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Mountain Pine Ridge

The best way to describe Mountain Pine Ridge is to paraphrase Winston Churchill: it's a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. Instead of the tropical vegetation you’d expect to find, two-thirds of this large reserve is pine forest, mainly Honduras pines. Most pines are young, due to losses from wildfires and beetle infestations. Old logging roads cut through red clay, giving the region an uncanny resemblance to northern Georgia in the United States. Sinkholes, caves, and waterfalls are common in limestone areas. With elevations up to 3,335 feet, winter temperatures can drop into decidedly untropical low 40s, yet exotic wildlife abound, including orange-breasted falcons, toucans, tapirs, jaguars, and crocodiles. It's widely considered the best place in Belize to see waterfalls and to go mountain biking.

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