Guanica Dry Forest Hikes
birding and views start getting better.
The Granados Trail may be a short one but it is exceptionally good for bird watching. Forty resident and migratory species have been banded here. Lots of tall trees here, including guayacan, mesquite and violet. Rather than retracing your steps, you can return to forest headquarters on a section of the Lluberas Trail.
Granados Trail Length: 1 km. Time: 20 minutes. Difficulty: 1-2. Slightly hilly at the start. Trailhead: Located 0.25km north of the forest headquarters on Rt. 334.
8. Gutierrez Trail
In the 1950s this area supported plantations of mesquite, zarcilla and campeche trees. Part of it was also cow pasture. Today, the forest is reclaiming it. This hike through this landscape also connects with the next hike, the Cobanas Trail.
Gutierrez Trail Length: 1 km. Time: 20 minutes each way. Difficulty: 1. Trailhead: About 0.5 km. north of the forest headquarters on Rt. 334.
9. Cobanas Trail
The Cobanas Trail is an old road following a ridge through a deciduous forest. The last 0.5 km. is an abandoned plantation of campeche trees, once used to treat dysentery and to make black dye, a truly strange combination. The road ends at the eastern forest boundary.
Cobanas Trail Length: 3.5 km. Time: 30 minutes each way. Difficulty: 1-2. Trailhead: Off Rt. 334, 2 km. northwest of the forest headquarters.
10. La Hoya Trail
You'll enter a narrow ravine flourishing with uvilla, an evergreen that is kin to the coastal seagrape, Coccoloba uvifera. The uvilla is noted for the diverse size of its leaves. The ones near the canopy are about 1.5 inches long to minimize water loss; leaves growing lower down are 4 to 6 inches long. This walk also has 15-30-foot high ucar trees, agave and a good population of yellow and black and purple and brown butterflies.
La Hoya Trail Length: 2.5km. Time: 45 minutes each way. Difficulty: 2. Sometimes hilly. Trailhead: Starts at 0.1 km. on the Cobanas Trail.
11. Ojo de Agua Trail
Yes, there are freshwater springs in this dry land. The short Ojo de Agua Trail leads to a well-nourished evergreen thicket with tea trees whose crushed leaves and flowers actually smell of lemon. This highly flammable tree was often used for torches.
Ojo de Agua Length: 1.5 km. Time: 25 minutes each way. Difficulty: 2.Hilly. Trailhead: 1.2 km. west of forest headquarters off the Fuerte Trail.
The Velez/Vigia may be a short trail but it offers a lot. This tree-shaded walk takes you to Crillo 2, the highest point in the forest. It's also appropriately referred to as the "vigia" after the Spanish name for a ship's crows nest. In this case the crow's nest is actually the edge of a cliff that offers an excellent view of the northern sector of the forest, the Rio Loco Valley, and the different types of forest within the reserve.
Turkey vultures like to fly on the thermals above Rio Loco Valley. You'll also enjoy a good view of the Cordillera Central and the town of Yauco.
Velez/Vigia Trail Length: 1 km. Time: 15 minutes each way. Difficulty: 1. Trailhead: Velez/Vigia begins on the Lluberas Trail 1 km. northeast of the forest headquarters.
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Guanica Dry Forest Hikes Part 1
Guanica Dry Forest Hikes Part 2
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