The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve of Belize is one of the most pristine areas in the country and home to the most beautiful and unspoiled mountainous land in Belize. It is complimented by rivers, waterfalls, caves, flora and fauna so unique to the country and region. This reserve is the only pine forest in all of Central America and the largest and oldest of Belize’s parklands.
Within the reserve there are complex systems of intertwining rivers, creeks, springs and most impressively gorgeous waterfalls. Who does not like to marvel at the beauty of a glorious waterfall and even swim up under the cascading waters? It’s like being next to heaven.
The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve of Belize is home to several of these natural waterfalls that are spread deep in the forests and jungles of the country. Getting to them is an adventure in itself; some are just a short drive away, while others require a more intense hike deep into the forest. Either way, the prize of reaching these waterfalls and enjoying their natural beauty is very much worth it.
So listed here are five Top Waterfalls that are a must visit in Belize. You will not regret taking the day to explore the surrounding areas and basking in their beauty.
#5 Thousand Foot Falls
Although it is the highest waterfall in Central America, this waterfall makes it fifth on our list because it is one of the hardest waterfalls to reach and it’s not that accessible to visitors. The road is not the best and during the rainy season it can get messy. There is not much to the falls as all you get to do is marvel at its beauty on a platform set quite some distance from the falls. There is a shelter with some benches and a public restroom in the viewing area.
The Thousand Foot Falls actually drops nearly 1,600feet; it has a thin plume of spray that plummets over the edge of a rock face into a seemingly bottomless gorge below. Although a very beautiful site, some visitors find the narrow falls unimpressive from this vantage point. To climb closer requires a major commitment: a steep climb down and up the side of the mountain is several hours. A lot of the tours no longer take guests here unless you specifically ask for it. Nevertheless, it is one of Belize most spectacular waterfalls.
#4 Butterfly Falls
Nestled in 7,200 acres of a private forest reserve, the Butterfly Falls is one of the many tucked away cascades and falls on top of Pine Ridge in the Cayo District of Belize. The only thing with this waterfall is that is located on the private property of the Hidden Valley Inn. Only guests of the resort have access to it; hence it is fourth on our list.
The hike to Butterfly Falls takes about 30 minutes through semi-tropical forest landscape and it can get vigorous it times – going up steep hills, jumping over large tree roots and climbing up large rocks. Proper hiking shoes are a must and you can pack swimsuits just in case you decided to take a dip in the surrounding green pool area below the waterfall. The water is cold, so it’s advisable to carry a change of clothes for the hike back.
Butterfly Falls drop 80 feet into a beautiful pool that is surrounded by lush green forest. It feels like you are enclosed and wrapped around by the forest. If you are lucky enough and alone at the falls, it feels like your own private natural spa – total bliss!!!
#3 King Vulture Falls
Also located within the private property reserve of the Hidden Valley Inn is the King Vulture Falls which can be viewed from a lookout that overlooks a deep valley. The serenity of the valley embraces you as you marvel at the King Vulture cascade that disappears deep within the canyon below. The breathtaking views are surely a highlight to your visit of the Mountain Pine Ridge area and birdwatcher can surely expect to catch glimpse of vultures and hawks, amongst other predatory birds in the area.
King Vulture Falls was highlighted in the Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild series which had Bear Grylls, jumping unto the falls from a helicopter, rappelling down the falls and making his way through the Belizean jungle.
#2 Five Sisters Falls
This is just a very picturesque waterfall and one that you can relax under one of its five plumes all day long. Water coming down the Privassion River forms five separate streams as it rolls over the rocks and boulders that make up the waterfall formation. The Five Sisters Falls is an excellent location for a cool and refreshing swim and an excellent place for a picnic. Its picturesque location invites you to enjoy the falls as much as you can, waiting for the last strands of sunlight to leave the area.
Accessed through Gaia Riverlodge (formerly known as Five Sisters Lodge), this waterfalls can be reached by descending a steep flight of steps or by riding the hydro-powered tram paralleling the mountainside. The falls is popular and are only available to guests of the lodge.
Lookout of Five Sisters Falls at Gaia Riverlodge, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
#1 Big Rock Falls
This Belizean waterfall is definitely one of the most impressive I have visited and the best part is that it is not the hardest one to get to. Big Rock Falls is a 150-foot waterfall on Privassion River which is accessible after a scenic drive along the Cristo Rey Road en routes to the Five Sisters Falls (Gaia River Lodge). The hike to the magnificent falls is an easy climb over granite boulders along the banks of the river – only about 15 minutes.
A visit to this magnificent spot is one of the highlights of any trip to the mountain Pine Ridge area. The sound of the roaring falls echoes through the valley and you get really excited to reach them as the sounds of rushing water keeps getting more intense. The tremendous waterfall takes your breath away as you bask in the beauty of the rushing water over a huge 150-foot rock formation. Down below is a perfectly round pool which is an amazing experience climbing and swimming up to. It is a breathtaking scene which provides a rush of excitement and caters to a refreshing swim.
Click Link to Watch Videoo: http://youtu.be/PlKncGKkdn8
Things To Take for Waterfall Experience
Bottle of water
Rain coat (Rainy season from June-Oct)
What’s really nice about the Mountain Pine Ridge is that there is a lot to do in this area including some fun water options that include these amazing waterfalls. They are a must if you are visiting the area; so plan ahead and add either one of them to your list, heck if you can, visit them all.