Skip to content

Day 2: Belizean Caves & Water Slides

July 25, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This daily journal was provided by Andre, Tracie, Ashley and Dacia:

We had an early morning start by sampling velvet apple and starfruit during a morning bird walk.  We learned how to distinguished between two different heliconia while watching the rufus-tailed hummingbirds go back and forth. We were off for a bumpy ride to Mountain Pine Ridge Preserve where we hiked into the bush while avoiding prickly plants; especially the acacia tree and ants, because as Tracie found out, they bite.

Now on to story time from Tracie:

We climbed the stairs to the Rio Frio Cave feeling like a primitive people, surrounded by nature’s wonderful formation.  As the calming signs of the trickling Rio Frio River glide by we sit to take in nature’s visual bounty and witness another of her secrets: a colony of insect-eating bats. As we shine the light they flutter about, just as beautiful as any blue Morpho butterfly.

Andre’s adventure:

A bit past mid-day we made our way to Rio on Pools.  We made a u-turn and headed back a few miles where we saw a sign pointing to an “adventure of a lifetime.”  We took a short hike up to the changing area.  Then we made our way over to the sounds of the raging water.  We saw a beautiful display of waterfalls and still pools.  We snuggled closely to take a group photo under the falls while water “ice cold to some, like me” washed overhead.  Of course the swim would not be complete without a slide down our natural water slide.  A few people got some bumps and bruises.

Today in two words per Dacia…“brace yourself.”  Note there is not an exclamation point.  That is because Bruce today whilst driving the bus over some “bumpy” terrain  told us to brace ourselves.  This is after Bruce and Nathan got off the bus to measure the puddle with sticks to see if the bus could make it through.  Well we made it and have a GREAT story to tell.  In addition, standing at the mouth of the Rio Frio cave, being dwarfed, helped me realize that we are so small in the great scheme of things, especially being here after touring the Domingo Ruiz Cave and establishing just how grand the Earth’s history is.  Add in the Rio on Pools sliding and fun times and today was a spectacular day.  I could go on and on and on but I’m figuring that I’ll sign off.  Good night.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Gavindra Bharrat permalink
    July 26, 2012 3:37 am

    The landscape seems rough, although barely touched by people. How is the biodiversity of the area that you have all traveled through?

    • August 4, 2012 10:30 am


      The trek to Rio Frio Cave (one of my most favorite places on the trip) was pretty challenging as the jungle forest was dense & full of plants that protect themselves from herbivores by way of spines & thorns. The incline was a bit intense as well and you definitely had to be aware of foot placement as there were fire ant hills, plant matter waiting to entwine your feet, as well as slippery sediment – we were warned to be careful in grabbing tree/vine to steady ones self as they were armed and dangerous perhaps. It was all worth it as you approach the cave with it’s huge mouth and river running through we discovered a colony of small insectivorous bats that fluttered about as we shone the light to get a closer look. It was beyond awesome!!!

      Ms. Tracie Roseberry

  2. Dercella Williams Lopez permalink
    July 26, 2012 9:37 am

    Sounds like a beautiful place… cant wait to see it someday.

    • July 29, 2012 6:06 pm

      Hey Dercella,

      It is a wonderful place, and it is very close, you will get to see it soon. Wish you were here and I will send you a postcard. LOL.


  3. Tyler Long (AHS, Duffer's AP EES Class) permalink
    July 26, 2012 12:51 pm

    While Belize is known for its exotic and diverse wildlife, do you noticeable that throughout Belize, the wildlife greatly varies, or is it relatively the same in a all parts of Belize.

    Does the climate in Belize vary greatly throughout the year, and is the wildlife forced to adapt in anyways? If so, how extreme are the adaptions (i.e. must they hibernate like bears to avoid seasons or do some animals adapt their “coat” based on the seasons like stakes?”

    The ‘Nineteen Hour Day” post makes mention of “identifying some birds along the way”, does North America and Belize share species of birds? Of the Birds that are unique to Belize, which ones are the most magnificent, impressive, strange or exotic?

    Please describe that river environment in Belize, including the mind set of locals. In the US, many rivers have become polluted and are essentially dump sites, since Belize is A) so far away B) typically seen as less developed; are the rivers more natural or better taken care of?

    The itinerary shows that you will visit a Jaguar Reserve, is it necessary for Belize to use the reserves to maintain species populations and avoid extinction? If so, does this necessity come from human interaction?

    • August 8, 2012 9:24 am

      Tyler, the ecology of Belize varies greatly for such a small country. According to Andre, our Belizean teacher, the temperature varies about 10 degrees year-round. He said the temperature is usually in the 80’s all year. There are quite a few birds that are found in Belize and in NC. Birds are not my forte so I just believe the experts :-). Mr. Sanderson could be more help in that area. I used his binoculars to view some really cool birds, including toucans.

      The river systems in Belize literally bring life to the country. The locals historically have dealt with the flooding of the rivers, as seen from the stilt houses, but with the damming of rivers for electricity there is less flooding along with concerns with impacting animal habitats, as seen with the Scarlet Macaws. There is pollution in the rivers, along roads, etc… but with a smaller population size I don’t know for sure if the overall lack of pollution is really natural or due to less people.

      As for the Jaguar preserve, yes and yes! The jaguar, along with all big cats worldwide, are in danger of extinction and as such to set aside the land for natural habitat is VITAL! We did not see any jaguars in the wild but we were able to find fresh tracks during our morning bird walk :-). See me if you would like a book about the jaguars.

    • Philip permalink
      March 27, 2013 12:23 am

      The greatest factor in the climate of Belize is the rain…it varies from 51in. in the north/Corozal to 175in. in the south/Punta Gorda i do not know how great an effect this has on the plantlife or wildlife of Belize.
      There are only wet and dry seasons in Belize therefore no autumn/spring/winter just summer all year round with temperatures varying from minimum 40F during December to maximum105F during august. The most strange exotic common birds of Belize are the toucans; ‘Keel Billed Toucan,Collared Aracari, and Emerald Toucanet’ the seabirds include the; ‘Pelican, Jabiru(shown on the 2012 dollar coin), and Wood stork’ and the junglebirds include the Macaw Parrot (almost extinct) ,Lineated Woodpecker ,Crested Guan ,Crested Curassow and the Ocellated Turkey NOTE;(most of these birds can be seen at the Belize zoo).
      Belize rivers: are fairly natural swimming wise are very polluted in cities and major towns there and after! I would recommend Mountain Pine Ridge for swimming because it is very mountainous and remote with natural streams coming from Mountains, springs and the Challilo dam. Make sure to take an offroadable vehicle as the roads are very rugged! The Jaguar Reserves have definately helped repopulate the Jaguars in Belize. but if interested in birdlife/wildlife visit Belize Zoo!!!

  4. Jordin permalink
    July 26, 2012 7:08 pm

    In the waterfalls and still pools, are there any fish or other aquatic life able to live in them?

    • July 26, 2012 9:43 pm

      Hi Jordin

      There are fish and aquatic life in the pools and waterfalls. As the team was sliding down the rocks we say lots of small fish and insects!

    • Philip permalink
      March 27, 2013 12:33 am

      I do not know what you saw in the water because the temperature gets to cold in december for the coldblooded fish and almost no underwater plantlife any fish bigger than sardines cannot survive this is one of the reasons there are no crocodiles on mountain pine ridge but there are plenty of watersnales and mosses in the Rio on pools…the insects thrive in this climate!

  5. Tonya permalink
    July 29, 2012 8:57 am

    ASHLEY! I know you are bathing in biodiversity and loving it! I am dying to know a few of the species that you saw in that amazing waterfall! I am especially interested in salamanders! Seen any?

    • July 29, 2012 6:51 pm

      Well, well, well, Tonya – I know a program that YOU need to do! I have not seen any salamanders, but we have seen geckos and lizards and toads and frogs (red eyed tree frogs!). I will see you in a week. Tomorrow we snorkel more and learn more about reef ecosystems. Wahoo!

      • July 29, 2012 6:52 pm

        (the above was from ME ASHLEY, Tonya!)

  6. Dercella Williams Lopez permalink
    July 29, 2012 9:06 pm

    Wish I was there too, but will someday if God is willing. Will wait for the post card. In Belize we have so many beautiful places and i hope you all do enjoy:)

  7. Shiela permalink
    August 1, 2012 12:50 pm

    Loves awesome, Ashley!!

    • Ashley Johnson permalink
      August 6, 2012 7:22 am

      Hi Shiela! So glad you checked in on us! The plants and animals here are so amazing – as are the weather, humidity, and people.

  8. Mattie Vorder Bruegge permalink
    August 5, 2012 2:22 pm

    I wonder if the bats benefit much or at all from the presence of the waterfalls, still pools, and the Rio Frio River? I can understand them living in the caves, but I’m interested if there is any direct correlation between the bats and water?

    • August 6, 2012 2:30 pm

      Hello Mattie!

      Despite its avian physique, the bat is a unique mammal and one crucial to the rainforest ecosystem. Over eighty species of bats call Belize home—fifty-five percent of the country’s total mammal population. Quite a few of the bats we saw are insectivores so waterways and ponds provide bats with the water to rehydrate – and they also attract midges and other flying insects, which congregate in their thousands and provide a ready feast for bats!

  9. Shawn witter permalink
    August 8, 2012 1:27 pm

    could the natural slides have been created by animals or could it have been just from erosion? also are there any animal who could be using the waterfalls and still pools as hunting grounds?

    • Philip permalink
      March 27, 2013 12:36 am

      Mostly erosion when the wet season arrives the area receives heavy rains causing rushing streams down the mountains to the rivers this causes lots of erosion!

  10. Philip permalink
    March 27, 2013 12:44 am

    2 places in Belize everyone should checkout Mountain Pine Ridge,The Barrier Reef NOTE:if you find yourself in Spanish Lookout make sure to check out Western Dairies in my opinion they have some of the best ice cream in the world made from natural cow milk!!!

  11. Renee permalink
    July 29, 2013 9:41 pm

    David, it truly looks like you are having an amazing experience. How does the water in Belize compare to our beaches in NC?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: