Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
There are numerous ways to visit the park, though it’s generally easier to opt for a tour. Tours can be either relaxing, with swims and picnics, or bordering on extreme adventure—such as hiking to Thousand Foot Falls, Central America’s largest waterfall, or spelunking in the Rio Frio Cave. There are also opportunities to spot the rich wildlife in this area, including tapirs and toucans, though jaguars only come out at night.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mountain Pine Ridge is a must-visit for nature lovers or anyone looking for a chance to spot wildlife in Belize.
- Bring sun protection, bug spray, and comfortable shoes.
- Most activities require some mobility and many are not suitable for children.
How to Get There
The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve is located in the lush Belizean inland, about a 3-hour drive southwest from Belize City or around 1.5 hours by car from San Ignacio. There’s no real public transportation in the area, so those wanting to explore the reserve will need to join a tour or rent a car.
When to Get There
The best time to visit the reserve is during the dry season, which runs from the end of November and continues through around the middle of April (although it's also the busiest time of year). Note that the road can get fairly difficult in the wet summer season and requires strong knowledge of the area as well as a good dose of patience.
The Caracol archaeological Reserve
Visiting Belize’s largest Mayan site, Caracol archaeological Reserve, requires passing through the Mountain Pine Ridge, and it’s certainly worth a stop if you’re a fan of history (it’s also a de facto stop on many tours). Here you'll find thousands of structures, five plazas, and numerous intricate carvings. Historians believe that this area was occupied as far back as 1200 BC.
- Big Rock Falls
- Macal River
- Green Hills Butterfly Ranch
- Barton Creek Cave
- Actun Tunichil Muknal
- San Jose Succotz
- Cahal Pech Maya Site & Museum
- El Pilar Mayan Ruins
- Crystal Cave (Mountain Cow Cave)
- Blue Hole National Park
- Belize Botanic Gardens
- Tikal National Park (Parque Nacional Tikal)