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Unique Belize Excursion: River Pontoon in the remote Vaca Reservoir - Real Life Recess

Unique Belize Excursion: River Pontoon in the remote Vaca Reservoir

best waterfalls in belize

Waaaaay out west in the Cayo District, and I’m talking waaaay out there… further west than you’ve ever been, there is a massive man-made lake.  Belize has 3 hydroelectric plants on the Macal River and the first dam, the Vaca Dam, has created a year-round reservoir that is pristine and placid and seldom visited.  The lake is massive and some local innovators have fashioned a few pontoon boats to tour the area on.

We had one of those magical days; one of those days where I catch myself grinning like a fool and thinking wow, how are we this lucky?! How is this real life? MY life?! (and it’s not real life, it’s real life recess ::wink wink::) It isn’t fast or painless to reach this remote reserve but it is absolutely worth the time and effort to become one of the few fortunate visitors to partake in the special excursion.

What elevated this experience in to the stratosphere was the people we shared it with.  We have such a nice group of friends on the peninsula and to take a trip together to a far-flung corner of the country and delight in new sights together, well that was ultimate.  The setting, the activities, the food, the fellowship- ah, I’m getting chills just reminiscing about it!

We car pooled from San Ignacio to reach the outpost- HideAway Camp– for La Capitana Pontoon; past all the resorts, past the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich, past even the border town of Benque Viejo del Carmen.  On an access road for the power plant, the only other community of notable size out this far is the ecovillage named Better in Belize.  Because this area is so secluded, the landscape is unmarred by construction and the forest is old-growth and wild.  You will not spot a scrap of litter!

Your pontoon captain will take you on a peaceful cruise to several scenic spots for stunning photos and if you’re so inclined- for daredevil stunts like cliff jumping and rope swings. 

Grill your lunch on the big BBQ right on board, grab a nap in one of the hammocks, or sip a beer on the small beach.

The pinnacle of the trip is a visit to this waterfall and natural pool.  A short hike from where your captain will moor the boat and lead you through the forest.  Is this incredible?!  I felt like I was in a commercial for very expensive bottled water.

For more information about this excursion visit: https://belizing.com/2/Upper-Macal-Jungle-River-Tour/

About the author

Megan Rodden

never met a vacation she didn't like. Megan is a self-centered, snarky, unambitious derelict... like most of her peers.

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© 2014 Megan Rodden and Phil Nagengast.