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Mountain Equestrian Trails – Cayo, San Ignacio, Belize

Winning Combination of Texas Ranch and Belize Jungle

Even if you don’t ride, this beautiful place in the Maya Mountains will make you reconsider. Although some treks can be made by foot or four-wheel drive, many fascinating jungle destinations are accessible only on horseback. At Mountain Equestrian Trails (MET), your machete-wielding Mayan guide knows his backyard intimately. As he whacks back the dense brush along 60 miles of narrow, winding trails, he’ll point out hidden wildlife and recount jungle lore on the way to breathtaking locations that include remote Mayan ruins and underground cave systems.

Unnamed waterfalls, hidden streams, and natural pools are perfect for a refreshing swim and a lunch break of homemade empanadas. Situated at 800 feet above sea level in the jun­gles of the Maya Mountains, some of the METs trails head for twice that altitude on the Moun­tain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. About 70 per­cent of this tiny former British colony is covered by forest; it is home to 700 species of trees and 250 kinds of orchids. Back at the ranch, owned by a hospitable American family, the simple but handsome thatched cabanas have no electricity, but are romantically lit by the flicker of kerosene lamps and resident fire­flies. The showers are hot, the bacon is crisp, and the homemade banana pancakes are deli­cious. Extraordinary scenery and the clear mountain air should have even the formerly horse-phobic jumping back in the saddle for another day’s journey of discovery.

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