La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is more than just a canoe race. This race has not only become an international race bringing in teams from Japan, U.S.A, Canada, and the U.K, but it has become a part of Belize’s culture and tradition. The race entails 180 miles paddling through Belize River throughout the course of 4 days. This is no easy task and it takes months of training to get the teams ready to go.

La Ruta Maya splash

The race began back in 1995 in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of Belize’s environment. Since then the race has only become popular attracting competitors from all over the world. The competitors are divided into different categories: female, male, mixed, family adventure, pleasure craft, intramural, masters, and dory, in which all compete to be the first to cross the finish line. As traditions have it, the race begins at the famous western cultural landmark: The Hawksworth Bridge, in San Ignacio Town in Cayo District. Many private and government companies join in the fun to be the first to become the winners of this historic race. The race ends each year at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City.

The race is no easy task. If you have ever learned the art of canoeing you know how difficult it is to keep from turning over. Not only is it exciting for the competitors but the spectators as well. Many locals gather at the riverbanks at each checkpoints to cheer on their favorite team bringing along with them live bands, and lots of great local food. It is truly a sight to be seen. The celebration continues at each riverbank and ends of the fourth day at the final leg of the race in Belize City.

La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is more than just an international canoe race it is part of Belize’s history, and culture. Belize: A culture waiting to be explored and to be lived. Join in the fun and book your Belize vacation in the first week of March to witness this historic race.