-blue shallow water. If it’s waves you want, cuts in the reef create some great wave sites.
Ambergris Caye is the centre of the kiting scene in Belize and the largest of the islands off the mainland. San Pedro is the small town on the island. It retains a local feel with golf carts as the main mode of transport and streets of sand or cobblestone. All the buildings on the island are three stories or less.
Just two hours from several major U.S. hubs, you can leave home in the morning and be kiting in paradise by afternoon. —Chris Beaumont
Getting there: Fly to Belize City from major U.S. hubs. Continental flies from Houston, American from Miami or Dallas, US Air from Charlotte, and Delta from Atlanta. From the international airport in Belize City you can either take a 15-minute island-hopper flight on Tropic Air to Ambergris Caye, or a taxi to the marina, then a water taxi (1.5 hours).
Best time of year: February through July sees trades and thermals. November to January can be good with cold fronts. Average wind: 12-20 km.
Conditions: Mostly flatwater with some wave spots on the reef. Water temperature is in the 30s. No wide-open beaches for launching.
Local knowledge: Avoid kiting too close to the piers. Definitely do some downwinders, go snorkeling with the sharks and visit the jungle.
Internet resources: ambergriscaye.com, sailsportsbelize.com