La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

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la ruta maya race in belize

Arguably one of the world's largest river racing traditions, La Ruta Maya is definitely one of the very toughest. This four-day long race runs dozens of canoe teams Eastward across Belize along the Macal and Belize Rivers into the busy port of Belize city.

An Open River Racing Challenge
This grueling race traces a harrowing course along a perilous river route. Despite the dangers, this race is open, not just to river racing professionals, but also to anyone willing to brave these uncertain waters.

Eight Classes of River Racer
- The eight divisions are;
- Male
- Female
- Mixed
- Masters
- Dory
- Intramural
- Pleasure Craft
- Family Adventure Race

A Community Celebration
Team ratings divide the action, but not the people. A diverse population of native Belizeans and foreign visitors come together for this four-day weekend event. Many fans follow the teams they're rooting for down the river from Cayo to Belize City. Each day when the canoe teams come ashore for rest and refreshment, they are greeted by supportive aficionados at a series of charming local villages.

Watch this video of the race

La Ruta Maya began in 1995 as part of the Save Our Rivers Programme: a canoe race meant to help popularize efforts to clean up trash and debris on the river banks. The clean-up effort evolved into a beloved event tied to environmental concerns and has been a boon to the local economy as well as to the local ecology. With its finish line located in the fastest growing region in the country, the event has become a clarion call to all who are interested in preserving the natural beauty of these iconic rivers and in promoting environmentally sound, sustainable lifestyles.

Participants celebrate at campsites studded with Belikin beer tents. Regional delicacies are prepared over camp fires while children frolic by the water. Tales of the festivities circulate through the community year-round until the next La Ruta Maya begins.

belize ruta maya race in march

Hundreds Paddle to Greatness

The annual La Ruta Maya is biggest event of its kind in Belize. Thousands of fans are anticipated to crowd the river banks to cheer for their favorite boating teams. The Racers will gather on the 8th of March to challenge themselves and these three grand rivers. An excess of 80 canoes are expected to surge downstream. Canoeing enthusiasts from around the globe will vie to be the first to complete the 180 journey and cross the Belcan in Belize City.


Cahal Pech Village Resort still has a few remaining rooms for the week of March 6th (the day the race starts). If you will be traveling to San Ignacio for La Ruta Maya Race, make sure to contact us to make your reservation.

Posted in Belize, Belize Culture, Belize EventsTagged belize, belize ruta maya race, la ruta maya belize river challenge, la ruta maya canoe race, san ignacio belize

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