Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

Cayo District

In the heart of the highland area southeast of San Ignacio, 200 sq miles of submontane pine forest forms the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The sudden switch from tropical rainforest to pine trees as you ascend to the Mountain Pine Ridge – a broad upland area of multiple ridges and valleys – is a little bizarre and somewhat startling.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cayo District attractions

1. Río On Pools

3.18 MILES

Just off Chiquibul Rd, 2.5 miles north of Douglas D'Silva (Augustine), Río On Pools is a series of small waterfalls connecting pools that the river has…

2. Río Frio Cave

3.68 MILES

In Douglas D'Silva (Augustine), on the way to or from Caracol, look for the signed turnoff to Río Frio Cave, less than 1 mile away. The river gurgles…

3. Big Rock Falls

5.92 MILES

The small but powerful Big Rock Falls on Privassion Creek are, for many, more impressive than the Thousand Foot Falls – not least because you can get up…

4. Five Sisters Falls


The pools at tranquil Five Sisters Falls are only accessible to guests or diners at Gaïa River Lodge. A cable tram can take you down and back up.

5. Thousand Foot Falls

7.23 MILES

Ten miles off Chiquibul Rd, the Thousand Foot Falls are reckoned to be the highest in Central America, a ribbon of water cascading down a mountainside…

6. Che Chem Ha

9.02 MILES

William Morales' dog was busy chasing down a gibnut (small, brown-spotted rodent) on his lush property one day in 1989, when the dog seemingly disappeared…

7. Pacbitun

10.47 MILES

Pacbitun, a small site, 12 miles south of San Ignacio via Cristo Rey Rd, near San Antonio, seems to have been occupied continuously through most of Maya…

8. García Sisters' Place

10.49 MILES

The García sisters display and sell a wide assortment of beautiful black-slate carvings. These five sisters developed this craft, which is now widely…