River kayaking on the Swasey River

Tours and adventures for all ages

River kayaking on the Swasey River

If you are the type of person who looks for the road less traveled, you’ll want to take the river. Located in the foothills of the Maya mountain in Southern Belize is the swasey river. Kayaking the waters of this beautiful river offers an opportunity to explore the scarlet macaw reserve established in the 1990’s. Very close to the village of red bank, yet you will get that feeling that you are floating somewhere in the most remote area in Belize’s jungle. Essentially where there is water, there is wildlife; and Belize has plenty of both. The highlight of this float is the sightings of scarlet macaws during their winter migration to red bank from December through March. For others it can be the playful river otters playing and feeding along the river banks. This tour is an excellent combination of sights and packed with lots of fun on the river. It all starts with an hour drive from Placencia or a 45 minutes drive from Hopkins. Upon arrival, the guides provide excellent instruction in how to handle the boats and how to read the water. The float is approximately two hours through the scarlet macaw reserve however getting to and from the river takes approximately 15 minutes from red bank village. The first section of the river is pretty mellow with easy current so it is the perfect warm up. Then comes the exciting class one and two rapids is what we call forgiving rapids because even if someone does tip over in a rapid, typically they just end up floating in a calm area below laughing. No previous experience is needed to experience this river. Note: Children must be 5 years or older to participate.
Tour Price:

2-3pax USD $120 per person
4pax and more USD $95 per person

Tour duration:

Departs: 9am
Returns: 2:30pm

Tour difficulty:


  • Private guide
  • Transportation to and from your accommodation
  • Bottled water
  • Lunch
  • Park entrance fee
  • All gears
  • Swimsuit
  • Waterproof camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Change of clothes
  • Water shoes


We searched and searched for a river kayaking tour from Palencia with no luck. Every tour operator offered river tubing but no kayaking until we found Raul online. We had a blast on the swasey river near red bank village. Beautiful float with some awesome rapids where a couple of us tipped over but no injuries. We even had an option to take a floating bar(small cooler with drinks) which came in really handy. We would do it again.


Sam Will

Raul suggested to us a hike to see the macaws first and then go kayaking for the same price. We are not a bird nerd, still agreed to his recommendation. Without knowing, this became the highlight of our entire trip to Belize and Hopkins. If you find yourself in southern Belize during the winter time, you must visit red bank, raul and the macaws!! What a great hike and spectacular views of dozens of red macaws in flight. To this excitement, we saw more macaws flying as we kayaked the river.


Phillip Kenn

There is no other greater adventure than river kayaking on a beautiful river!!!! It is fun, and intriguing, and the most Blissful experience ever!!!!


Zack Hunter

River kayaking on the Swasey River