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Harvest Caye Belize Cruise Tips

Cruise ship docks near Harvest Caye lighthouse. Pixabay Creative Commons license
Cruise ship docks near Harvest Caye lighthouse. Pixabay Creative Commons license
Norwegian Cruise Line has a resort-style, private port of call on the Belize island of Harvest Caye.

The port, which opened on the 75-acre island in 2016, is the only one in Belize that offers a cruise ship pier. It allows visitors to walk off the ship and straight onto land without waiting for a transfer via a tender boat.

The other major port at Belize City has water too shallow for cruise ships to dock, so visitors have to tender (take a small boat) between the ship and the docks.

The new port destination at Harvest Caye is available on western Caribbean cruises via Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Quick Tips


  • This cruise village has shops, restaurants, ziplines, water sports and a large beach.
  • Excursions include Nim Li Punit Mayan ruins.
  • April is the best month to visit followed by March.

Where is Harvest Caye?


The island of Harvest Caye in the Central American country of Belize lies near a group of common western Caribbean ports of call.

It is about 70 miles south of Belize City and about the same distance from Santo Tomás de Castilla in Guatemala to the south. The Honduran island of Roatan is about 120 miles to the west.

Attractions and Shore Excursions


The centerpiece of the port is a seven-acre white sand beach and a 15,000-square-foot pool. The beach has hundreds of chaise lounges. Eleven beach villas are available for rent, each with a capacity for 10 people.

The pool has a swim-up pool bar, cascading waterfall and private canopy cabanas available for rent. Cabanas can hold six people.

Fee-based activities include a 136-foot-tall Flighthouse that offers zip lining, free fall jumps, a tandem "superman" style zip line and suspension bridges. The zip line course has three platforms and more than 3,000 feet of zip line. The ropes course takes place on a platform in the saltwater lagoon.

Guests who prefer other activities can kayak, paddleboard and canoe in the shallow lagoon area of Harvest Caye. The lagoon also has electric float boats.


Guests can participate in manatee observation tours at the lagoon. The cost is $60 or more per person plus discounts for children. They also can experience the endangered Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, Belize’s national bird, in the island’s Aviary.

Other exhibits at the port include a Butterfly Garden and Belize’s indigenous reptiles including boa constrictors at the educational center.

Harvest Caye also has a large marina with tour operators that provide excursions to the Nim Li Punit Mayan ruins, river rafting and nature tours.

The well-preserved Nim Li Punit ruins on the mainland was a Mayan temple for ceremonial rituals. In addition to the temple, it has a ball court, observatory and small museum with recovered artifacts. The six-hour excursion costs about $100 or more per person plus discounts for children.

Some excursion operators will take visitors off the island and onto the mainland for certain tours. The Rio Grande River is one of the most common excursion locations for rafting and river tubing. Monkey River also is the nearby location for nature tours. Again, expect to pay about $100 or more per person plus discounts for children.

Dining and Shopping


Dining and bar options range from a two-story indoor/outdoor Landshark Bar & Grill to casual street style dining in the shopping village, the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill on the beach, the Manatee Marina Bar & Grill in the marina and the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill serving the island’s cabanas.

Harvest Caye also has a shopping village with vendors representing local Belizean crafts and popular name brands.

Weather / Best Time to Go


Harvest Caye is about 70 miles south of Belize City and shares similar weather.

Like much of the Caribbean coast of Central America, Belize has a brief dry season between February and April each year. The average rainfall is about two to three inches each month, according to the National Meteorological Service of Belize. It rains as little as five or six days on average each month.

January and May are transition months when the average rainfall is about four inches. The true rainy season goes from June until December when the average rainfall increases to as much as 10 inches or more each month, the meteorological service says.

Temperatures in Harvest Caye range from the low 80s Fahrenheit or high 20s Celsius in the winter to the high 80s Fahrenheit or low 30s Celsius in the summer.

April is the best month to visit for a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain followed by March.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Cruise Ports   

May 14, 2019

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