Big Rock Falls :: San Ignacio, Belize – Take a Break from the Heat

While huge, grand waterfalls are awesome to look at, that’s about all you can do: look at them. Sometimes the smaller, accessible ones can be just as much fun (if not more) since you can get up close and personal. Big Rock Falls is one such waterfall.

Hidden down in the depths of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, it’s about an hour’s drive from San Ignacio. Look for signs for the Gaia Riverlodge and you’ll notice a smaller sign for the falls. Once you arrive, it’s roughly a 15 min hike down into the forest. The short hike is mostly natural, but there are a handful of wooden man-made staircases to ease your way. Just remember – what goes down must come up, so you’ll be huffing and puffing on your way out again.

Hiking to Big Rock Falls. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)
The hike starts off pretty flat, but soon goes downhill with switchbacks and built-in stairs like these. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)
Great advice - on both counts. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)

You know you’ve hit the bottom when you come across all the boulders and rocks, which you need to skip across to get to the waterfall. Use caution as the rocks can get slippery.

Swim in the upper tier right at the base of the waterfall. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)

The fall is not a big one, but that means you can swim to the base of it or wade in the shallows near the rocks.

Hang out lower down at the bottom. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)

You also have opportunities to get creative with your dives. (For those who want to know where to dive safely, this outcropping is the spot in the above “hang out” picture where the guy on the very left is swimming. You can see the last of the splash above his head. It’s near where the lower tier starts.)

Back flippin' it! Love how the other guy's head follows the dive. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)
Fun at the falls. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)

If you’re already going to be in the area to visit Rio Frio Cave or the Rio-On Pools, you should drop by Big Rock Falls as well. It’s easily accessible and a great spot for some R&R.

A peaceful retreat. (Photo: The Gassy Squirrel)

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