The Marina at The Reserve is heralded as one of the premier yacht marinas in all of the Caribbean, located approximately 10 to 20 nautical miles from the Belize Barrier Reef in southern Belize. It is uniquely situated behind the well protected Sapodilla Lagoon, which is considered by many to be the safest natural harbor in the region. Our breathtaking tropical location is also well known among avid captains, travelers, outdoorsmen and sports fishermen as a mecca for outdoor activities and pristine natural beauty. The Marina is a short cruise from the magnificence of the Belize Barrier Reef, offering a plethora of maritime adventures including scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and competitive sport fishing. The uncharted terrain of the mysterious evergreen Belizean jungles creeping over the foothills of the majestic Maya Mountains, is beckoning visitors to discover their beauty.
The Sapodilla Lagoon is nestled in a tropical setting of lush palms and giant mangroves, offering refuge to all mariners cruising the western Caribbean. The entrance to the lagoon is located between two spits of mangrove that overlap each other in such a manner that it is completely protected from the prevailing easterly winds and the Caribbean Sea. The Lagoon is regarded in the Yachtsman’s Guide as one of the best “hurricane holes” in all of Belize. It is approximately two miles long and ½ mile wide. In order to enter The Marina a yacht must cross the northern end of the lagoon in a well-marked deep water channel and proceed through a deep water cut for almost ½ a mile. The entrance channels and the marina basin are dredged to a minimum of 12 feet. The entire marina and channels maintain a 12ft minimum depth at low tide.
A natural marine phenomenon that makes our marina and waterfront homes unique, is the fact that there is very little tidal variation. The peak tidal swing over the year is approximately 6 inches and 90% of the time it is within 3 inches of normal. This tidal phenomenon makes it possible to have permanent concrete docks and to tie a vessel to the dock or concrete bulkhead on the border of the marina using a vertical fender. The most anyone would have to step up or down to a boat would usually be less than a few inches from normal. It also makes it unnecessary to have floating docks or slips in the marina, or in front of any waterfront home. Our docks are about 30 inches above the water and the external bulkheads are about 36 inches above waterline. To accommodate vertical fenders for mooring a yacht, the docks all have smooth surfaces from 14 to 28 inches above the waterline. Our docks and bulkheads also have large cleats that are laid out in such a manner that they can accommodate breast lines and spring lines for any size yacht. The Marina can easily accommodate yachts up to 200 feet in length.
In the event of an impending storm, these lines can be doubled up and additional lines can be added. These large cleats properly mounted into rigid concrete docks, provide the safest way to secure any large vessel in the event of a storm. For variety, and to accommodate different sized yachts, some of our docks and bulkheads vary in height. Due to this tidal phenomenon, there is never a time in The Marina when one cannot board a yacht from a boarding ladder or swim step with any more than a step of a few inches. It also provides for a much prettier marina setting by always having the water level up to the docks and bulkheads. In addition, this eliminates the potential for any lingering odors from unsightly barnacles and other mollusks. Typically, a major concern with a lack of any tidal movement, is that there may be areas of stagnant water. Fortunately, for us this has never been a problem. The water quality in The Marina and waterway canals is always pristine. Some of the existing channels, which are over a mile long, have several different outlets to the lagoons and/or Caribbean Sea that result in a constant flow of water that prevents stagnation.
The coast of Belize boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world. The magnificence of the Belize Barrier Reef extends over 300 kilometers in length and is home to some of the world’s best diving spots. The warm, turquoise waters of the reef are 10 to 20 miles offshore. Three magnificent atolls lay outside the barrier reef and contain numerous small islands. The pristine water conditions around these atolls provide for the best scuba diving in the Caribbean. The atolls, including Glover’s Reef, Lighthouse Reef and Turneffe Reef are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Lighthouse Reef atoll is home to the world famous Blue Hole. Inside the Belize Barrier Reef are hundreds of small beautiful cayes with white sand beaches, coconut palms and mangroves. The close proximity of these tropical islands from The Marina at The Reserve, makes them the perfect destination for cruisers, fishermen and divers. The reef also provides natural protection for the mainland against hurricane threats, as it expands the length of the Belizean coastline. During strong prevailing storms the waters west of the reef tend to be calmer and any potential threats of damage are greatly minimized.