Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hiking El Yunque Rainforest

One of the most strenuous hikes I've ever completed was in Mt. Baker, Washington, where a friend of mine got married several years ago. The trail which we hiked was quite steep and some stretches involved some rock climbing. I am by no means an experienced hiker, but I do enjoy hiking. For those who are seriously looking for a challenging climb, El Yunque Rainforest will most likely bore you. Nevertheless, it's a great place to enjoy nature in Puerto Rico. Over a year has passed since I last hiked around El Yunque, which has several different trails available for people to explore.

Hearing the coquis, seeing and hearing the waterfalls and just feeling that mountain breeze felt wonderful. We did a little over 3 miles of hiking today, starting off with the Baño de Oro, then the El Yunque Trail and we ended with the Mt. Britton trail. The last time I was at El Yunque, I hiked the La Mina trail, which brings you to a very pretty waterfall, where many people just hang out and soak their feet or take a dip. The most challenging of the three trails we did today was the El Yunque Trail. The wet and slippery rocks definitely made the hike a lot more difficult.

After climbing up the Mt. Britton Tower, where it was very foggy and windy, we headed back. Once we reached the main road, where there were many cars parked on the side, we had to walk another 10-15 minutes to our car. I would suggest people to put on a good pair of hiking shoes, bring a map, an insect and bug repellant spray, and sunblock when visiting the rainforest. Do also bring plenty of water, a snack and a camera would be absolutely essential too, of course! Most importantly, do not venture off the marked trails. Unfortunately, there have been incidents where people have gone missing.

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