Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Topic Options
#475062 - 10/17/13 05:45 AM Floating the Mopan
Marty Offline
On a trip to Belize in February of 1999, my brother Jack and I decided to float the Mopan River. This river begins in Guatemala and flows across the middle of Belize to the Caribbean Sea at Belize City. We had floated the Macal River a couple of days before and had a great time.

We headed to San Ignatio to rent a canoe. There, we located a heavy fiberglass canoe that was not well made for white water or any flowing stream. For that matter, I can't imagine it being successful for any body of water. However, it was the only canoe we could find. Finally, off we set with the huge canoe loaded on top of our rental vehicle. Unfortunately, the Belizian man, named Felize, who located the canoe for us, insisted on taking the trip with us. He was concerned with getting a tip and the canoe back.

The beauty of the Mopan River cutting its way through the rain forest was marred by trash washed down from Guatemala. Periodically, we saw local women washing their clothes in the polluted river by rubbing them on rocks as small children played at the water's edge. The river had a stair step characteristic created by bedrock ledges over which it flowed. Still, it was an interesting float and a beautiful day. We stopped on the bank and shared our lunch with our new friend.

As we proceeded down the river, the bedrock ledges were consistently about one-half mile apart. After navigating one of the larger ledges into a deep pool, our heavy canoe took on so much water that it resembled a slowly diving submarine. We quickly gathered our floating belongings and then regrouped after we freed the canoe from some brush and overturned it to empty it. We were glad that we were not farther down the stream where crocodiles lived. The only lost item was Felize's shoes that he had taken off and stashed in the bow of the canoe.

At about the halfway point of the float, we arrived at the largest drop in the river called Clarrisa Falls. This area had a series of rapids ending with a single gap dropping two and half feet. Given our experience earlier with the submarined canoe, we asked Felize to carry some of our gear down the bank while Jack and I tried to safely maneuver the drop. With Jack in the back, I guided the bow toward the v-shaped notch in the small cascade. We hit it perfectly taking on only a little water.

The size and skill set of the team is vital to its success. With only the two of us in the canoe, we easily succeeded on the worst rapid. Felize was one person too many for the task and the equipment we had at hand. He really did not know the river that well either. Jack could read it and make decisions superior to those of Felize. Usually, the guide is the leader on river trips. However, Jack soon took that role once Felize's limited river knowledge was apparent. I trusted Jack completely. Leaders must staff teams adequately with the optimal number of participants who have the needed skills. Otherwise, the whole team could go down.


#475123 - 10/17/13 08:02 PM Re: Floating the Mopan [Re: Marty]
Bear Offline
Clarissa Falls...anyone in this area should stop in a Cheynas and enjoy a relaxing meal atop a Maya mound immediately adjacent to the river...most excellent host and an excellent inexpensive meal of local fare.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

Things to do

Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker

TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lilí Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online
0 registered (), 32 Guests and 7 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,638 Registered Members
44 Forums
63,734 Topics
461,302 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 02:16 PM

AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.