El Pilar is about 12 miles north of San Ignacio, Belize—just beyond the village of Bullet Tree Falls. San Ignacio is the largest town in Western Belize (population approx. 12,000) and lies in a lush river valley 72 miles from Belize City. It has mail, banking, communication, restaurants, grocery stores, travel agencies, shopping facilities, etc.Taking the Bullet Tree Road north of San Ignacio and crossing the Mopan River Bridge you will see signs directing you to the El Pilar Road. The Reserve is located 7 miles from Bullet Tree on an all-weather limestone road that ascends 900 feet above the Belize River Valley. It is easily reachable by vehicle or horseback and there are even bicycle rentals available in San Ignacio for those who wish to mountain bike up. Hiking is recommended only for experienced hikers (carrying plenty of water) as the road is unshaded and can be a very hot walk. Taxis can also be hired in San Ignacio. The caretakers live in a modern green-roofed house along the road at the south end of the site and are very happy to show the visitor around. In addition, the BRASS/El Pilar Program has worked closely with the Cayo Tour Guides Association to train local guides about the Reserve and any licensed tour guide can arrange for a visit and tour.
For more information, check out the El Pilar Interactive Trail Guide.