This year for my birthday I decided we would go hiking in an area of Belize called Mountain Pine Ridge. It's a higher elevation then where we live, and looks totally different. The soil is red clay, and instead of palms and jungle there are pines and low shrubs.
But hidden throughout the ridge are deep pockets of jungle. We drove almost 2 hours on awful dirt roads to reach a very posh resort which opens it's hiking trails to the public. Armed with a "not to scale" map and a walkie-talkie, we set out.
As we hiked down hill, the vegetation quickly became thick jungle.
And then the undergrowth cleared and we saw Butterfly falls. Absolutely breathtaking.
It has to be one of the most beautiful places I have been in Belize. (Also, I'm a bit proud of this picture, cause I figured out how to use the remote on my camera :)
We followed another trail basically straight up, and after 15 minutes of wanting to die, this was our view. Miles and miles of rolling mountains.
I really enjoyed the trails. They were't super easy, but there are bridges and stick ladders to help with the tricky parts. We hiked for 3 hours in total that day, and only encountered one other couple. The resort is on thousands of acres, and there are trails everywhere.
We decided to keep going, and after 45 minutes of hiking came to the end of the trails-- because the trail ended in a clear, calm pool set deep in the jungle.
What I didn't get a picture of (because I was afraid of dropping the camera) was the other side of this pool-- a hundred foot waterfall continuing down. We stood on the rocks on the top and looked down for about 60 seconds until Daniel couldn't handle the height any more :)
At this point I thought I was mostly in the falls... Daniel was just laughing at me. The noise and the spray and the chilly water made it feel much closer though, and I thought I was standing in the falls... plus, those rocks were slippery.
And this picture was about 30 seconds before I wiped out on the slippery rocks.
It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day. What a way to spend my thirtieth birthday-- my own private waterfall, deep in the jungle.