6 Incredible Waterfalls to Explore in Southern Belize

by Carolee Chanona

While most people travel to Belize for its breathtaking coastline and cayes, few may realize that Belize also boasts some of the tallest waterfalls in Central America. Varying from awe-inspiring 1,600-foot tall cascades to humble jungle showers, these pristine natural formations in Belize should be on every traveler’s itinerary. Not to mention, these 6 majestic waterfalls of southern Belize make for an unbelievable hotspot to kick-back and relax.

The Ben’s Bluff and Tiger Fern Waterfall within this Jaguar Reserve

Mustafa Kothawala tiger fern waterfall

Tiger Fern waterfall by Mustafa Kothawala

Found within the vast 128,000 protected areas of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS), Ben’s Bluff and Tiger Fern are two must-do waterfall hikes in Southern Belize! Armed with a swimsuit, comfortable shoes, and a packed lunch, embark from base headquarters on either of these intermediate hiking trails for a refreshing reward. On the 4 kilometre trail, the Ben’s Bluff leads you to contrasting rainforest and pine vistas and a small waterfall. If you’re looking to up the ante, Tiger Fern’s 4.3 kilometre out-and-back trail gives hikers two options: a 360 vista of the Cockscomb Basin atop its summit campsite, or a double-waterfall adventure. All Belize Audubon Society co-managed protected areas are Gold Standard tourism sites.

Maya King

waterfall girl bikini belize

The Maya King waterfall in Southern Belize. Photo by Dylan Hetelle

Nestled in the south, the Maya King waterfall is actually made of two cascading falls – found just a short drive from Placencia. Pass through its overhanging bamboo fronds of ‘Bamboo Cathedral’ before arriving to its showers. Besides, this “perfect balance of size and power” is a popular a backdrop for several high-profile photographs, including weddings.

Bocawina Falls 

antelope waterfall

Mayflower Bocawina N.P. courtesy Scott Leslieante

Located in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Bocawina Falls is relatively easy to get to, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations for the Stann Creek District. Feeling extra adventurous? End a zip lining tour within the park by rappelling the rock face of the The local tour company offers zip lining in the area as well as a 100-foot and 250-foot rappelling adventures down the rock face of the waterfalls.

Antelope Falls 

Rappel down the rockface. Photo courtesy Bocawina Rainforest Resort

Trust us, the effort is worth the reward to trek further into the Mayflower Bocawina National Park for the impressive Antelope Falls. As the second-tallest waterfall accessible in Belize, Antelope Falls offers visitors truly spectacular views of the surrounding jungle from the top. Additionally, park guests have a unique opportunity zip line over and above the falls.

Billy Barquedier 

One of the most remote waterfalls in the country, Billy Barquedier can only be accessed during the dry season. Located in its namesake national park, guests can reach the waterfall with a short, 20-minute hike from the entrance.

Rio Blanco Falls 

The falls at Rio Blanco National Park, photo courtesy APAMO Belize

Established in 1994 and managed by the Rio Blanco Maya Association, the park covers 500 protected acres. Located 30 miles northwest from Punta Gorda, we’re rounding up number 6 of cascading waterfalls with this southern gem. Water flows through wide, shallow pools and over smooth slabs of sandstone; its rushing water pour over a 15 foot ledge into a deep pool. Perfect for cannon-balls! Surrounding limestone boulders allow easy exploration above the pool. Further upstream, a small waterfall and wading pool feed the main waterfall. Trees and flowering vegetation encircle the shady cliffs while Blue Morpho butterflies flutter amongst the surrounding trees. Snail shells cover a smooth stone ledge at the end of the trail, which rises about 20 feet above the natural pool. Stop by and support conservation with APAMO Belize!

Header photo of Maya King waterfall by Dylan Hetelle 

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