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Kayaking the Moho River, Belize: An Interview with Founder, Tim Boys

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Kayaking the Moho River, Belize
Located deep in the lush rainforests of Southern Belize, is the Moho River. Kayaking the emerald waters of this beautiful river offers an opportunity to explore one of the last remaining untouched regions of the country. 

The Moho River descends from the Maya Mountains to the Caribbean Sea. Journeying along you will experience both the calm meandering water that reflects the intense green of the jungle to stretches of rapids, pour-overs and spectacular waterfalls. Venturing into this remote region of Belize is a unique way to experience the traditional village life of the Maya people and learn about the habits of the wildlife. 

We recently interviewed Island Expeditions founder Tim Boys to see what inspired him to start offering kayaking trips on the Moho River:

Why did Island Expeditions choose the Moho River as a destination for the Epic Belize trip?
 
I’ve paddled most of the navigable rivers in Belize in over 30 years exploring the country. The Moho River stands out for its scenic beauty and it’s just so fun to paddle with warm water, jungle and exciting whitewater sections.

Moho River Belize
Moho River, Belize

Why is the Moho River so important to you?

The Maya people that live in the area and guide with us bring so much to the experience. I love camping in the rainforest with our Mayan guides. This is their homeland, their love for the land and the stories they share with us are very special. There is no other river in Belize that is comparable.

Mayan Village of Santa Teresa
The Mayan village of Santa Teresa located in the Toledo District of Belize

What is your most memorable moment on the Moho River?

In 1992 myself and a local Mayan made the first descent of the upper Moho River. It was just such a thrill.  I love running a river for the first time; never knowing what might be coming up next and then of course finding some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve seen on any river I’ve paddled anywhere in the world is pretty cool.

Rapids on the Moho River
Rapids on the Moho River
 
Can you tell us more about the local guides?

Our guides come from a small village in the area, they are Kekchi Maya. They so much enjoy showing people the river and sharing their deep connection and knowledge of the rainforest is a huge part of the experience. On each trip, we have the chance to spend time in their village and share a meal in their homes.

Visiting with Guide Pedro’s family in the village of Santa Teresa.
Visiting with Guide Pedro’s family in the village of Santa Teresa.
 
Our main guides Pedro Chub and Vanancio Ack have become expert river guides and we’ve been able to bring in international instructors to train and certify our Mayan guys as Swiftwater Rescue Technicians. They really appreciate and are proud to have achieved this level of training. They are the first guides in Belize to be certified in SRT. 

Guides Moho River Belize

What type of wildlife can you expect to see on the Moho River?

We often see howler monkey, kinkajou, iguana and we also see so many varieties of tropical birds. The raptors are a highlight with sightings such as laughing falcon, black hawk eagle and ornate hawk eagle.

Green Iguana Belize
Green Iguana
 
What type of kayaks do you use?

We use a specially modified Aire Super Lynx. It’s a 14ft inflatable river kayak.  I love this boat for the river, it is so forgiving and easy to use and handles the whitewater and pour-overs really well. We use canoe paddles, so it is kind of a hybrid mix of kayak, canoe and raft.
 

Do guests need previous kayak experience to experience the Moho River?

No previous experience is needed to experience this river. The guides provide excellent instruction in how to handle the boats and how to read the water. The first day on the water is pretty mellow,  current and easy rapids so it is the perfect warm up.  Most of the whitewater is what we call pool- drop so it is very forgiving and even if someone does wipe out on a run, typically they just end up floating in a calm pool below laughing. I would say however that people who join this trip should know how to swim and be comfortable around water.
 

Would you recommend the Epic Belize trip for families?

Absolutely, it’s such a life-changing experience.  We love when kids come to experience the river, the richness of the culture and the mystery of the rainforest. We don’t like to set minimum ages because there can be such a huge variance in the experience of families travelling. Probably 6 years and older would be a good benchmark for the lower age limit.

Family kayak on the Moho River
Family fun on the Moho River

If you go:

The Epic Belize trip takes you on an 8-night multisport journey from rich coral reefs to enchanting jungle rainforests and remote Mayan villages. On the trip, you will explore three distinctly different parts of Belize - Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Mayflower Bocawina National Park and the Maya indigenous region of Toledo, including the Moho River.

For more information on the Epic Belize trip, call us now at 1.800.667.1630 or email info@islandexpeditions.com

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