A few weeks ago I went with partner and his coworkers to hike at El Yunque National Park.
It was a hot, hot day as we set out for the park. The drive up the hill to the park was nothing compared to the hike. We stopped at the park visitor center before meeting up with the rest of the group. I think taking advantage of visitor centers is a great way to learn about parks, and also use the bathroom, before exploring. The cost for admission was only $4 each, which was well worth what was offered to the visitors of the park.
Inside the center are open-air displays which give offer visitors more information about the animals and plants located in the forest. There is also a movie theatre on one end of the center, in addition to a restaurant and gift shop. I stopped by the shop to grab a couple of postcards to send to my family and we set off to meet up with the group.
While meeting up with the group seemed like a simple task, it ended up being quite the challenge. As we continued to drive up the steep road, we lost all phone signal and had no way to contact our people in order to locate them. While driving aimlessly back and forth, we stopped at a few eye-catching spots.
Finally we were able to find our people and set out on the trail to Las Minas waterfall. The hike didn’t take long, maybe 45 minutes, but the path was slippery in parts and the majority of the hike was uphill. Once we arrived at Las Minas we picked a spot on one of the rocks surrounding the falls to store our backpacks. We then planted ourselves in an open spot and took a dip in the cool water. It was quite refreshing.
There were families and tourists alike, all hanging out around the falls. Some nestled in for a picnic while others adventurously stood directly under the streams of the fall, chanting. After relaxing in the water for a couple house, we headed back on the trail-which was much easier on the return trip. Overall, it was a great and refreshing afternoon surrounded by nature.
Where is your favorite park? How do you like to enjoy the outdoors? Share your experiences in the comments below!