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Beautiful Belize: Thrills and Spills on a Jungle River

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Moho River Belize
We were delighted to have travel writer Don Mankin join us on our Epic Belize trip. Don is a seasoned traveler and at 75 years young, his adventures have taken him to Africa, Asia, Antarctica, North and South America, Europe and almost everywhere in between. You can read about several of his trips in his book, Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean: A Guide to 50 Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler .


Navigating the pour-overs on the Moho River, Belize. Photo credit: Don Mankin 

We wanted to share his article about his experience paddling the Moho River and navigating the pour-overs on our Epic Belize trip.

“...I gulped once, then hung on for dear life as our inflatable kayak plunged 12 feet down the vertical face of the waterfall. And that was only one of the first of what must have been dozens of waterfalls, pour-overs and twisting rapids we paddled over or through for the final three days of our Epic Belize trip. The three days started rather benignly with a three-hour drive south to a series of remote villages near the border with Guatemala populated by a mix of Mayans and Mennonites. From there we would embark on a three-day paddle in inflatable kayaks through the jungle on the Moho River. 

First, though, we visited the homes of our two guides, Pedro and Vanancio, for lunch and to get an authentic look at the everyday life of the local people. This wasn’t a contrived tourist show put on by the locals. The only visitors they get are the occasional participants in the Island Expedition trips that include the Moho River paddle. As you can see in the following photos, Venancio’s daughter was the star of this non-show.

After lunch, we headed to the river and loaded up the kayaks. Within a minute or two of launching our kayaks on the river we encountered our first pour-over, then several more in rapid succession. A number of the pour-overs were higher than the length of the kayak. After pausing on the edge of the drop-off for a second or two, the kayaks would plunge nose first into the water, engulfing its occupants in a huge splash. It’s like the best possible amusement park ride – instead of hordes of screaming people and metal towers and contraptions, it was just us whooping and laughing in the middle of the jungle....”    

Don Mankin, Beautiful Belize III: Thrills and Spills on a Jungle River ( read the full article

Guide Vanancio with his daughter. Photo credit: Don Mankin
Guide Vanancio with his daughter. Photo credit: Don Mankin 

This trip truly covers the best of Belize as you journey from the rich coral reefs of the Glover's Reef Marine Reserve to the untouched rainforests of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Then continue to the indigenous region of Toledo where you will paddle the Moho River and visit remote Mayan villages. Enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, ziplining in the rainforest canopy, jungle camping and whitewater river paddling. Encompassing a wide spectrum of experiences the Epic Belize trip is ideal if you’re looking for a unique vacation filled with culture, adventure and wildlife.

Find out more about the Epic Belize trip in this video:

Contact us today at info@islandexpeditions.com or call 1.800.667.1630 and we’ll provide all the details on this life-changing and amazing Belize vacation.