White Water Kayaking, Macal River

Kayaking the white water rapids of the upper Macal is an adrenaline pumping experience you will not forget…

The Macal River starts from the peaks of the Maya Mountains cutting through mountains and jungle until it meats the Mopan River to form the Belize River. The river cuts through 2 major national parks, the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. The Macal Rivershed is divided into two sub catchment basins. The headwaters and upper basin comprise about 1000 square kilometers and rest in the southern Maya Mountains, whilst the lower basin is known as the Mountain Pine Ridge catchment. It is along the upper basin of the Macal River that you will find some of Belize’s most exhilarating white water rapids.

Inflatable kayaks are the most appropriate to use for these white water rapids. You’ll often need to pull to the side of the river to study a particular rapid to plan your approach. You’ll need to observe the movement of the water along with any obstacles to determine the best execution of the rapid. Some rapids you’ll have to skip by just hiking around on the side of the river because they are just too dangerous. You’ll find a range of Class 3 to 6 rapids for the adventurous kayaker. Along with lots of adrenaline filled rapids you’ll also take in some spectacular landscapes as the river winds through lush jungles and mountains.

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  1. David wagner, 3 years ago

    I will be in ambergris cate August 8-15 and would love to do some paddling if possible. I can comfortably paddle class iv raids and would like to find something like that to paddle, in a hard body boat (ie..Jackson hero or karma) what are my chances of this happening?

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    • Elby, 3 years ago

      @David did you ever find out about this? We’re going to be in Belize Aug/Sept, and we’re interested if you found a good company to work with!

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  2. Robi Pochapin, 3 years ago

    I guided on the Macal a dozen or so years ago.
    It is such a classic river run. Warm water, low volume, polished granite, pool/ drop, portages…
    I was wondering about the status of upstream dam management or instalation that affects river flows and access. We would have to call the dam on days we were hoping to launch to assure we would have ample flows.

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