Rio-On Pools is one vast rocky expanse of granite with water running through the massive boulders to form small waterfalls and a number of pools where you can hang out and relax, frolic, or picnic. Nestled in the midst of the vast Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, it is surrounded by a forest of pine trees, offering a unique environment in an otherwise tropical country that is half covered by rain forest.
Out on the rocks, there is no cover, so make sure to bring your sunscreen and hat.
At the top of the pools near the parking area, there is a small covered rest area with a couple picnic benches you can take advantage of to snack or find respite from the sun. The rest area comes complete with graffiti as well as an informational sign that includes a bit of local flavor.
Many tour companies will include Rio-On Pools in a day tour to Caracol or the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest area in general. If you have a car, the pools are easy to access on your own. The pools were one of three stops for us during our day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest area; the other two being Rio Frio Cave and Big Rock Falls. While I don’t consider Rio-On Pools a full-day destination in itself, it is definitely worth dropping by if you’re going to be in the area for a day or two.
Oh, and word of warning. There are no restaurants or food vendors in this entire forest region, so bring plenty of water and snacks with you to avoid dehydration and hangriness!