Waterfalls in Belize are some of the most gorgeous places on earth, to spend some time. The pristine beauty and the tranquil atmosphere (that surrounds a waterfall), is a real treat to the eyes. There is something about the sound of trickling, flowing, dripping water, that relaxes and refreshes us. Below are 15 unbelievable waterfalls, found only in Belize.
1. ANTELOPE FALLS
Most of Belize’s waterfalls are located in state parks, and Antelope Falls in Mayflower Bocawina State Park is no exception. At nearly 1,000 feet tall, this is one of the country's tallest waterfalls. The hike to Antelope Falls is more difficult than many others, but the panoramic views (from the top), of the surrounding rainforest and the Caribbean Sea is well worth the effort. There is an upper and lower portion to the falls, the latter being the easiest to reach. The park offers guided bird-watching, zip-lining, and hiking tours to ancient Mayan ruins.
2. DAVIS FALLS
At nearly 500 feet tall, Davis Falls are said to be the second-largest in the country. Davis Falls is located in the Stann Creek area, which puts them in close proximity to amazing beaches, ancient ruins, and a host of other tourist sites. The falls are located just off the Hummingbird Highway near the town of Dangrea, and there’s a fee to enter. Due to their remote location, one of the favorite methods of seeing them is by guided ATV tour.
3. THOUSAND FOOT FALLS
At nearly 1,600 feet, The Thousand Foot Falls are a bit misnamed, it's actually much more than a thousand feet in height. Occastionaaly referred to as "Hidden Valley Falls" by some. This is the tallest falls in the country of Belize, and for that fact for the entire Central America area. Due to the sheer size of the falls, they can be seen from far away, especially when driving through the valley below. It's quite a drive to get all the way there, and though the view is magical, you don't get to jump in the pool of water at the bottom. Once you turn off the main road, you continue on for about 4 miles. This will bring you to the falls and a picnic area. You can view the falls from across the gorge and through breaks in the mist. A small store and picnic tables can be found at the viewpoint (open 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily). Thousand Foot Falls is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
4. BIG ROCK FALLS
Big Rock Fals is a gorgeous 150 foot waterfall on the Privassion River in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in the Cayo District, and is among the largest falls in Belize. Due to the rock over which the falls flow, the water is tapered into a V-shape, giving the falls a truly unique look. Though the surrounding rocks may look climbable, be careful; they can be slippery. Although the water doesn’t look too forceful, it packs a lot of punch. The pool below is easily accessible and a great place for a family swim and picnic.
It can be accessed through a trail about 300 yards long down a 130′ deep gorge and is an ideal location for swimming or sun tanning.The tremendous view of water rushing over the huge 150-ft rock formations and plummeting into the deep perfectly round pool at its base provides a rush of excitement. A visit to this magnificent spot is one of the highlights of any trip to the mountain Pine Ridge area.
5. BOCAWINA FALLS
The Bocawina Falls are found inside the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. There is actually three waterfalls in this national park (Bocawina Falls, Three Sisters Falls, and Antelope Falls). In addtion to this stunning waterfall, Bocawina is home to an amazing number of bird species, Mayan ruins, and a zip-line that’s purported to be the longest in the entire country. At nearly 100 feet tall, the falls are impressive and picturesque. Due to their hidden location in the surrounding forest, they are best reached with a guide. The pools below the falls are a great place for a swim or picnic and repelling and climbing are available if you’d like to get your heart rate up. If bird watching is your thing, don’t forget your binoculars.
Access to the park is easiest from Hopkins, about 20 minutes by car. However, tours are offered from Placencia and Dangriga, as well as from Hopkins. The entrance to the park is about 4-1/2 miles off the Southern Highway. From the visitor center, to get to Bocawina and Three Sisters Falls, which are close together, it’s an easy hike of about 1-1/4 miles on the marked Bocawina Falls trail. The trail to Antelope Falls, about 1-3/4 miles, is somewhat more difficult due to some steep sections that can be slick after rains. Maps of the trails are available at the small visitor center. So far, little excavation has been conducted at the Mayan sites, but the parklike setting at the base of the Maya Mountains is beautiful.
6. BUTTERFLY FALLS
Located in the southern portion of Belize, Butterfly Falls is located on the border of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve (in the Cayo District), which is nearly 100,000 acres of protected pine forest. Though near the forest reserve, the falls are actually on private property and can only be accessed through special permission. The water above the emerald green pool falls nearly 80 feet from the fall’s crest, contrasting with the rock face and lush jungle surrounding it.
7. MAYA KING FALLS
Near the quaint fishing town of Placencia on Belize’s southeast Caribbean coast, the Maya King Waterfalls are perfectly located for those who want to experience the country’s eco-related activities like hiking, climbing, and snorkeling. At about 70 feet high, the fall’s water drops from the forest above and splashes to the scenic pool filled with refreshing water at its base. The falls are on private property and there is a small fee to enjoy them. It’s best to go with a tour guide; the cost will include transportation, entrance fees, and the guide’s fee too.
8. TIGER FERN FALLS
Located in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is Tiger Fern Waterfall. The hike from the park headquarters to the falls is about (4) kilometers. Depending on your physical ability, it should take no more than a few hours round trip. The park employees will give you an overview of the various trails in the area; if you’re comfortable with the layout, you’re more than welcome to head out on your own. Keep an eye out for the exotic plants and animals that call the park home. Many of them aren’t found anywhere else.
9. FIVE SISTERS FALLS
The waterfall got its name because the water forms 5 separate streams as it rolls over the rocks and boulders, hence the name Five Sisters and is excellent for a cool and refreshing swim. Located near the central Belize town of Sarawina, Five Sisters Falls is a popular attraction to visitors heading to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Five Sisters is noted for its enticingly clear pools and gleaming falls set against the dense green forest nearby. The falls are near to lodging and restaurants if you’d like to spend the evening in luxury after a tough day of slashing your way through the jungle. The falls and viewing areas are easily reachable from the park office and resort.
10. BEN BLUFF FALLS
Located in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Ben’s Bluff Waterfall is another must-see waterfall in Belize’s Stann Creek area. The park’s land has been set aside to protect the area’s plants and animals. The moderately difficult trail winds its way about 4-1/2 kilometers through the park to the falls. Though it can be tricky in spots, it’s suitable for most visitors. Though not tall by waterfall standards, the falls are beautiful and well worth the effort to get to them. Be especially careful in the early morning or late afternoon, as this is feeding time for many jaguars.
11. RIO BLANCO FALLS
Located inside a 500-acre protected area, the Rio Blanco Waterfall in San Antonio is part of an area set aside for the local indigenous people. In part, they support themselves from revenue from the falls, so there’s a fee to enter. The mile-long trail is accessible by car or on foot, but it’s best not to drive because (depending on the season), the trail can be narrow and slick. At just about 20 feet, the falls make up for in beauty what they lack in size. Don’t forget a bathing suit and bug spray, and don’t be surprised if you see some of the natives enjoying the falls and swimming hole too.
12. BILL BARQUEDIER FALLS
Located in a national park with the same name, Billy Barquedier falls are conveniently located in the country’s popular Stann Creek area, which makes them a great place to see in an easy day trip. There’s a fee to enter the park, and the falls are about half an hour from the parking area. The trail can be difficult in areas, including portions over slippery stone and up muddy embankments, so be careful. The falls aren’t large, but they seem to emerge from a dark hole in the surrounding jungle, and the pool below is a great place for a refreshing swim.
13. SAN ANTONIO FALLS
If, like me, you thought that a waterfall that barely reached 10 feet wasn’t exactly a must-see in a country with so many noteworthy sites, guess again. Near the small town of San Antonio, the small but scenic falls sport easily accessible pools above and below; each are perfect places to take a dip and wash away that sweat and grime.
The pool’s water is shallow, and if it hasn’t rained recently, clear too, which makes them easy to wade across and check out some of the things that live inside. The falls are a stone’s throw from the road leading out of town and are a great stop, even if just for an hour or two.
14. GOLDEN STREAM WATERFALL
Another small but tranquil and beautiful waterfall is the Golden Stream Waterfall, located near a town of the same name in southern Belize. Even today, villagers still use the waterfall to get water, wash clothes, and bathe in. These small waterfalls are more well known for the large pools they flow into. The pools are large and deep, making them perfect for swimming. You'll probably have the pleasure of sharing them with some of the village children. It's not far from the village of Golden Stream, so its a perfect place to see the life of local people, as you enjoy this spot.
15. RIO ON WATERFALLS & POOLS
Located near Cayo, in Belize’s western interior, just off the main road in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve (before reaching Augustine Village). Rio on Pools and the surrounding falls are often referred to as Belize’s most alluring swimming pool. Although they are waterfalls, they’re really a series of natural pools set along a slow-moving river strewn with large, round boulders. The scene revealed from the riverbank high above is absolutely breathtaking.
A short hike down to the river transports visitors to a swimming pool wonderland. Whether your desire it to sit under a waterfall, slide over the smooth granite boulders, swim in your very own selection of pools or simply bask in the awesome natural beauty around you, Rio On Pools is sure to provide a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Trent S. Turley
My name is Trenton S. Turley, and I am a Belizean citizen who has now been living in the country of Belize for the past 15 years. I am also an environmental activist. Our family moved to Belize, when I was 8 years old. I speak English, Spanish, Kriol and American Sign Language. I have a true love for the eco-system of Belize, with regards to preserving this beautiful countries resources.
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