Every March, Belize plays host to the best canoe racers from around the world. They arrive ready to take on the four-day challenge known as the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.
This grueling event is open to anyone who’s up for it. Each year, the toughest and most skilled canoe teams arrive to test their mettle against the elements—and each other.
What’s It All About?
The Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is the longest race of its kind in Central America. Canoe teams must cross more than 170 miles over the four days and up to 100 canoe teams take part.
The race takes the teams down La Ruta Maya, a historic river route that runs through most of Belize. It’s a rough ride that demands skilled canoeing and an iron determination.
Where Does It Take Place?
The race begins in San Ignacio, Belize. Canoe teams line up on the Macal River banks as spectators gather on the Hawkesworth Bridge. The race kicks off at 7:00 am on the first day. Air horns announce the start of the race and are almost drowned out by the cheering crowds.
- 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
By the fourth day, fans have lined up to root for their favorite team for the final leg of the journey, which ends in Belize City. The winners are named, and the real partying begins.
Who Are the Competitors?
The race is open to anyone and has seven divisions:
• Pleasure craft
• Family adventure
The Race Details
- What: La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
• Sponsored by: Belikin Beer
• When: March 3-6, 2023
• Where: Starts in San Ignacio, Belize, and ends in Belize City
Where to Stay
If you want to catch the first day of fun of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, the best place to stay is in San Ignacio. You’ll be close to all the action. The San Ignacio Resort is just a stone’s throw away from the Macal River, where the race kicks off.