How to Visit Big Rock Falls Belize

Your Friend the Nomad

How to Visit Big Rock Falls Belize

Dreaming of swimming beneath waterfalls in Belize’s lush Mountain Pine Ridge?

Head straight to Big Rock Falls! This large waterfall is one of the best places to swim in the Cayo District’s beautiful Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and its still a bit of a hidden gem.

Whether you’re exploring the area on a day trip from San Ignacio or another part of Belize, or you’re visiting while staying at an ecolodge in Mountain Pine Ridge, this Big Rock Falls Belize travel guide is for you!

Big Rock Falls in Belize

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๐ŸŒบ My Belize Favorites ๐Ÿ

๐Ÿคฟ Barrier Reef Snorkeling & Diving: Belize has the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced! You can book guided snorkel and dive trips from Hopkins, San Pedro, or Caye Caulker. Browse Belize snorkel and dive trip.

๐ŸŒฒ Escape to Mountain Pine Ridge: Climb up in elevation to a cooler (and less visited) area with gorgeous waterfalls, fun swimming holes, Mayan ruins, and so much more! You will need a vehicle with 4WD here, butย this day trip from San Ignacio is also an option.

๐Ÿฅพ Cave Adventures: Cave tubing is an adventure unique to Belize, and many people come all the way here to experience the ATM Cave, where you can witness human remains and Mayan artifacts.

๐Ÿš™ Explore the Hummingbird Highway: This breathtaking lush scenic drive connects the Cayo District and the Caribbean coast. Stop along the way at waterfalls, a cenote, a chocolate workshop, caves, and more! My guide to the Hummingbird Highway.

๐ŸŒด Where to Stay: A sustainable jungle treehouse beside the beach in Hopkins at Hamanasi, a quiet breezy room at Weezie’s on the vibrant small island of Caye Caulker, or a luxury bungalow overlooking waterfalls at Gaia Riverlodge.

Find more of my Belize favorites and Belize travel tips at the bottom of this article!

Visiting Belize’s Big Rock Falls

The short hike to Big Rock Falls (Big Rock waterfall) is one of my favorite things to do in Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve.

It’s said to be a 150-foot waterfall, though I think its actually quite a bit shorter. If you visit, let me know if you agree! Nearly every resource I’ve seen about Big Rock Falls (printed travel guides, online articles, and more) state this height but it felt quite a bit shorter than the nearby Rio Frio Cave which is supposed to be almost 100 feet high.

No matter the size, this waterfall is a beautiful spot to swim along the river and cool off after the trek down the cliffside. There are also several large boulders where you can cliff jump, but please use good judgement and make sure its deep enough before jumping. In theory, you could also rock climb up beside the falls, but since its so slippery I wouldn’t recommend it.

Big Rock Falls Visitor’s Information

๐Ÿ“ท Features & attractions: Large waterfall with small pools along the river, plus boulders for cliff jumping
๐Ÿ’ต Entrance fee: None (free to visit)
โฐ Opening hours: Open daily, no specific opening hours
๐Ÿ—บ Location: 22JG+X8R, Blancaneaux, Belize in Belize’s Cayo District
๐Ÿฅพ Accessibility notes: 4WD vehicle highly recommended, 10-15 minute hike down steep, slippery terrain (not wheelchair accessible)

How to Get to Big Rock Falls

The main road through Mountain Pine Ridge was recently paved, but many side roads, including the offshoot that leads to Big Rock Falls, are not fit for regular cars.

With that in mind, you will need a high clearance 4WD vehicle to get to Big Rock Falls on your own.

You can compare rental prices from various local Belize rental companies here. I usually end up renting from Crystal Auto Rental when Iโ€™m in Belize.

To reach Big Rock Falls head to Mountain Pine Ridge. The drive to the waterfall’s parking lot from the entrance of Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve takes about 20 minutes. Follow the signs and turn off the main road. Then park by the trail to Big Rock Falls.

Keep in mind that Google Maps will likely tell you to take some ‘shortcuts’ that don’t actually exist. Once you enter the forest reserve, just follow the road signs toward Big Rock Falls. The waterfall is along the same road as Blancaneaux Lodge, Gaia Riverlodge, and Kane Villas, so you can follow the signs for those lodges, too.

The parking lot is a small muddy area that only has room for a few cars. From there you have a 10-15 minute steep hike down the cliffside to the base of the falls. The trail has some steps and is in decent shape, but a few of the wooden stairs were broken when we visited. It can get quite slippery so walk with care and consider wearing hiking shoes.

Tours to Big Rock Falls

If you’d prefer not to take a rental car on the sometimes treacherous Mountain Pine Ridge roads, you can still visit this gorgeous waterfall with a local guide!

This Mountain Pine Ridge day trip from San Ignacio is a lovely way to explore Mountain Pine Ridge, while supporting a local business. It includes roundtrip transport and stops at Big Rock Falls, as well as Rio On Pools and Rio Frio Cave. I’ve personally been on some of their tours had an incredible experience. This tour in particular has lots of great reviews from other travelers, too.

Belize Travel Blogs

What to Pack for Big Rock Waterfalls

๐Ÿ‘™ Bathing suit: Wear or pack a swim suit if you plan to swim here!

๐Ÿฅค Drinking water and snacks: Mountain Pine Ridge is a nature reserve with very little development, and only a few restaurants at the lodges. Bring all the water you’ll need for the day, plus snacks and maybe lunch!

๐Ÿฅพ Water shoes, hiking shoes, or sandals: Pack some shoes you can walk in down muddy hills and along slippery rocks. I brought these shoes that are grippy and sturdy for hiking and double as water shoes!

๐Ÿ’ฆ Travel towel: I love this fast drying, sand resistant travel towel. I bring it everywhere!

๐ŸŽ’ Dry bag: A dry bag like this can be very helpful to keep all your valuables safe and dry!

๐Ÿ› Bug spray and sunscreen: I didn’t have any issues with bugs while I was in Mountain Pine Ridge, but definitely experienced my fair share of itchy bug bites during my month in Belize. Always bring insect repellant just in case!

๐Ÿ“ท GoPro or waterproof phone case: I have a GoPro Hero11, which has 27 megapixels and screens on both sides, and I love it!

๐Ÿฉน Travel insurance: While it is not a physical item to pack, please donโ€™t forget to purchase travel insurance in case something happens! I always buy a policy with SafetyWing.

Left to right: Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave, and Gaia Riverlodge

More Things to do Nearby Rio On Pools Belize

If you’re making the journey to Rio On Pools from San Ignacio, Belize City, or another part of the country, consider checking out some other gorgeous spots in the Mountain Pine Ridge area! My favorite things to do nearby include:

๐Ÿ”ฆ Seeing the Giant Rio Frio Cave: This massive cave is 110% worth visiting if you are in the area. However, do not go here if there has been rain and be careful driving as the road is in very rough shape! Read my full guide to Rio Frio Cave.

๐Ÿ’ฆ Sunbathing and Swimming at Rio On Pools: These stunning natural pools along the river are very close to Rio Frio Cave. There is also a great viewpoint nearby overlooking the falls with picnic tables if you want to stop for lunch! Read my full guide to Rio On Pools.

๐Ÿน Enjoy a Drink at Gaia Riverlodge: Slow down and take in the tranquility of Mountain Pine Ridge at Gaia Riverlodge’s boho luxury restaurant overlooking the Five Sister’s Waterfall.

๐Ÿฆ‹ Visit Green Hills Butterfly Ranch: Learn about the butterfly lifecycle and spot 7 species of hummingbirds here!

Read more about these Mountain Pine Ridge attractions and others in my full guide to the best things to do in Mountain Pine Ridge Belize.

More Waterfalls to Visit in Belize

Although its small, the waterfall at Billy Barquedier National Park along the Hummingbird Highway is one of my favorite Belize waterfalls. It’s lesser known and easy to visit (15 min hike off the highway) making it a great place to swim, often with the place to yourself.

Antelope Falls in the Bocawina Rainforest is another lovely waterfall in Belize. I’d definitely consider this Antelope Falls rappelling adventure if you’re staying in Hopkins, Placencia, or on the Hummingbird Highway.

If you’re spending any time based in San Ignacio during your Belize vacation, this highly-rated jungle pontoon waterfall adventure is a great option. I didn’t get to do it on my last trip to Belize but I regret it and I’m sure I’ll join next time in I’m Belize.

Finally, Belize is home to the tallest waterfall in Central America, Thousand Foot Falls. It’s also located inside the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve but its quite difficult to get to because of the roads. I share more details about 1000 Foot Falls in my Mountain Pine Ridge travel guide.

Belize Hummingbird Highway Travel Guide

Getting Around Mainland Belize

๐Ÿš™ Renting a Car: The best way to experience all (mainland) Belize has to offer is to rent a car! Just keep in mind that some roads are not in the best shape and you should never drive for the first time after dark (learn the potholes in the light first!) You can compare rental prices from various rental companies here, but I usually end up renting from locally-owned Crystal Auto Rental when Iโ€™m in Belize.

๐Ÿš• Private Shuttles (and Tours): If you prefer not to drive in Belize, you can easily get around by booking a private shuttle from the airport, and then going on guided tours for all your jungle adventures. This shuttle is also the best option for folks flying into Belize airport and then going directly the islands!

๐Ÿš Public Busses: Riding the local chicken bus is a popular way to get around Belize for backpackers and budget travelers, but I wouldn’t recommend it to most people as the busses are hot, crowded, slow, and unreliable. Spend the extra money for a private shuttle (or car rental) so you can get your destination more quickly and maximize your time in beautiful Belize.

Best Things to do in Belize

๐ŸŒฒ Explore Mountain Pine Ridge: Perhaps the most underrated area of Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge is full of beautiful waterfalls and fun swimming holes, plus the most striking cave I’ve ever seen! You will need a vehicle with 4WD here, but this day trip from San Ignacio is also an option!

๐Ÿบ Discover Ancient Ruins: There are far more Mayan ruins here than you could ever expect. I recommend a day trip Tikal (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in nearby Guatemala, a river cruise to Lamanai in Northern Belize, and/or a visit to Xunantunich near San Ignacio.

๐Ÿ‘™ Experience ATM Cave or go cave tubing: Dare to explore the famous ATM cave system, where youโ€™ll swim upstream until you find rooms with hundreds of Mayan artifacts and human remains. Book your ATM tour here ahead of time (they sell out!) Or, go on a more relaxing cave experience, cave tubing!

๐Ÿš™ Drive the Hummingbird Highway: Belizeโ€™s most scenic drive connects the Cayo District to the Caribbean coastline. Chase waterfalls, swim in a cenote, indulge in local chocolate, go caving, and taste Belizeโ€™s famous hot sauce along the way. My guide to the Hummingbird Highway.

๐Ÿฆˆ Coral Reef Snorkeling & Diving: Whether you stay in Caye Caulker, San Pedro, or Hopkins, be sure to book a guided snorkeling or diving experience on Belizeโ€™s gorgeous barrier reef!

My Favorite Places to Stay in Belize

๐Ÿคฟ Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort in HopkinsThe best place I’ve stayed in Belize! Hamanasi is located in Hopkins, which is said to be the friendliest place in Belize. The town is full of Caribbean charm, and the resort itself is incredible with next-level service, a gorgeous oceanfront property, and wonderful guided day trips to both the jungle and islands. Read my review of Hamanasi.

๐ŸŒบ Weezie’s in Caye Caulker: My favorite hotel on the vibrant island of Caye Caulker. Weezie’s has a beautiful property on a quieter part of the island, but it is still very close to all of Caye Caulker’s restaurants. Check Weezie’s nightly prices.

๐Ÿš  Gaia Riverlodge in Mountain Pine Ridge: The most breathtaking (and peaceful) hotel I’ve ever seen! Gaia is situated on a cliff overlooking the river and mountains in Mountain Pine Ridge, with an excellent onsite restaurant, and a tranquil area by the waterfalls below to relax. Check Gaia Riverlodge nightly prices.

More Belize Travel Guides

๐Ÿบ Worth It? Belizeโ€™s ATM Cave Tour

๐Ÿš™ Unforgettable Stops Along the Hummingbird Highway

๐Ÿšค Best Lamanai Belize Tours & What to Expect

๐Ÿ  My Honest Review of Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort

Final Thoughts: Big Rock Falls Belize

Belize’s beautiful Big Rock Falls is one of the best place to visit in Mountain Pine Ridge! Be sure to check out other parts of Mountain Pine Ridge, too, and read my other Belize travel guides so you can plan a fun tropical adventure in this lovely Central American country.

This post How to Visit Big Rock Falls Belize first appeared on Your Friend the Nomad.