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Sep 11, 2020 Welcomes Belizeans For a Day of Relaxation

We all know that tourism has taken a nose-dive; the P.G.I.A. remains closed for another three weeks and international visitors have kept away due to the corona virus. Tour operators have taken a massive hit in their bottom line and some have had to explore new ways of staying in the business. Now the wonders of cave tubing are well-known but what about river tubing? That is an option that is totally relaxing, soothing and a wonderful adventure. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo was introduced to the activity by a well-known operator. Here is that story.


Hipolito Novelo reporting

This is Vitalino Reyes  Senior, a veteran tour operator and owner of A year ago, Reyes would be busy, attending to dozens of tourists and locals, preparing them for zip lining, or cave tubing. But this year, business has been bad and that is because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Vitalino Reyes Sr.,

Vitalino Reyes Sr.

“COVID-19 has affected me big time because now we are only working but there is no money. Like I say, if there is no money, there is no money.”


But Reyes sees the silver lining beyond this COVID cloud. He is hopeful that things get better will but only time will tell. But for now, as the airport remains closed-set for reopening in October-, Reyes has changed his game plan.


Aside from cave-tubing and zip-lining, is now offering river-tubing. But before we take you through the tour, we first get our tubes. The guide took us where we will set out.


Drifting down the river, beneath the canopy, is relaxing. The sound of rushing waters and the chirping of many birds is soothing. The river-tubing took us about an hour and the sights along the way were spectacular. And for a hot Sunday, the water was perfect.


Wilson Bejerano

Wilson Bejerano, Local Tourist

“The river tour was relaxing I think. It was a very good scenery because to see the trees and some little animals.”


Herbert  Stuart, Local Tourist

“It was very tranquil. It was very relaxing. The river hand all the fishes that prick your foot.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Did you like it?”


Herbert  Stuart

Herbert Stuart

“I loved it. I will definitely do it again.”


From there this small group of local tourists got suited up for the zip-lines. COVID-19 preventative measures are set in place. There is the six-feet social distancing, soap, wash basins and hand sanitizers available. Another guide leads the group to the first platform. Zip-lining at gives you an enjoyable thrill. The scenery is also breathtaking. At every step, safety measures are in place.


Alejandro Castaneda

Alejandro Castaneda, Local Tourist

“It was an experience. It was a good experience with excitement and the same time fear because you don’t know what you will experience but it is a good experience for people to enjoy family life and families to come together and enjoy the beauty of nature.”


Jasmine Pech, Local Tourist

Jasmine Pech

“This is my frits time zip-lining and cave-tubing and at first I thought it was going to be frightening but I really had. I let myself relax.”


During these challenging and stressful times, getting away from all the COVID news is a good thing and provides the perfect opportunity to relax. And after a day of fulfilled adventures, guests are treated with lunch. But behind Reyes face mask, worry lies. Keeping a place like this operational during these times is costly. In fact, it would be cheaper for Reyes for close down, terminate his employees and wait for good news. But he has refused to do so and remains opens hoping that Belizeans would take advantage of his services.


Vitalino Reyes Sr.

“It is more expensive to have it open that what we are going to make because locals do come but that is not enough to maintain a place like this. So what I am doing is try to sell vans and there is no money so you take whatever they offer. That is the only hope, that I have assets. I will be broke by tomorrow because we are not doing anything from March, April May, June, July August, six months without making anything. So we just need to be strong and have hopes and keep the place good so when people come they go back and tell other friends and so.

Before COVID 19, probably between ten and twenty locals coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday, without booking ahead of time. We just show up and that is it. Not again. That does not happen again. Just today we were lucky that we got six.  Mostly, local would come on Sundays. I thought locals would come Friday, Saturday and Sunday but I see most of our local people they will choose Sunday to go with the family. Today I was blessed that I had a group of six and I had you here at my zip-lining operations. As you can see they went cave tubing then you did river tubing. We keep busy but not busy for business but to have our locals to see what we have to offer so they can tell everybody in the whole country so Belizeans are welcome to enjoy this.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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