Rio Frio Cave in the Mountain Pine Ridge
Rio Frio: Even if Caves Don’t Interest You, You’ll Love this One!
If you’ve read harrowing tales of Belize tourists trying to squeeze their bodies in and out of tight cave chambers –and shutter at the thought of following them–we ask you to take a deep breath and practice the Zen of Rio Frio. We can assure you that no cave in Belize is as easy to reach and navigate as is the Rio Frio Cave, which is why travel experts recommend it enthusiastically to seniors, kids and even claustrophobics. Find out why this fascinating cave could become your favorite Belize memory, even if caves haven’t made your bucket list!
Rio Frio Cave
Prepare yourself for a dramatic entrance as you follow stepping stones into the cave and get a first glimpse at the vast chamber that awaits. This uber-wide entrance is part of Rio Frio’s charm: it’s welcoming and so striking, you won’t be the first person to gasp at its grandeur. Spot 70-foot natural arches, colorful boulders and dramatic stalactites, some of which emulate primitive chandeliers suspended in time. As you explore this quarter-mile-long cave, you’ll spot a stream, pools and even cascading waters spilling from nooks and crannies.
Why you should visit Rio Frio Cave
Visiting Rio Frio Cave when temperatures get toasty is a great way to cool down. Because the cave entrance and exit are so vast, you will be accompanied by beams of sunlight, so you won’t need a flashlight to help you navigate unless you feel more comfortable with one in hand. You’ll have no trouble walking in the footsteps of Mayans who entered this sanctified area to bury their dead and if you insist upon coming here at night, you could meet members of the bat population that literally and figuratively hang out here.
Where in Belize is it located?
To reach the Rio Frio Caves, start in the Cayo District of western Belize; specifically Mountain Pine Ridge, where an evergreen forest also serves has home to the nation’s tallest waterfall. Take the Western Highway to Georgeville and follow signs to the cave—but if you visit during high season, just follow the crowd to this popular site!
When to visit Rio Frio Cave
Arrange your visit any time of year, but if you want to get the most of your Belize experience, come in May when it’s toasty so you experience the thrill of a chilling temperature drop within this limestone enclosure, no matter how hot it may be outside. Not only will you enjoy your cave tour to the max, but since accommodation and attraction rates are low at this time of year, you can live large in nearby Cayo and still save a bundle.
Best way to get to Rio Frio Cave
Take the Western Highway to the Georgeville turn off (mile 65) and continue five miles past the Douglas de Silva Forest Station. If you get lost, ask anyone you meet to point you in the direction of Augustine.
Best way to experience Rio Frio Cave
While your destination is Rio Frio Cave, you’ll enter a sublime world of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, so enjoy the entire journey. Drive through a tropical jungle that offers many surprises, including wildlife, birds and wildflowers. Your guide will park near the main entrance, so no slog through deep water or jungle is required to reach the mouth of the cave. There’s a beachy area at the entrance, but don’t jump in before your tour, because the same beach awaits when you exit a quarter mile later. Take time to swim, enjoy a picnic or walk back into this magnificent expanse if you can’t resist a second peek before departing.