17 Belize Waterfalls + Map
Belize, a Central American gem, is renowned for its stunning array of waterfalls, each offering a unique glimpse into the country’s natural beauty. From the towering cascades of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve to the serene falls nestled within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize’s waterfalls are a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Waterfalls of Belize with a Map
Belize, a small Central American nation nestled between Mexico and Guatemala, is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Known for its diverse ecosystem and cultural richness, Belize is also home to at least 17 stunning waterfalls concentrating around the central and southern regions.
Belize’s Best Waterfall Regions
Located in Belize’s Cayo District, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve is renowned for its natural beauty, encompassing five stunning waterfalls also known as “Five Sisters Waterfalls“. These include the majestic Big Rock Falls, the towering Thousand Foot Falls (which is also the tallest one in Belize), the serene Butterfly Falls, the picturesque Rio On Pools, and the captivating Granite Falls. This reserve offers a diverse array of breathtaking landscapes and is a key destination for nature enthusiasts close to San Ignacio. Most eco-lodges in Belize are also located in this area as well.
Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the Stann Creek District is the home of the “Three Sisters Waterfalls“, comprising the stunning Antelope Falls, Lower Bocawina Falls, and Higher Bocawina Falls. Among these, Antelope Falls stands out as the second tallest, offering a spectacular natural display. This park is a haven for visitors not only seeking the beauty of cascading waters but getting up close with wildlife.
But the Stann Creek District is also a prime location for visiting multiple waterfalls in close proximity. Billy Barquedier National Park, the breathtaking Davis Falls, the adventurous Angel Falls, and the enchanting Mayan King Water Fall are all located here. Additionally, it is home to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary a haven for diverse wildlife and natural beauty, featuring the serene Tiger Fern Falls, the picturesque Ben’s Bluff Falls, and the hidden gem of Bull Reef Falls.
Thousand Foot Falls – the highest waterfall in Belize
Right off Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Thousand Foot Falls is the tallest waterfall in Belize. A river descends over a granite cliff, creating a spectacular 1,600-foot cascade. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including a diverse range of bird species and majestic jaguars. The streams from Thousand Foot Falls connect to Roaring Creek, then to the Belize River, providing numerous opportunities to swim and relax.
How to get there? – It is approximately 21 miles from San Ignacio. The drive will include a mix of paved and dirt roads, so it is recommended to rent a 4WD vehicle or join an organized tour.
Big Rock Falls
Nestled in the heart of Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Big Rock Falls is a captivating waterfall that is approximately 150-feet tall. The trail to Big Rock Falls is a moderate hike, offering visitors a chance to witness the breathtaking scenery and cascading water up close. At the base, a large natural pool provides a refreshing swimming spot, making it a popular destination.
How to get there? – The closest town is San Ignacio. You can reach the entrance of the trail in under and hour. You need to check in with the ranger at the entrance of the park.
You can also find Butterfly Falls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. This stunning 80-foot waterfall is accessible only for the guests of The Hidden Valley Wilderness Lodge. The serene pool at the base of the waterfall offers refreshing swimming opportunities.
How to get there? – A short drive of approx. an hour from San Ignacio will take you to the trail leading tot the Butterfly Falls. It is on private property, so you need to ask for permission if you want to enter.
Rio On Pools
Rio On Pools is a natural wonder that boasts a series of small waterfalls and connecting pools also in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The water cascades from granite boulders, creating the perfect place for swimming and relaxation. Along the riverbanks, visitors can find perfect picnic locations with excellent views of the area. Rio On Pools is easily accessible, making it an ideal destination for families with kids.
How to get there? – Rio On Pools is located north of Douglas D’Silva Ranger Station in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. You can reach it from San Ignacio within an hour.
Granite Falls, located in the Cayo District of Belize, is a series of waterfalls known for their rugged beauty. These falls cascade over granite cliffs, creating a stunning visual display. The area is easily accessible since it is a part of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
How to get there? – The nearest city or town to Granite Falls is San Ignacio. It is less than an hour drive from there.
Shower Falls (+ Monkey Falls)
Shower Falls, also known as “The Showers” by locals, is located near Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo District of Belize. This waterfall is a short 5-10 minute drive from San Ignacio, making it easily accessible for a quick visit. Shower Falls is known for its sky-blue pools and is a popular local swimming hole. The falls are relatively small compared to other waterfalls in Belize but offer a charming and intimate setting for visitors. Monkey Falls, often mentioned in conjunction with Shower Falls, provides a similar experience.
How to get there? – Shower Falls and Monkey Falls are located near Cristo Rey Village, just a short 10-min drive from San Ignacio.
Dreaming Giant Waterfall
Located in the heart of Belize’s lush rainforest, Dreaming Giant Waterfall is a hidden treasure offering a spectacular natural display. The waterfall is accessible through an adventurous hike starting at Rancho Lomas Farm, taking approximately an hour and thirty minutes. The well-maintained trails lead through dense and pristine rainforest, unveiling the grandeur of the Dreaming Giant Waterfall. This less-traveled path offers an intimate experience with nature, making it a perfect spot for those seeking tranquility and a connection with the wilderness.
How to get there? – It is approc. 45-minute drive from Dangriga and an hour from San Ignacio. Guided tours are offered to combine it with cave tubing and kayaking.
Located in the heart of Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Antelope Falls is an impressive waterfall, standing nearly 1,000 feet tall. It is one of the “Three Sisters Waterfalls”. The challenging hike, with its steep and rocky terrain, leads to the base of the waterfall, where visitors can admire the majestic cascade and take a dip in the emerald pool. In addition to its natural beauty, Antelope Falls also offers rappelling opportunities for thrill-seekers, providing a unique experience to get close to the falls. Here is an aerial view.
How to get there? Accessible from Dangriga in Stann Creek District, visitors need to complete a 2.1-mile out-and-back trail to get there. The entrance fee is USD 5.
Lower and Higher Bocawina Falls are also located in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Their highest point stands at an impressive height of 50-foot. The trail leading up to the waterfall is a moderately challenging 2.8-mile out-and-back route. Bocawina Falls is a popular tourist destination, offering a refreshing swim in its natural pool. They are part of the “Three Sisters Waterfalls” together with Antelope Falls.
How to get there? The closest major town to Mayflower Bocawina National Park is Dangriga, Stann Creek, with numerous transportation options available to reach the park entrance. There is a small USD 5 entrance fee.
Located near Dangriga but outside of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Davis Falls is one of the country’s most iconic natural attractions. Towering at more than 500 feet, it is the second highest waterfall in Belize. The trail to reach the waterfall includes an 8-mile dirt road and a 30-minute hike through the Belizean rainforest. At the base of the waterfall, a fantastic natural pool awaits, perfect for swimming.
How to get there? – The trail to the falls starts near Dangriga at the mile marker 14.5 of the Hummingbird Highway. It is an 8-mile dirt road journey before hiking for 30 minutes.
Billy Barquedier Falls
Nestled in the Billy Barquedier National Park, Billy Barquedier Falls offers an enchanting experience for nature lovers in the Stann Creek District. The waterfall, surrounded by more than 1,600 acres of preserved tropical evergreen forest.
Accessibility is moderate with two distinct hiking options. Take a challenging hike to the observation tower, which rewards you with breathtaking views, or opt for a relatively easier path to the waterfall which lasts only 15-minutes.
How to get there? – Billy Barquedier Falls can be reached via the Hummingbird Highway. Expect a 15-minute walk off the highway, with the trailhead marked by a signpost.
Angel Falls in Belize is not to be confused with the famous Angel Falls in Venezuela. This attraction is part of a 200+ acre adventure park in the Stann Creek District that includes zip-lining, rappelling, and swimming. The area around Angel Falls consists of several hiking trails and platforms, surrounding a natural sinkhole. It’s an ideal destination for adventure junkies looking for an adrenaline rush in a spectacular natural setting.
How to get there? – It is near Dangriga, at the Mile Marker 26 1/2 on the Hummingbird Highway. Since it is part of an adventure park, entrance fee is applicable.
Mayan King Waterfall
Located in the mountains of the Stann Creek District, the Mayan King Water Falls are two cascading falls, making it a beautiful sight to behold, especially during the rainy season. Accessibility is relatively easy, and it is recommended for families with kids. The waterfall offers a refreshing swimming experience, with clear water tumbling over rocks.
How to get there? – The nearest town to Mayan King Water Fall is Santa Cruz. It is only a short 10-15 minute drive to the Falls. They are on private property, but visitors can get access after paying a small entrance fee.
Tiger Fern Falls
Nestled in the heart of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s first jaguar preserve, Tiger Fern Falls is a magical hidden gem in Belize. With a double waterfall feature, the tallest cascade is approximately 60 feet. The area is teeming with diverse fauna, including jaguars and several bird species. Hikers can enjoy swimming in the spacious pool at the base of the falls.
The 1.8-mile hike to Tiger Fern Falls through well-maintained trails is a moderately challenging journey, suitable for visitors with a fair level of physical fitness.
How to get there? Access to the Tiger Fern Falls trail begins within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which can be reached from the nearby towns of Placencia or Hopkins. The entrance fee to the park is USD 10.
Ben’s Bluff Falls
Nestled in the heart of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Ben’s Bluff Falls is a charming, smaller waterfall that both locals and tourists admire. It’s a moderate hike with a rewarding destination, ideal for those seeking adventure and tranquility in Belize’s beautiful landscape. Birdwatchers, in particular, should keep an eye out for exotic species. As you reach the top, the trail opens up, unveiling stunning panoramic views of the sanctuary below.
How to get there? Ben’s Bluff Falls can be accessed through a hike along the Ben’s Bluff Trail, starting from the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. The entrance fee to the park is USD 10.
Bull Reef Falls
Bull Reef Falls, located in the Stann Creek District of Belize, is situated in a relatively remote area of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This waterfall offers a serene and untouched environment. The elevation and specific details about the hike to Bull Reef Falls are not widely documented, suggesting it might be a lesser-known spot, ideal for those looking to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations in Belize.
How to get there? – The nearest city or major town to Bull Reef Falls is not specified, but it is located in the Stann Creek District, which is known for its natural beauty and biodiversity. The entrance fee to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is USD 10.
Rio Blanco Falls
Rio Blanco Falls is a scenic series of waterfalls of 10-20 feet located within the 500-acre Rio Blanco Falls Park in the Toledo District of southern Belize. Its natural beauty is enhanced by the cascading water down a series of steps, creating a unique and picturesque view. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the clear waters at the base of the falls. They are easily accessible, located about 30 miles north of Punta Gorda, the largest town in Belize’s southernmost district.
How to get there? – One can drive from Punta Gorda and reach the Rio Blanco Falls in under an hour or join a guided tour. The entrance fee to the park is USD 15.
San Antonio Waterfall
San Antonio Waterfall, a well-known swimming hole, is nestled immediately southwest of the village of San Antonio in Belize. This natural beauty captivates visitors with a small 8-foot fall flowing over a wide stone wall, creating a spectacular cascade. It is a haven for tourists, offering respite during the wet season in the Toledo District. Although the falls slow down significantly during the dryer months, they still provide a beautiful sight for visitors.
How to get there? – The San Antonio Waterfall is accessible via the Southern Highway, located southwest of the village of San Antonio, approximately 30 miles north of Punta Gorda. Visitors need to pay a small fee to get access.
Golden Stream Waterfall
Nestled near Toledo, the Golden Stream Waterfall is a remarkable, multi-tiered cascade featuring five separate streams. Surrounded by lush foliage, this majestic waterfall is one of Belize’s most treasured natural wonders. Located just off the Southern Highway, the waterfall is characterized by its rich turquoise waters pouring into numerous natural pools often frequented by local villagers for washing clothes or taking a dip.
How to get there? – From Toledo, take the Southern Highway and follow the signs leading to the waterfall. The drive will take approximately 30 minutes. The entrance fee is USD 15.
When visiting Belize’s beautiful waterfalls, it’s essential to prioritize safety while hiking and swimming. To help prevent potential risks, consider the following guidelines:
- Wear appropriate hiking gear: Sturdy shoes, comfortable clothing, and a hat will protect you from sunburn and injuries. Pack a lightweight rain jacket in case of unexpected showers.
- Bring essential supplies: Include water, light snacks, a first aid kit, and a fully charged phone for emergencies. Don’t forget to apply bug spray to keep pesky insects at bay.
- Follow designated trails: Stick to marked trails to avoid getting lost or encountering dangerous wildlife. Respect any closures or warnings posted in the area.
- Swim cautiously: Some pools pose a risk for hidden hazards or strong currents. Assess the situation carefully before jumping in, and never swim alone.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to weather conditions, as flash floods can occur during heavy rainfall. Maintain a safe distance from the edge of cliffs or waterfalls.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Belize for waterfalls is during the country’s dry season, which typically runs from December through April. During this period, there is less rainfall and the weather is more predictable, making it ideal for outdoor activities, such as hiking and swimming near waterfalls. Rainy season will provide for large cascades with potential ricks for flooding and muddy, impassable roads.
Remember that the busiest tourist season in Belize is from December 15 to January 15, as well as the weeks surrounding Easter in April. To avoid crowds and potentially higher prices, consider visiting waterfalls during the shoulder seasons of early December, late January, or early April.
Big Rock Falls and Antelope Falls are two of the most popular waterfalls in Belize, with their stunning beauty, picturesque surroundings, and ample swimming opportunities.
Antelope Falls, located in Mayflower Bocawina State Park, is one of the tallest waterfalls in Belize, standing at nearly 1,000 feet tall.
Big Rock Falls is situated within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and offers a 150-foot waterfall with surroundings full of rainforest fauna. The hike leading to Big Rock Falls can be challenging. Visitors can reach the entrance from San Ignazio in an hour.
Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.