Hiking to La Mina Falls in El Yunque

Our hike in El Yunque National Forest was one of my favorite days in Puerto Rico. Chris and I drove our little Fiesta to the park one morning with a plan to hike to the La Mina waterfall. When we arrived at the visitor center the skies opened up, so we quickly ducked inside to purchase ponchos for our visit. We wandered around some of the waterfalls that are right off of the main road, and also stopped to see the Yokahu Tower. Luckily it stopped raining not too long after we arrived.

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What we didn’t realize was that once we started hiking, it would be so humid that we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from rain or no rain, and the plastic ponchos certainly weren’t breathable so we stuffed them into our pack and went on our merry way down the La Mina path. More than the ponchos, we were thankful to have good sturdy shoes because the trail is tricky in a few places. There are a lot of stairs and plenty of spots on the trail where the narrow path gets slippery, so best to leave your flip-flops for the beach and tackle this trail in trainers or other grippy shoes.

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At the very bottom of the trail (less than a mile one-way), La Mina Falls provides a refreshing oasis after a sweaty hike. Okay spoiler alert, the water was actually pretty cold! But it felt good on a hot day. It took us about 30 minutes to get down the trail to the waterfall – the elevation change is pretty steep so it’s not a quick mile.

And again, the rocks here are slippery, so you’d do well to wear a pair of water shoes with some traction if you plan to climb into the water. We wore our swimsuits so that we could get right in, and then we pretty much just drip-dried on the hike back up. Don’t forget to take photos from the bridge!

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