We decided to search for Davis Falls near Alta Vista Belize. Its a quick ride from Placencia to the Hummingbird Hwy. After making the turn toward Belmopan, its just a few miles to mile marker 14 1/2. Thats the easy part. A large sign marked the turn, announcing Davis Falls 8 miles.
As we turned onto the path that would prove to be the most accessible, I knew it was going to be a fun 8 miles. The path was lined with rocks, presumably brought in to stabilize the path from washing out. We weaved back through grass, orchards, and jungle. There was a little mud, along the way, just enough to splash on the fender wells. We continued on, noticing the fruit hanging low, ready to pick. The citrus aroma filled the air, especially as I made a point to run over the over ripe oranges that littered the road. As each orange squished out, we were getting deeper into the jungle.
Branches hung across the narrow path in places. As the muddy paths turned into deep rutted mud bogs, we were constantly rolling the windows up and down, to keep the mud from slinging inside. Occasionally, it was too late a large smelly clump of mud would splat on someone. I cant say I intentionally forgot to roll up the window a time or two, but I cant say I didn’t either…Then we came to what appeared to be the end of the trail.
Staring right in front of us, was a rushing river. It must have been a couple hundred feet across, probably more. I could see there was rocks in the bottom, so decided why not. We were determined to get to the falls, although it was getting late in the day. Dropping off the edge of the bank the first time was a little nerve racking. How deep was it? Heavy rains lately definitely contributed to the depth. At times, we pushed through 3 feet of water or more. The large rocks formed rapids, adding to the suspense. We just kept steady moving and drove out the other side. Whew! We made it. No problem. Some friends were behind us driving a 4×4 Infinity. At one point, the river washed washed over his hood as he forged across the rapids.
We drove on and had a blast crossing the river some 7 more times, each time with its own challenges. Mix in more mud and ruts, and you have what I call a good time. We actually saw 3 more signs pointing us towards the falls, although they seemed randomly placed. At intersections of paths, you were on your own to decide which way to go. Sometimes we were successful, other times, we had to turn around and find our way back through the mud bogs. We finally stopped for lunch and discussed where we thought the falls were.
The paths were getting increasingly difficult, and while I was ready to take on whatever was ahead, our friends were concerned with tearing up their daily driver vehicle. By this time, we were covered in mud, and completely lost. We made the decision to turn around as we already had been driving nearly 2 hours without finding the falls. The fun part was following the path back, choosing different lines to make it through without getting stuck or hitting a tree as we slid around corners or skidded past stops due to the greasy mud we were driving in. At the last river crossing, we made a stop to go for a swim. We may not have made it to the falls this time, but we had nearly as much fun just trying to get back to them. The river was surprisingly tolerable water temperature. We cooled off and swam for a half hour or so, before leaving to go back to the Hummingbird.
We will be back! The next time, we will find the elusive Davis falls. I cant wait to tackle to trip. If you want to tag along and have a 4×4 vehicle, let me know. As we drove into the sunset headed home, I had to remind myself of the quote that I have been living by since we began travelling Central America, “Its the journey, not the destination”. Today was one of those days that reiterated that to me. Sun, fun, friends, food, off roading what more could you ask for!