Mountain Biking Through Pinones Reserve
Despite the fact that Puerto Rico is an island with a sizable population, there are a number of great nature reserves to be found here. The Pinones Reserve is one such protected area that is perfect for an afternoon’s distraction. Operated by the Department of Natural Resources, which is a government department, the reserve covers large areas of subtropical forest, mangrove swamp and beach. It is frequented by both foreigners and locals for a variety of reasons and is the perfect addition to any trip to Puerto Rico.
There are two things that the Pinones Reserve is well known for – mountain biking and sea turtles. There is a leisurely mountain biking trail that leads through the reserve and which allows visitors to enjoy the rich variety of the reserve without too much effort. The mountain bikes are often part of the package and those from out of town or from other countries need not worry too much about organizing a bicycle for themselves. At the starting point you will not only meet your guide but you will be provided with a mountain bike and other necessary gear and be told about how to use the equipment before setting off. Of course it helps if you have ridden a bicycle before because, while your guide may be certified to help you get better acquainted with your bike and the surrounding natural environment, he certainly won’t have the time or patience needed to help you learn to find your balance and there are no trainer wheels available. The trail takes you along an ocean boardwalk before heading off along mangrove trails and is roughly eight miles in length. The terrain is relatively flat and guests can take a quick swim at the end of the trail before returning to their starting point at the pier. It is definitely well worth the effort as this trail will enable you to enjoy some of the best marshland views on the island.
Apart from the spectacular scenery, you should also be aware of the fact that the Pinones Reserve is often used by sea turtles as a nesting site. Some hotels will encourage you to search out these nests but this is not recommended as it may disturb this delicate natural process. Instead, respect the environment, pack plenty of sunscreen and water and enjoy the views available at the Pinones Reserve!