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Setting & Trip Route

For the adventurer the Wild South of Belize offers an opportunity to explore one of the last remaining untouched regions of the country. Here the rainforest covers the land and the ancient traditions of the Maya are still strong. Where the roads end we continue with inflatable river kayaks to gain access to the most spectacular regions of the country seldom seen by travellers.

For the adventurer, the Wild South of Belize offers an opportunity to explore one of the last remaining untouched regions of the country. Here the rainforest covers the land and the ancient traditions of the Maya are still strong. We travel through an area of small Mayan villages, where traditional milpa agriculture is the way of life and the modern world is only just beginning to make inroads. The geology is of predominantly limestone karst formations of limestone, with jungle clad hills that rise abruptly from the coastal plain as we enter the southern Maya mountains and the upper Moho River valley. The upper Moho is a unique travertine river created by calcium carbonate minerals depositing out of the river and forming ledges and pools. Not only does this create a stunningly beautiful river setting, the higher alkalinity of the water creates a unique environment where many insects cannot reproduce - this creates a pleasant relatively bug-free rainforest environment that is very comfortable to travel.

Where the roads end we continue with inflatable river kayaks to gain access to the most spectacular regions of the country as we travel by river through a region seldom seen by travellers. On the river we are using two person inflatable kayaks which offer superior stability, ease of handling, and are a great way to explore this pristine rainforest. Our adventure combines an exciting river journey with a rich cultural experience. We travel into the heartland of the Maya people with Ketchi and Mopan Mayan guides where we have a rare opportunity to experience their contemporary village life.

The Rainforests of Toledo

We begin our trip into the inland of Southern Belize, immersing ourselves into the magical world of the tropical rainforest.

Broadleaf rainforest covers approximately 60% of Belize's wooded area. The year-round growing season, plentiful precipitation during the rainy season (May - November) and millennia of evolution has yielded this area with a complex and tremendous diversity of plant life. Each plant fulfills its own ecological niche, as the continuous recycling of the decayed plant matter fuels new growth. With this rich nutrient cycle, a diverse range of plant life, from the huge buttressed Ceiba trees to the smallest of fungi, thrives. High above the forest floor is the enchanting world of the broad-leafed canopy. The canopy may tower 100 ft and more, with massive hardwoods like Santa Maria, Mahogany, and Sapodilla trees forming a broad canopy and in turning supporting many species of Epiphytes (air plants). This habitat provides for a unique community of wildlife - many species will spend most of their life inhabiting the roof of the rainforest.

In the rainforests of Belize we have great opportunities to view wildlife. Hiking or paddling, we see Iguanas resting in the branches of fig trees or we may hear the grunts and snuffling as a herd of Peccary (wild pigs) passes close by. Large tropical birds are frequently sighted. We see Toucans with their oversized bills flying ungainly from one fruiting tree to the next. High overhead loud squawking alerts us to the presence of Scarlet Macaw. Once in view, the size of the bird and the splendor of their red and blue plumage is unmistakable. There is also a multitude of falcons, hawks, and vultures scavenging and hunting from the sun-bright upper canopy down to the mottled light of the forest floor. Also found in the southern Belizean rainforest are a number of often bizarre mammals, the largest being Belize's national animal, the Baird's Tapir- locally known as the mountain cow. It has a large hippopotamus-like body and a long snout, much like the famous Aardvark. The Tapir, along with the white-lipped and collared Peccary and the Jaguar, are some of the larger mammals that inhabit the river valleys and forests where we travel.