The world’s top canoe racers visit Belize in March to compete. They show there prepared to tackle the four-day Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.
Everyone willing to participate in this exhausting event is welcome. Only the toughest and most skillful canoe teams arrive every year to put themselves to the test against the elements—and against one another.
The longest race of its sort in Central America is the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. Over four days, canoe teams must travel more than 175 kilometers, with up to 100 canoe teams participating.
Teams travel through Belize’s historical river route, La Ruta Maya, as part of the event. It’s a challenging journey that calls for expert paddling and unwavering resolve.
The race starts in San Ignacio and finishes in Belize City. The first day’s race begins at 7:00 a.m. Canoe teams lined up along the banks of the Macal River. The fans assemble on the Hawkesworth Bridge. The air horns that signal the race’s start are nearly drowned out by the crowd’s ovations.
Overview of the race
- Day 1 of the race goes from the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio to Banana Bank
- Day 2 of the race goes from Banana Bank Lodge to Double Head Cabbage
- Day 3 of the race goes from Double Head Cabbage to Burrell Boom
- Day 4 of the race goes from Burrell Boom to Belize City
On the fourth day, spectators line up to support their preferred team during the trip’s last leg, which ends in Belize City. The actual celebration starts after the winners are announced.