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Mountain Pine Ridge

Encompassing a spectacular range of rolling hills, peaks and gorges formed from some of the oldest rocks in Central America, the Reserve covers nearly 300 square miles of unpaved roads and nature trails.

Hidden Valley Falls - Mountain Pine Ridge

What's special about the Mountain Pine Ridge is that there is so much to do in this area, including some fun water options.

rio on

Rio On Pools are a continuous series of pools formed by large granite boulders. Many of the dozens of small pools are connected by small cascading waterfalls. The smooth surface of the water-worn rocks makes for natural water slides and a comfortable place for swimming; jumping from boulder to boulder is another favorite activity, which makes this spot a great place to hike. There are cement steps and a well worn foot path leading down to the pools.

Big Rock - Mountain Pine Ridge

Big Rock Falls is an impressive 60-foot waterfall boasting two large, deep pools. The footpath to the falls is a 15-minute hike and involves some difficult climbing down; however you can hike right up to the foot of the waterfall and swim in the cascading pools just below the falls. This hike is well worth the effort and is recommended for those who are in moderate physical condition.

Rio Frio Cave - Mountain Pine Ridge

Rio Frio Cave is located less than a mile from the Pine Forest Headquarters in Augustine. Stepping-stones lead up inside to the most easily accessible of Belize's water caves.

Rio Frio CaveEverything is big in this cave! The two 65-foot arched entryways leave you in awe. Huge stalactites hang from the massive cathedral-like vault, which is part of a cave system the Maya used to bury their dead. Room size boulders are strewn throughout the cave and a stream flows through, forming pools complete with cascading falls.

Openings at both ends make flashlights unnecessary for viewing the cave's formations during daylight hours. There is a beach area with a rock foot bridge for crossing the stream. From there its a quarter mile through to the exit, another equally impressive opening.

Laughing Jaw and several other caves are also  located nearby. The trails are marked and you can explore them on your own, or with a guide.

1000 Foot FallsHidden Valley Falls, also known as Thousand-Foot Falls, is believed to be the highest waterfall in Central America and is actually over 1,500 ft. to the bottom. A viewing platform overlooks the falls and is where avid birders wait for a glimpse of the elusive Orange-Breasted Falcon. There is a short scenic trail around the escarpment for taking in the valley view.

The road beyond the Mountain Pine Ridge continues south and on to Caracol, located in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Caracol is the largest Maya Archaeological site in Belize. Tours to this impressive site normally include a stop, on the return leg at either Big Rock Falls or Rio On Pools.

Along the Way ...

On your way or returning from the Mountain Pine Ridge, you can take advantage of other nearby area attractions, such as Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, Zip-Lining , and Cave Canoeing at Barton Creek.

Barton Creek Cave is accessed through a picturesque Mennonite farm community. See large and colorful formations while canoeing through the cave using a powerful search light.

Green Hills Butterfly Ranch is a research center and botanical collection. There are more than 25 species of butterflies on display in the breeding facility and landscaped flight area.

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