Mountain Pine Ridge Area Attractions
The highland area known as the Mountain Pine Ridge lies between Belmopan and the Guatemalan border. The crest of the Maya Mountains forms a natural border separating the Stann Creek District to the east and the Toledo District to the south. Rather than describing a topographical feature, the word "ridge" describes a type of forest found in the area identified by its most prominent tree, the mountain pine. The massive area is mostly uninhabited except for a few small settlements.
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve was established in 1944 and is one of Belize's most visited forests. Covering 300sq.mi/777sq.km, the reserve has many rivers, waterfalls, pools and caves among the pine forest. The higher elevation results in a cooler climate and relief from mosquitoes.Ancient rock formations dominate the reserve, and geologists theorize that when the entire Central American land mass was covered by the sea, only the Mountain Pine Ridge region lay exposed as an island. Several interesting natural attractions lie within the boundaries of the reserve.
Río Frio Cave & Nature Trail
Historically used by the Maya as burial grounds, the Río Frio cave is one of the reserve's most popular attractions. Cooled by a river running through it, interesting formations can be seen in the cave. A nature trail leads through the forest offering some good vistas of the surrounding area.
Five Sisters Falls
Five Sister Falls are five waterfalls cascading over a short drop-off and gathering in a pool. The falls are accessible by an outdoor elevator at the Five Sisters Lodge.
Río On Pools
Thousand Foot Falls
Also called Hidden Falls, Thousand Foot Falls are surrounded by hiking trails and features an observation platform offering attractive vistas of the area. The long, thin streaming cascade reaches 1,600ft/488m.