Rio On Pools is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, just a few miles away from the Rio Frio Cave.
The area is known as a swimming spot for locals, and some tour groups stop there on the way to the Caracol Mayan ruins.
Accessing Rio On Pools
There is a small parking area with picnic tables near the top of the staircase that leads to the waterfalls. The path down to the pools could use some serious maintenance. The stairway is steep, uneven, and has some larger steps without a railing to assist. For this reason, making your way to the pools with a baby or toddler can be difficult. Still, it is worth stopping at least for a picture. Older children who do not have to be carried should be able to access the pools without too much difficulty. I would recommend any children under the age of seven hold the hand of an adult during the decent to the pools. I would also recommend life jackets as an extra precaution for young children.
As you approach the end of the staircase, you will have to scramble across boulders to access the water. A pair of tennis shoes would be helpful for the hike down.
Swimming in the Pools
Because the path was somewhat treacherous and it had just poured down rain while we were there, we opted not to get in the water. During the dry season, or on a day when it hasn’t rained buckets, this is a nice spot to stop and swim. You can also sit underneath the small waterfalls and let them massage your back. It would be refreshing after a day spent hiking in the national park.
The small waterfalls flow into a series of shallow pools that all vary in intensity. There are some that are flowing faster, and others where the water is calmer. I would recommend water shoes for anyone visiting as a small slip on the rocks could cause serious injury. While we were there, we had the area all to ourselves. Mountain Pine Reserve is quite large, so visitors to the park often feel alone with nature.