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Every year, the seafaring brave take to the tumultuous waters of Ambergris Caye for the annual Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge. This iconic race consists of two persons per kayak as they paddle their way through the grueling 42-mile route on May 26 and 27. After the famed Ruta Maya, this is one of the biggest races held in Belize. Competitors’ endurance and strength are tested, with a hefty cash prize dangling at the rippling finish line.
The route, which is the same as every year, is for two days:
Day 1 – 25 miles
- Lagoon side behind football in town – 6:30 a.m.
- Sir Barry Bowen Bridge
- Basil Jones Area in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve (paddlers camp out for the night)
Day 2 – 17 miles
- Basil Jones Camp site – 9 a.m.
- San Pedro Town
Awards are cash prizes given to the top three finishers (along with a trophy for first place) in each category (such as three winners for Adult Female, three winners for Junior Co-ed, etc.)
According to the organizers, the challenge aims to “promote awareness, protection and conservation of mangroves, lagoons, reefs and the diverse species found in these natural habitats off the coast of Ambergris Caye.” The idea was birthed by Elito Arceo, from San Pedro Town, who is known to be an environmentalist and community activist.
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