Discovering Bocawina Falls Print E-mail
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Friday, 01 September 2017 00:00

Between August 25th to the 27th, the Belize Tourism Board hosted representatives from eight media houses in Belize on a familiarization trip to Hopkins with the intent of promoting Belize as a tourist destination. One of the first destinations on the packed agenda was a visit to Bocawina.

At Bocawina, as it is known, the groups met with Andy Aspinal, the General Manager of the National Park, as well as tour guides that gave us a brief history of the park. One fun fact that was shared was the meaning of “Bocawina”. The first part of the name, “boca” is simply the Spanish word which translates to mean “mouth”. We were told that that was because the park is shaped in an elongated C which looks like a mouth. “Wina” comes from the Maya Q’eqchi’ word meaning “winding hills”, a perfect description of the twists and turns in the mountains’ geography.

Bocawina is known for waterfall rappelling and after a short pickup ride, the group hiked for a few shorts minutes before we were geared up in helmets, elbow and knee pads, and ropes from which we would be suspended. We again hiked for some minutes before reaching the fresh waterfall at Bocawina Falls, over a 100 foot drop. At the national park, there are other activities such as rappelling from Antelope Falls and Big Drop Falls, more advanced versions than what we did, zip lining, bird watching, hiking, and swimming in the river.

At Bocawina Falls, we were given a brief demonstration of what we were expected to do and to freak us out just enough, the guide slipped. Well that would be the trend for all except two of those that were brave enough to attempt the feat. Watching others go down the waterfall, and seeing them fall, made my turn a heart racing experience. While I fell more than everyone else, I was proud of myself. I had a great time and was just pleased to be sitting in cool water instead of being bitten by horrendous flies (despite my attempts of finishing the Off repellant.)

The trip was already a few hours late which meant that besides lunch -a very late one at that- we wouldn't be able to do much else. We hiked back to the entrance of the park, got into dry clothes, and drove to Hopkins where we had a fantastic lunch at Ella’s Cool Spot.