Flashback: Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve (Belize 2012)

Close to San Ignacio is the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve that was established in 1944 to help protect the Belizean pine forest. The majority of the region was destroyed in a devastating fire in 1949, so most of the pine trees today are around the same age from after that date. There are a variety of sights to see within the protected area and if driving yourself you will need an all wheel drive or 4×4 car as the road is a bit rough. The whole area is in stark contrast to anywhere else we went while in Belize and is well worth the time to visit.

Our first stop in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve was Rio on Pools, which is located just off the main road after entering the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. There are two sections to Rio on Pools. You can walk down a bunch of steps for good views of waterfalls and a pool that you can swim in or you can a little upstream for lots of smaller pools with mini rapids connecting them. We didn’t do any swimming while there and spent most of our time walking around the upper pools. We were incredibly fortunate and got lucky that we were the only people at Rio on Pools at the time!

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Flashback: San Ignacio, Belize 2012

We arrived in Belize City early in the morning, rented a car, and immediately headed for San Ignacio (about a two hour drive). There are loads of accommodations to choose from while in San Ignacio, but the most popular is a jungle lodge. Of course the jungle lodges aren’t right in town and are instead scattered around the town in the jungle itself. Of course, these aren’t exactly in the budget category, but there are plenty of hostels in San Ignacio itself if you are looking for something cheaper. There is a wide range of prices and luxury available within the jungle lodge category. We choose one on the lower end (at least it was back in 2012) and loved our few nights stay there. The one major caveat if you choose a jungle lodge, is factoring in how to get into town. Many hotels can arrange transportation into town and to tours themselves, but it may be cheaper in the long run to rent a car for the days you are staying in San Ignacio. We rented a car for this portion of our trip and were happy we had the flexibility to drive ourselves around and offset some of the cost by being able to drive ourselves into town without having to pay extra.

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