Carocol, Rio On Pools and Rio Frio Cave
San Ignacio Travel Blog› entry 20 of 23 › view all entries
I was so happy with the first Cayo trip, I convinced Atousa to stay another day so I could go on another day trip. With my limited options, the most interesting one going out that day was Coracol, a Mayan site, combined with 2 other stops -- Rio Frio Cave and the Rio On Pools, a series of swimming holes, cascades and rapids. The trip was definitely expensive ($60), but I'm definitely glad I went. I did look into going independantly to these places, but cab rides out that far would have cost even more than the tours, and no public transportation was available.
My tour consisted of a bunch of awesome people with funny accents, including the cutest alternative-looking interracial English couple ever, their 2 little boys, an Indian Professor who taught in South Carolina, and a Bermudan-Engishman I can only describe as the male Mary Poppins.
Our first stop was a military station where we signed in to go to Coracol. There had been bandits on the road to Coracol in the past, so now all tourist vehicles must sign in and go with a military escort.
An hour or so more, and we finally reached Coracol, a small Mayan site that may one day be huge because only a fraction of it is currently uncovered. Coracol has a cool freshly-un-earthed feel to it, as many of the temples still have trees clinging to the sides or growing from the tops.
Coracol is home to the tallest building in all of Belize, which sounds really impressive until you realize Belize doesn't have any skyscrapers, and generally doesn't have any buidings over 2 stories high. Still, it was fun to climb up the tall old steps of the Mayan temples (in Tikal you climb up stairs built on the sides), and there are some really cool views over the jungle treetops. Our guide pointed out several local plants, and we even ate chiles off a tree. He also managed to find a cute little snake in the bushes, and showed it to us.
Our next stop was Rio Frio Cave, a big, short cavern over a river. We only stopped for a little while here.
Our last stop the Rio On Pools, a refreshingly cool series of swimming holes connected by little water falls and smooth river rocks.
I got back into town, met up with Atousa and we went to eat at a Creole (in the Louisiana etouffee sense of the word, not the Central American rice and beans sense) restaurant that had just opened up. I had some deliciously tasty and incredibly spicy stuffed peppers and some good mac and cheese before we called it a night.