Fun in harmony with nature | Crossing

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 Fun in harmony with nature |  Crossing

Enjoying natural spaces such as the beach or the countryside are of great benefit to physical and emotional health. At a time when we are facing a sustained increase in infections with the omicron variant of covid-19, outdoor recreation is the best alternative to share with the family.

Puerto Rico has a large number of forests, wildlife refuges, and protected areas that lend themselves to hiking, kayaking, or extreme sports such as four-track tours.

With this in mind, in this edition of CROSSING from THE SPOKESPERSONwe share some options for you to plan your weekend in the middle of nature.

TREKKING







Leaf

In both Barranquitas and Río Grande you can enjoy a wooded environment and waterfalls such as Cascada el Ancón and La Mina, respectively.




San Cristóbal Canyon Nature Reserve, Barranquitas. It is a property managed by the non-profit organization Para la Naturaleza that has two paths or trails that can be used for free interpretation, without the need for reservation: Cascada El Ancón and Suñé. The village of Cascada El Ancón is located in the Helechal neighborhood at the top of the Barranquitas mountains. It is a linear path, moderately frequented and runs through agricultural and wooded areas. This experience will allow you to contemplate the margins of the San Cristóbal Canyon from above with privileged views of the forest. This trail will also take you to the view of the El Ancón waterfall, a waterfall that exceeds the height of the Statue of Liberty.

On the other hand, the Suñé path —which begins at the foot of the El Portón community— consists of a rarely frequented linear path through the crest of a mountain where you will have the opportunity to observe landscapes that extend from Comerío, Naranjito and Cayey. At its end, the trail provides a resting space with tranquility and cool temperatures.

Dry Forest, in Guánica. This state forest is one of a kind. Due to its importance for science, it was designated an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO (1981) and a Forest Reserve (1985). The reserve has about 14 paths, with different degrees of difficulty, that can lead you to Manglillo Beach. If you are a bird watcher, this will be your paradise, as it is home to a variety of exotic birds that thrive in warm habitats. There are more than 600 species of flora and fauna, as well as its 48 animal species in danger of extinction. Also, it is an ideal adventure if you enjoy climbing, biking and a day at the beach. In its grounds you can also find the dwarf forest, Fort Caprón and the ruins of a Spanish lighthouse.

El Yunque National Forest, in Rio Grande. It was recently included in the traditional “52 Places” list of The New York Times newspaper, as one of the unique places in the world that travelers cannot miss in 2022. Therefore, we cannot leave it out of the list of places either. that —as a Puerto Rican— you must discover. El Yunque spans nearly 29,000 acres and is home to more than 240 endemic tree and plant species, as well as unique species such as the Puerto Rican Parrot and the Coquí. It is the only tropical rain forest that belongs to the national forest system and although one of the smallest in territorial extension, it is one of the national forests with the greatest biological diversity. It should be noted that to enjoy the main areas, reservations are required through the Recreation.gov platform.

ALL TERRAIN







All terrain vehicle


Nestled in the Yunque branch is Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park. A farm that shares flora and fauna with the forest. One of the adventure alternatives includes getting to know the ecosystems through a ride aboard an all-terrain vehicle (‘fourtrack’ or UTV), on a journey that includes a stop at the Mameyes River. It should be noted that participation in the different attractions is subject to you meeting certain requirements such as age, height and others related to security measures for the prevention of covid-19. The place also integrates a restaurant and shop area. It also requires online reservation.

KAYAKING







kayaking

Caño Tiburones Nature Reserve, Arecibo. It is one of the largest wetlands in Puerto Rico. It covers an approximate territorial extension of seven thousand cuerdas, and its ecological value consists in purifying the runoff waters and then gradually discharging them into the sea. It also serves as the main habitat for a wide variety of species of birds, insects, reptiles, crustaceans, fish, including native, endemic, migratory, rare or endangered animals. Giant Kayak is one of the companies that offers you services in this area with a view of the Birth of the New World statue —also known as the statue of Christopher Columbus—, erected on Highway 681 in the Islote neighborhood. The tour lasts approximately two hours. It requires coordination.

County Lagoon, San Juan. It is a recreational area that is listed as the perfect place for lovers of non-motorized water sports or for anyone looking for a nautical adventure in San Juan. The place provides you with a spectacular view of the city during the day, of the sunsets and of the nightlife of Ashford Avenue. Here there are several companies that —in addition to renting equipment for kayaking, paddleboarding or snorkeling— offer tours and yoga classes, among other services.

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