San Ignacio Travel Guide
Canoeing and Kayaking
The Cayo's rivers, especially the Mopan and Macal, make it an excellent place for canoeing and kayaking. Most of the larger resorts, like Chaa Creek and duPlooy's, have canoes or inflatable kayaks. Generally you put in the Macal and paddle and float down to the Hawksworth Bridge at San Ignacio, a trip that takes two or three hours depending on your starting point. You'll pay about BZ$50 per person for canoe rental and pickup. You'll see iguanas and birdlife on the banks, and if you dip in for a swim, don't be surprised if tiny (toothless) fish school around you to figure out whether you're food.
Do exercise caution. You won't believe how fast the rivers, especially the Macal, can rise after a heavy rain. Following rains in the Mountain Pine Ridge, it can reach a dangerous flood stage in just a few minutes. Also, in the past there have been a few rare incidents of visitors in canoes being stopped and robbed on the Macal. Watch weather forecasts, and ask locally about safety on the rivers.
River Rat. River Rat arranges canoeing and kayaking trips, both for beginners and experienced river runners, as well as tours to Caracol, ATM, El Pilar, and elsewhere. 628/6033. www.riverratbelize.com.