It’s been a rather long time since I’ve posted a Puerto Rico waterfall, so I’m going to have to dig deep into the memory bank for this waterfall. I’m going to start by saying that Puerto Rico is one of those intriguing places that you should visit if you have the chance. If you live in the US, there’s no passport needed. It’s a unique mix of American, Spanish, and Caribbean, and I wasn’t always sure how to process what I was experiencing. One of the most enjoyable experiences on the island was visiting El Yunque, the spectacular rain forest on the eastern side of the island. (For the exact opposite experience, consider visiting the Guanica Dry Forest on the western side of the island).
El Yunque probably has more waterfalls than are advertised, though I’m guessing many of them might be hidden. La Coca Falls is found directly off the road, and is therefore very easy to visit. Juan Diego Falls is near the road, but since it is hidden from view, I found it to be the most enjoyable since I was the only one there. La Mina Falls is the furthest along the main road snaking through the rain forest, and requires the most hiking.
The hike to the falls starts at a parking area, and begins to head downhill. My father and I wore rain ponchos, which were useful for keeping us dry, but also had a tendency to make us feel sticky because of the high humidity. The 0.7 mile hike (one-way) was rather enjoyable, though you are climbing almost completely uphill on the way back. It’s not extremely strenuous, though. The falls are very busy, though, as there will likely be people swimming in the pool below the falls. For peace and quiet, your best bet is probably early in the morning.
1) Head into El Yunque National Forest on Rte 191 (which is not very obvious from Rte 3).
2) At km 12.2, you’ll find the Palo Colorado Ranger Station. The trail starts at this ranger station.
Where in the World is La Mina Falls?: map
(For a number of other suggestions on what to do in Puerto Rico, check out http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/)