La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

Alert: Some details may have changed due to COVID-19.
Type Of Event
Start Date
Friday, 6 Mar, 2020
Entrance Fee
3/6/2020 - 3/9/2020

  • Longest Canoe Race in Central America
  • Open to the general public
  • Live entertainment
  • Games & Prizes
La Ruta Maya
Luis Garcia is one of the original founders of the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. He sits down to talk about the history of the race as a environmental conservation initiative ... morein Belize.

About Event

La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 

The 2021 edition has been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.
The conception of the competition started back in 1998 as local business owner and investor, Richard Harrison, was thinking of a way to promote a new brand of bottled water in Belize – VIDA Purified Water. Through this, Mr. Harrison was able to compose a committee for the event along with additional sponsors. Although the initial purpose was commercial, it was later advocated towards raising awareness about Belize’s environment and the history of the Belize River.

Since then, the La Ruta Maya River Challenge has been a popular annual event in households and to an international scale. It is the longest canoe race in Central America. Travelers from all over the world come to Belize in the first week of March to witness or participate in this prestigious competition.

The La Ruta Maya festivities start in San Ignacio Town with live bands, mini competitions, foods and other entertainment. It is a must-see event while in Belize as amateur and professional paddlers paddle their way in high endurance for a chance to win coveted prizes!

2020 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

Be a part of the tradition! The 23rd Annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is coming your way! Starting from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio on March 6th and ending at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City on March 9th. Be there and experience the invigorating atmosphere as paddlers from all over the world navigate through 175 miles of Belize's magnificent rivers. This high endurance journey is more than just a race, it is a tradition!

Why should you attend the 2020 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge?

Happening only once a year, this competition is highly anticipated by both locals and visitors around the world. Exuding with excitement, the buzz around this weekend-long event is always a positive drive for paddlers to perform their best.

Suitable for:
What to bring?
  • Camera
  • Caps, sunscreen & bug spray
  • Cooler with water & beers
Camping, Canoeing, Offroad
Outline of Event
3/6/20201st Day: Start Location- Hawkesworth Bridge, San Ignacio TownFull Day
3/7/20202nd Day: Start Location - Banana BankFull Day
3/8/20203rd Day: Start Location - Double Head CabbageFull Day
3/9/20204th Day: Start Location - Burell BoomFull Day
Contact Information
Contact Number:
Location Information
San Ignacio Town - Belize City
Belize, Cayo
Start Location:
Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio
Start location for event.
End Location:
Belcan Bridge in Belize City
End location for event.
Is Transportation provided?:
Transport Info.
Important Transportation/Pickup Information
You can follow the race with your personal vehicle or travel to a particular destination along the route of the race on public transportation to cheer for your favorite paddlers.

If you would like to know all the different stops along the way, visit the FAQs for details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, anyone can participate for the La Ruta Maya. To register, follow these rules and procedures:
You can witness the La Ruta Maya River Challenge at the the starting point (Hawksworth Bridge, San Ignacio Town), in-between stops (Banana Bank, Double Head Cabbage, Burrell Boom), and finishing point (Belcan Bridge, Belize City).
The race starts at the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio Town's Macal River, and travels up to the Belcan Bridge in Belize City through the Belize River. Itinerary: Day 1: Start - Hawksworth Bridge, San Ignacio Day 2: Banana Bank Day 3: Double Head Cabbage Day 4: Burrell Boom Day 5 Finish - Belcan Bridge, Belize City
Yes, there are multiple prizes given depending on the category of the winners. See the full list here:
Whats Nearby
The Belize River, also known as "the Old River", runs 290km through the center of Belize. The river begins where the Mopan River and Macal River join just east of San Ignacio, Cayo, ... moreBelize.The river served as the main medium of commerce and communication between the interior and the coast until well into the twentieth century. Presently, the river is a vital source of water and domestic use for local people living along the river.
Type of Attraction:
Runs through center of Belize
Learn More
Destinations/Attractions Nearby
Tours & Shuttles
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
The trip to the zoo is approximately 45 minutes from Belize City. We will do pickup from any location in Belize city upon your request. The journey takes us onto the George highway ... moreand drives for about 25 miles in our comfortable air condition vans.
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
This combo tour includes a trip to the Belize Zoo & a tour of St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park. The tour starts in Belize city, we will take 40 minutes to drive to the Belize ... moreZoo. The second tour will be to St. Herman cave. We will pass through our country capital Belmopan. Lunch in Belmopan can be provided upon request. St. Herman cave is 40 minutes drive from the Belize zoo.
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Welcome to G&W enterprise A tour of Belize's old capital in our comfortable, air-conditioned van is just what you need to experience a historical and educational taste of our Jewel. ... moreWe have a licensed, knowledgeable and friendly Tour Operator and Tour Guide awaiting you at your port of entry or hotel. We will traverse along the beautiful shores of the Caribbean Sea on the Northern side of Belize City passing The Baron Bliss Lighthouse, which is the monument of one of our greatest benefactors.

This exciting and enjoyable ride will take you along the route of several embassies of varying foreign countries, major hotels, Linbert's Landing “known as "BTL Park”, some of our major high schools and universities, several residential areas including the residence of the Prime Minister. The tour will then proceed across one of the three bridges that connect the north to the south side of Belize City. Tourists will experience a true sensation with pedestrians and motorists during the busiest times of the day. The ride will take you to pass the recently built Belize Multi-purpose Center and into the metropolitan area of our City which includes the various banks, shopping center, schools and even a view of one of the oldest churches, the Anglican Cathedral of Belize.

Our tour guide will then go onto the George Price Highway is formerly known as the Western highway for 10 minutes to Old Belize which features the Cucumber Beach. At Cucumber Beach you can enjoy an activity-packed day with friends. Why not try their water slides, water trampolines and the jump off the rope swing at the amusement park? For those interested in what the Old capital looked like in the early 50’s and 60’s you can take a train tour of the museum right on site at Cucumber Beach.

This is definitely a taste of Belize!!! One you will never forget. You have got to book with us today to BELIZE it….A Belize adventure awaits you with G&W Tours.
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Caracol Mayan Temples was discovered in 1938 by loggers, located deep within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve now it is the most extensive Maya site in Belize and one of the biggest in ... morethe Maya World.

Caracol Mayan Temples is a Classic Period urban center that spread out over 55 square miles with an estimated population of 180,000 people. Caracol’s enormous central core area covered 15 square miles and was linked together by more than 20 miles of “sacbeobs” (causeways) that radiated outward from its epicenter. The temple “Caana” rises 42 meters above plaza level and to this day is the largest man-made structure in Belize.
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Off the Hummingbird Highway, is the spiraling network of tunnels and limestone rooms comprising of 36 “crystal” caves with enormous vaults of crystallized columns and statuary. Much ... moreof the geological structure of Belize is porous karst limestone. This makes it ideal for the formation of underground caves and rivers, although many caves have been known for years, new ones – including some of the most extensive systems in the whole of Central America.

Belize Cave Tubing Tour: Your guide will lead you through a jungle trail rich in flora and fauna, at the end of the trail you will tube down the Caves Branch River system relaxing on inflated tubes, the gentle currents of the river will draw you through amazing caves and taverns.

Headlamps will be provided so that you don’t miss a thing including Mayan artifacts during this underworld adventure.
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
20 minutes drive from San Ignacio Town will take you to Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Meaning “Maiden of the Rock” which is located on the Western Highway across the river. The ceremonial ... morecenter is only 1 mile away after crossing the ferry on the Mopan River at San Jose Succutz. 

This Classic Period site provides an impressive view of the entire river valley. The site core occupies only 300 square meters but the periphery covers several square kilometers. El Castillo, the partially excavated and largest pyramid rises 130 feet above the main plaza and offers an impressive view of the Cayo District and nearby Guatemala.
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Sak-Tunich Maya site was constructed by a family of Yucatec descent. It includes Plaza A & B, a ceremonial room, a collection of artifacts, and underground entrance. ... more

At the site, you will also learn about the Safe the Royal Project.

This is a breeding program for the "Royal Rat" or Gibnut. The name "Royal Rat" was given to it after Queen Elizabeth II was served Gibnut meat during her 1985 visit. Gibnut meat is a local delicacy in Belize. 

We also have the 100ft tower at the site. At the top of the tower, you are greeted by panoramic views of mountains, jungle and small towns in every direction. The view is truly breathtaking especially for watching sunsets or stargazing.
/ Person
Departs From:
Orange Walk Town
Belize Zip Lining Traverse over the forest canopy and take in the view. This is one of the best ways to experience Belize’s Subtropical jungle with an exhilarating whirr. Your trained ... morejungle guides will do their safety checks and ensure you a great experience as you launch from deck to deck. A gorgeous view of the Caves Branch River as you fly over is an experience you won’t want to miss!

A gorgeous view of the Caves Branch River as you fly over is an experience you won’t want to miss!
/ Person
Departs From:
Situated at 1600 feet above sea level (one of the highest located sites of the southern uplands region) with no natural water body close by, it remains a mystery why such a huge population ... morecenter like Caracol evolved where it is. However, the close proximity to both extremely hard stone and copal, two commodities highly prized by the Mayas may help explain this enigma.

At the heart of the site lies the massive pyramid of Caana (Sky Palace) which is now almost fully restored and reaches a height of over 135 feet. From the top, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the forest-clad mountains.

The drive to the site in the early morning occasionally allows guests to take a glimpse of tapirs, jaguars or ocelots, as they break their forest cover to cross the road. The sprawling site contains huge Ceiba, Mahogany and Sapodilla trees and is superb for birding (the rare Keel-billed Motmot is one of the many residents of the site). Wildlife such as Howler and Spider monkeys, the Oscellated Turkey, Coatimundi, Gibnut and Grey Fox are often sighted while quietly wandering along the site’s causeways or along trails connecting the plaza groups.
/ Person
Departs From:
The steep downward walk that takes you to these caverns takes around one hour. Then, at the mouth of the cave, you’ll follow the same footpaths the Maya shamans and priests once traveled ... moreto reach these ceremonial chambers.

Along the way, you’ll marvel at all the Maya artifacts, including pottery, beads, and obsidian knives – even human skeletons that have been calcified in the limestone floor dating back 2,000 years.
0 reviews   0 comments
What was your overall experience at the event?