Map of Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize
The area to the Southeast of San Ignacio climbs into an area of poor fertility that supports an extensive pine forest. If you believe the hype from the lesser guide books (Lonely Planet, for instance), the forest has been forever ruined by a pine beetle infestation. A couple of small rivers flow through the area providing waterfalls.
In addition to pine forest, you can find pockets of tropical humid forest and interesting caves.
Mexico to Panama
1/26/2009: We rented a high clearance vehicle to get up here due to the reported terrible roads. The roads were pretty bad in a few places. My main reason to visit the area was to see the Orange-breasted Falcons that supposedly hang out at the 1000 foot falls, but, of course, the falls were shrouded in fog by the time we got there, and we were barely able to even see the water. Other sites were the Rio On Pools and the jungle-shrouded Rio Frio caves.
The pine beetle infestation was fairly obvious in much of the area, but so goes the cycle of nature, and the trees were starting to grow back. The waterfalls were not eaten by the beetles.
Previous Visit (Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave: 1/25/2009)
Next Visit (Barton Creek: 1/27/2009)