La Ruta Maya

We finally got some time to sit down and reflect on what we have accomplished this trip, I’ll explain all that later. For now I’m sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee overlooking the river watching parrots fly by and seeing some really big tarpon jumping in the river below.

When we booked this trip we had no idea the situation we would be in, but the main reason we chose this time of year for a trip to Belize is to see the La Ruta Maya river race. We are staying at Gary & Julie’s Wish Willie’s River Cabanas, which just happen to be a short distance from the starting line for the big race.

Start of La Ruta Maya

The La Ruta Maya is an annual 4 day canoe race down the river from San Ignacio to the Caribbean Sea. The La Ruta Maya is the biggest annual sporting event in Belize, drawing thousands of spectators. The race covers over 180 mile of river racing and is considered 40th out of the toughest 100 races in the world. Each evening the racers stop at village checkpoints to rest, refuel their bodies and to mingle with their fans. Each checkpoint is like a family reunion with Belikin beer tents, all kinds of fires cooking up delicious food, music and families just having fun.

Close competition

Gary and Julie hosted an early morning party on their patio to cheer on all the racers for their 7:00am start.  The morning was a little foggy so the pictures didn’t come out all that great. Being it was the beginning of the 4 day race all the participants were giving it their all, some so much that they flipped their canoe right in front of us.

Giving it their all

We would love to follow the race all 4 days down the river to the finish line, but this trip we have a lot of loose ends to tie up. We are lucky enough to be here for the start of the race this time and maybe next year we will be able to follow the whole race and partake in all the fun it has to offer, except for the actual racing of course. Or who knows, maybe once we are here we will get into canoe racing. Come to think about it, I think we’d be better spectators.