Admire Nature along La Mina Trail
The El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico offers visitors some of the best wildlife experiences. Magnificent dense forests blanketed in lush vegetation are home to an abundance of wildlife and birds. There are a few hidden treasures within the forest, such as La Mina Falls, which can be reached via the Big Tree Trail or the more popular and spectacular La Mina Trail.
To access La Mina Trail visitors need to enter the El Yunque National Forest from Road 191, where they will find ample parking near the Palo Colorado ranger station. Here visitors can get changed into their bathing suits, if planning to swim at the waterfall, or freshen up in the clean rest room facilities. Locals are extremely fond of La Mina Trail, as there are beautiful sheltered picnic areas along the first half of the trail where visitors can picnic or enjoy a relaxing charcoal barbeque. There are other benches and picnic rest areas along the way, which come in handy to rest at on the way back up the trail.
Hiking down to the waterfall is quite easy and relaxing, as it is downhill, but the hiking back up is most certainly where its rating of moderate to difficult comes in. Getting to the trail in the morning is recommended because, as mentioned before, it is very popular, and traffic can get a little busy on the narrow trail. Some parts of the trail are very steep and treacherous, so hikers are advised to wear sensible hiking boots. The trail winds its way along the river and is not just busy in terms of human activity, but hikers will be able to catch glimpses of lizards, birds, insects and other forest dwellers. The massive rocks within the river create magnificent water displays and listening to the flowing waters and the sounds of the forest is a tranquil and relaxing experience.
The beauty of the trail itself is only enhanced by the brilliance of the cascading waters of La Mina Falls. It is here where hikers can be seen perched on rocks, taking in the spectacular sight of the waterfall or testing the temperature of the pool for a quick swim. The water is often chilly, so toe testing before taking the plunge is a good idea.
La Mina Trail might be a little challenging, but is most definitely worth the effort. Such beauty and splendor are seldom found in one place, and it is guaranteed to be a hiking adventure that few will forget. Its popularity speaks for itself, and the experience of hiking La Mina Trail keeps on luring hikers back to the peacefulness and exquisiteness of the forests of Puerto Rico.