Belize boasts loads of beautiful waterfalls. Some are easy to reach, some are seldom seen because they’re so remote. Some are quiet and gentle, some roar down their rock face, some change their appearance drastically from season to season. I like a waterfall that requires a bit of effort to reach (so it feels like you’ve earned it when you get there) and has a natural pool at its base- and it should, of course, be rimmed with lush and pristine forest. The waterfall at Billy Barquedier Park, near the community of Steadfast along the Hummingbird Highway in the Stann Creek district, delivers.
Easy enough to reach, the park has a grass parking area, ranger’s station and restrooms on the Hummingbird Highway. There are some hiking trails as well as a newly built picnic deck next to the waterfall. We decided to hike the trail to the observation tower first and work up a nice sweat before enjoying a refreshing dip in the creek.
The hike was strenuous due to the steep incline and nerve-wracking (for me at least) due to the terrain. What do I mean by that? Well! This area is littered with little caves and hollows… for someone already fearful of snakes and such, this is the landscape that nightmares are made of. The further we climbed the MORE hollow the ground became until we were all but bouncing along the trail. Seriously, it felt like walking on a thick mattress there was so much give to the ground. I was certain we were standing on only a thin layer of top soil over a few intertwined roots and that at any moment we would fall through and journey to the center of the earth… or at least drop in to a viper pit. The more we walked the more my anxiety grew; I’m no geologist but I can’t imagine it would take more than a few dozen hikers and a good rainfall to cave in the whole slope. It freaked me out! But the view was worth it. This is a nice look out.
The walk to the waterfall is quick and easy (and free of hollow ground) and the water is clean, cold, perfectly refreshing. A seating area has been built to one side and though there is a sign warning you not to jump, you totally can from the cliff on this side in to the deep pool below the falls.
Billy Barquedier is a wonderful waterfall stop along the Hummingbird Highway and like all Belize’s national parks, entry fees are just a few dollars. For more spots to stop along the Hummingbird, check out this past post for road trip tips. You can also read about some of my other favorite waterfalls such as Tigerfern in Cockscomb Park, Antelope Falls in Bocawina, or this one in the Vaca Reserve.