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La Ruta Maya Belize river challenge kicks off on March 3

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017. 9:12 am CST.

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Picture: My Beautiful Belize.com

By BBN Staff: The annual La Ruta Maya Belize river challenge kicks off on Friday March 3 at 6:00 a.m.

Hundreds of canoeists will be paddling the Belize and Macal rivers from San Ignacio to Belize city, commemorating ancient Maya civilization’s legacy.

This year will be the 18th edition of the canoe race. Every year many tourists and Belizeans come out to cheer for their favorite teams. It is also a family weekend event as many families travel along with the race and camp out.

The multi-day canoe challenge is a major public and tourist attraction. The first canoes to enter Belize City are greeted by cheering crowds on the last day of the race which coincides with National Heroes and Benefactors Day; a public and bank holiday.

Today, the La Ruta Maya is considered one of the longest canoe races in Central America. The four-day event brings together professional and amateur paddlers from all over the world who take on the grueling challenge of paddling 175 miles of the Belize Old River against rapids and winds.

Day 1 goes from the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio to Banana Bank.

Day 2: Banana Bank Lodge to Double Head Cabbage

Day 3: Double Head Cabbage to Burrell Boom

Day 4: Burrell Boom to Belize

The race celebrates Belize’s ancient Maya’s use of the river for transportation and trading of goods throughout Belize.

The annual event has tied into one of the many cultural celebrations of Belize’s melting pot of cultures.

 

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