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Old 02-04-2010   #1
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Mountains on the river!!!, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 702
Any IV-V kayaking in Southern Mexico/Belize in March?

I'm flying into Cancun the second week of March and planning on mostly diving with friends on the coast and down into Belize. But since I'm there, is there any paddling in that area, that might be running in early March? Looking for IV or higher, waterfalls are good, rafting companies for the non-kayakers, gear to rent, stuff like that.

Any thoughts, info or contacts, I'm all ears.


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Old 02-04-2010   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Josh, I think march is in the dry season and the rivers are likely to be low. Rainy season is june-jan. Flows are likely not what you are looking for.

There are definitely class IV/V creeks and rivers in belize. I have hiked some spectacular drainages at super low water in may. When I was there (2004) there did not seem to be much whitewater industry down there as far as gear rental, kayak shops, etc. There are folks who do raft trips and some ducky trips.

My two cents for March would be to focus on the best things in the area at that time, which would likely exclude whitewater boating. Diving in cozumel is top notch. Don't miss the cenotes around Tulum. Indiana Jones subterranean diving and snorkeling that are out of this world!

If you are heading down to Belize as well, the diving is great. I was based out of caye ambergris for about a week, and had a great time. Turneffe atoll was one of the best dives we did, but its a ways out there. Didn't do the blue hole, but most folks I talked to said its a novelty that is kinda cool, but not on par with the reef life you can see elsewhere.

Cayo district in Belize is worth the trip if you have the time. Its inland in the mountains, has cool mayan ruins, huge waterfalls, spectacular caves. This is where the boating would be in the rainy season. My wife and I stayed at the 5 sisters lodge (thumbs up) which is right on the privassion river and sits next to an amazing set of waterfalls called the 5 sisters. Google it to check it out. Water was very low and we hiked up the river at river level jumping on rocks, swimming in pools, jumping off waterfalls, and generally having a great time. Canyoneering style exploration of the rivers at low water is a good time.

Belize could be an incredible boating spot if you brought gear with you, had a crew ready for exploratory paddling, and had a lot of time to work out logistics and water levels. With that said, I'd focus on the multitude of other kick ass things to do in belize and the yucatan. Its going to be a great trip.

Call me if you want more info.

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Old 02-07-2010   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Mostly what Ian said,bad timing,but Slickrock used to do trips on the Macal into March.Dams have f'd up this excellent III - VI river. From Black Rock Lodge you can hike up past a mile of II -III to Vaca Falls IV+-VI,there is a trail.Above the falls you can usually walk up the dry part of the streambed /bedrock to access a series of 3-4 to 4-5 high drops.The Mopan near Guat. border will be running but is II- III- with mediocre play,unless it is cranking III w/good play.Moho in far southern Belize would be best bet for whitewater that late,only 3+ but a bunch of travertine falls.Known class 4/5 of Belize;Macal Gorge 3-6/p
Sibun Gorge V/p, very difficult access
Mullins River 4+
Upr.Privassion 4/5 p park/hike n'huck
lwr. Privassion IV-[V-] P'S, only run once by me and Greg ,that I know of

Rio On pools 2-6 run?
Rio On pools to Privassion unrun III+? VI?
lwr. Rio On[only run as part of lwr Privassion w/Macal gorge. -IV[P]
Rio Blanco/Sta . Cruz falls III low V high.near the Moho.
Agua Azul is a day away and probably running, combined with Palenque ruins would make it worthwhile,and not have to pay the border fees,no outfitters there either.

For Belize info try Mayan Whitewater.com or JES KARPER .ORG[Vids of Macal,Moho,Sibun,U. Privassion]. Jes might have boats down there,or try Island Adventures they rent sea kayaks and run whitewater trips,mostly duckies.Slickrock has whitewater kayaks.don't know if they rent,also RiverRat in San Ignacio was trying to get some hardshells [google].Good luck.
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