Puerto Rico is a 100×35 square miles island in the middle of the Caribbean. Currently, it is a territory that belongs to the United States, but it’s not a state. Complicated, I know. However, leaving politics aside, Puerto Rico is a wonderful paradise. The island has to offer multiple activities for different tastes. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit one of those non-touristic places that deserve a place on your must-go list. From great landscapes to awesome exercising, here is my experience in the Pines Trees Forest in Cayey, Puerto Rico.
First, come prepared. There aren’t any stores or stops where you can buy anything on the trail or close to it. Therefore, I packed a lunch bag with lunch, snacks and drinks. Since the park isn’t an official government park, there aren’t any signs nor security either. So, it’s best to visit it during daylight. Bring a whistle with you and charge completely your phone in case you need to make any emergency calls.
Getting there: The Pine Trees Forest
The GPS led us to an open space to park. To get to the trail, you must pass a sign that says Private Property. As you start walking you will notice the trail divides into a fork. You should take the left side of the trail. Nevertheless, my friend, Natalia, and I took the right side at first. It was amazing how you could see multiple trunks lying down the hill. They were probably left like that by hurricane María back in 2017. Although the place is impressive and great for some Instagram photos, it could be a bit unsafe.
Later, once we were on the left trail, we walked up-mountain. Nowadays, most pines are dry. Nonetheless, the view of the beach was spectacular. The trail can get a bit rocky and narrow at certain points, so it is better to keep an eye on the floor. My friend and I stopped constantly to take pictures, so it took us around two hours and a half to get to the highest point we reached. We didn’t make it to the peak since we were short on time.
Coming Back: The greatest viewpoint
After starting our descending, we stayed a while in one of the best viewpoints we found. A fallen tree, a probable victim of the hurricane, served as a really high, scary, cool, and beautiful seat. The spot is located to the right side when you are going down the hill, so keep an open eye for it. There is something solemn and comforting about the view.
The whole hiking was quiet and peaceful: just nature and us. The Pine Trees Forest is a getaway from routine, noise and of course, touristic places. It embodies the beauty of nature alone, without being manipulated or commercialized by man. It is an experience that will satisfy all of your senses and will fulfill the nostalgic need of nature in your soul. I invite you to go. Discover the forest and discover yourself on the way.
You might be interested in The Unknown Awaits
Special thanks to my friend, Natalia Cristina for all of the beautiful pictures!