Belize River Wildlife Tour
Macal River Canoeing
The Macal River is a magnificent jungle river and the perfect waterway to enjoy a Belize canoeing adventure. The river originates in the Maya Mountains and flows through limestone hills and virgin jungle towards San Ignacio Town and then onto Belize City, after its confluence with the Mopan River. This river main watershed for San Ignacio town and the center of life for the community.
From San Ignacio, we are off at 9 am in our canoes, gliding upriver, passing under the historic Hawksworth Bridge and then away from civilization into the primal green jungles of Belize. Traveling past banks lined by cliffs and cave openings, with iguanas perching on mammoth trees above, the scene is almost prehistoric. Unexcavated Mayan sites dot the riverbanks and villagers bathe and wash their clothing in the river the way they have done for centuries. Horses and cattle come to the water to drink alongside wild animals. You will see wildlife along with way including a variety of bird species, and possibly see the tracks of larger mammals such as tapirs, white lipped peccary, armadillo, and even jaguars in the mud of the riverbank. Colonies of bats roost under limestone ledges and the water shimmers in the sun against the white rocks.
We continue up the river toward Chaa Creek Resort, a premier luxury eco- resort which is home to a medicinal plants trail, Blue Morpho butterfly farm and natural history museum. Chaa Creek is host to many environmental conservation and sustainable tourism projects (such as Archaeology Research, Bay Palm Reforestation, Agro-forestry Research, Vascular Plan Cataloging, Birds Without Borders, and Howler Monkey Reintroduction. After touring the natural environment of the property with your guide, we have a picnic lunch and continue back down river toward San Ignacio, where we end at the wooden bridge.
The half day tour upriver won’t go quite as far, but we will stop at the picturesque village of Cristo Rey, a quiet, vibrant village and a humble community of mainly Mayan descent. Here we park our canoes and then take a short hike to a beautiful, hidden, spring fed waterfall at Monkey Falls for a refreshing dip.