The Mountain Pine Ridge reserve is over 100,000 acres of protected forest. It is comprised mainly of Honduras pine and some wetlands, the Macal River valley and some subtropical forest. The area is mainly granite and limestone, and is home to numerous rivers, springs, waterfalls and caves. This is truly a nature lover’s haven! There is a small forest ranger post and very little habitation, except for a couple of isolated Maya communities and a small settlement of Mennonites. A former logging settlement at San Luis is now abandoned because the area has been protected since the 1940s.
This stunning and unique natural habitat is home to numerous bird and mammal species, and is a great place for birdwatching and enjoying the peace of the natural environment. The first feature of the reserve that we will explore is the Rio Frio Cave, the source of the Rio Frio river and the largest cave entrance in Belize. Our next stop is the Rio On Pools, a series of shimmering natural swimming holes and rock water slides that allow for cooling relaxation and meditation. Enjoy a water massage from cascading waterfalls that run over a wide river bed and smooth granite rocks.
Take a homemade picnic lunch break at the pools followed by a short drive to our next destination, the fabulous Big Rock Falls, a 150-foot waterfall on Privassion Creek. Here, the cool spray of mist from the waterfall refreshes swimmers in the clear, deep pool below. This day of hiking, spelunking, swimming and possible wildlife watching is not to be missed!