Thousand Foot Falls
Occasionally referred to as “Hidden Valley Falls,” this torrent of Roaring Creek is probably a good deal taller than a thousand feet and is considered the highest waterfall in all of Central America. The turnoff to a viewpoint of the falls is a couple of miles beyond the forest reserve gate and is well signed.
It’s quite a little drive to get all the way there, and though the view is magical, you don’t get the reward of being able to jump in. From the turnoff, the road continues down for about four miles and brings you to the falls and a picnic area.
View the falls from across the gorge and through breaks in the mist (US$2 pp). A small store and picnic tables can be found at the viewpoint (7 a.m.–5 p.m. daily).
Big Rock Falls
A hand-painted sign on the dirt road to Five Sisters Lodge is your only indicator to the trailhead for Big Rock Falls. You’ll park and hike down a fairly steep trail (clinging to a rope at one point) to a series of spectacular pools below the site’s namesake. Big Rock Falls is big, loud, impressive, and worth the stop.
Río On Pools and Río Frio Cave
Most Caracol packages try to squeeze in an afternoon stopover at these lovely sites. Continuing south toward Augustine, you will cross the Río On. It’s well worth the climb over an assortment of worn boulders and rocks to waterfalls and several warm-water pools.
There’s a parking area just off the road. Turn right at Douglas de Silva ranger station (the western division of the Forestry Department) and continue for about five miles to reach Río Frio Cave. Follow the signs to the parking lot.
From here, visitors have a choice of exploring nature trails and two small caves on the road or continuing to Río Frio Cave, with an enormous arched entryway into the half-mile-long cave. Filtered light highlights ferns, mosses, stalactites, and geometric patterns of striations on rocks. Watch for sinkholes.
At times, a military escort is necessary to Río Frio. Ask at the forest station.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition