Bullet Tree Falls

Mopan River Cayo District Belizean Creole people
Bullet Tree Falls
Aerial view of the main road in Bullet Tree Falls
Aerial view of the main road in Bullet Tree Falls
Bullet Tree Falls is located in Belize
Bullet Tree Falls
Bullet Tree Falls
Coordinates: 17°10′05″N 89°06′40″W / 17.168°N 89.111°W / 17.168; -89.111Coordinates: 17°10′05″N 89°06′40″W / 17.168°N 89.111°W / 17.168; -89.111
Country Belize
DistrictCayo District
ConstituencyCayo North
69 m (226 ft)
 • Total2,124[1]
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central)

Bullet Tree Falls is a village located along the Mopan River in Cayo District, Belize. It lies approximately five kilometers (three miles) northwest of San Ignacio.[2][3] According to the 2010 census, Bullet Tree Falls has a population of 2,124 people in 426 households.[1] The population consists mainly of Spanish-speaking mestizos, along with a smaller number of Yucatec Maya and Creoles.[2][3][4]

Bullet Tree Falls


Bullet Tree Falls is governed by a seven-person village council. As of 2019, the chairperson of the council is Sabino Pinelo.[5]


Bullet Tree Falls was originally settled by loggers, and by the late 1800s had attracted a small number of Maya families.[2] After the Caste War of Yucatán numerous Maya refugees from the north settled in the area.[2] During the early 20th century, an influx of mestizos migrated to the village from Guatemala and Mexico.[4] The first Creoles settled in Bullet Tree Falls in the 1950s, arriving from San Ignacio.[6]

During the early days of the chicle and timber industries in Belize, the village was an important trading post.[7] In 1961, Hurricane Hattie caused significant damage to the village, destroying a school building and church.[8] In 1988, the Salvador Fernandez Bridge was completed, replacing an older wooden bridge.[8] In 2008, Tropical Depression Sixteen caused severe flooding in the area, damaging many homes.[9]


Tubing down the Mopan River is a popular tourist activity in Bullet Tree Falls.[10]

Bullet Tree Falls has developed a small tourist economy facilitated by its location between San Ignacio and the El Pilar Maya archeological site.[2] The village hosts several lodges and a small botanical garden.[10] Buses between Bullet Tree Falls and San Ignacio run several times a day and taxi service is available to San Ignacio and El Pilar.[10]



  1. ^ a b "Belize Population and Housing Census: 2010 Country Report" (PDF). Statistical Institute of Belize. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Pridgeon, Elizabeth (19 February 2010). "Bullet Tree Falls". The Belize Times. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b Eltringham, Peter; Fisher, John; Stewart, Iain (2001). The Rough Guide to the Maya World: Guatemala, Belize, Southern Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador. London: Rough Guides. p. 269. ISBN 1858287421.
  4. ^ a b Gordon, Andrew (28 February 2020). "Rastafarianism in Bullet Tree Falls, Belize: Exploring the Effects of International Trends". Societies. 10 (1): 1–16. doi:10.3390/soc10010024.
  5. ^ "Village Council Election Results: Bullet Tree, Cayo District" (PDF). Elections and Boundaries Department, Government of Belize. July 29, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  6. ^ Gordon, Andrew J. (2016). Agents of Change in Bullet Tree Falls: How a Village in Belize Responded to Influences of Globalization. Wadsworth Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 1133604498.
  7. ^ Silva, Hector David (July 2010). Brief History of the Cayo District. SEYT. p. 74.
  8. ^ a b "History of Immaculate Conception R. C. School". Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic School. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013.
  9. ^ Swift, Keith (October 21, 2008). "Bullet Tree Villagers Return to Wrecked Homes". 7 News Belize. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c Vorhees, Mara (2008). Lonely Planet Belize: Cayo District. Lonely Planet. ASIN B002RI96MG.