Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

Big Rock Falls at Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve was set up in 1944 and is managed by the Forest Department. Unfortunately a huge bush fire in 1949 wiped out most of the trees in the reserve. So all trees in this reserve are of the same age. Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize is one of the most popular reserves among tourists who found it a great relief from the heat of the lowlands. The best time to visit is between March to June as July to November is the rainy season with maximum rains during September and October.

You can reach the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve by car from Chiquibil, six miles east of San Ignacio or take the other rugged route from Cristo Rey directly to Santa Elena. Upon arrival at the reserve you need to register at the entrance and take permission from the Forest department for camping within the reserve.  
 
You may stay at any of the resorts around the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize from where you can take day trips for sightseeing, hiking and kayaking into the reserve. Alternately, you may stay at San Ignacio and visit the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve from there. During the dry season there is a high risk of forest fires, so carry water and avoid smoking when visiting this reserve.


The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize is blessed with nature’s bounty and has a wide variety of birds and plants besides some wild animals. An avid birdwatcher can easily spot the myriad birds like acorn woodpeckers, crossbill, Rufus-capped warbler, pine Siskin and the Eastern bluebirds. The reserve is home to the orange-breasted falcons that are seen cruising around the pine trees that cover a major portion of the forest. Other fauna includes broad leaf forest cover and open grasslands along with a minuscule area under wetlands. You can spot some species of frogs, fish and the Morelet’s crocodile in the rivers flowing through the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize. 
 
One area distinct from the forest is the Baldy Beacon where no trees grow and there is only a carpet of the roughest grass, so that you enjoy an uninterrupted view of the panoramic mountains with their grassy peaks. Another area of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve worth visiting is the Rio Frio caves area that is the largest limestone cavern in Belize. There are plenty of nature trails for walking within the reserve and you can go for day picnics to Rio on Pools that has deep pools of water bounded by granite boulders. You can also visit the 1,000 Feet Valley Falls and King Vulture Falls adjacent to the reserve. Remember to carry insect repellants, torch and wear full-sleeves clothes to cover your body before you venture to take a trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize. 
 
Photos of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve are available in these articles: