Site inspections usually consist of staying at a hotel property and then looking at countless suites and luxurious bathrooms! Occasionally, I manage a local visit to the countryside, the souks and the mosques; an ocean location also includes a mandatory swim or at least a toe dipped in any body of water. I was once discouraged from swimming in Lake Victoria in Tanzania when the Goliath size Monitor Lizards slithered toward the rocky shore of Bird Island. I understand they are vegetarians, however the thought of an encounter kept me on the power boat, toe dipping sufficed.
Puerto Rico sightseeing, besides the obvious sandy beaches, exceptional surfing at Isabela, and spectacular golf, should include a day of exploring in the deep green canopy. Hiking through the rain forest on the fairly well placed paths is magical and majestic. I highly recommend a few hours amid the massive ferns, skyscraper height bamboo, beautiful songbirds, fragrant ginger and orchids the size of your hand. Trek up the hill early in the morning avoiding the afternoon heat and humidity.
El Yunque is the only sub-tropical rainforest in the continental US. The forest contains many unique plant species, the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot and enchanting chirping coquis (indigenous tree frogs). Formidable waterfalls, bottomless pools of water invite floating under the cascading falls.
My 60 year old guide, Francisco Robles, joked he was leading a couple of seniors into the rain forest, as he adeptly climbed over boulders, crawled under pounding waterfalls and pointed out obscure beetles and butterfly’s. When I made an observation, or attempted to communicate in Spanish, he would exclaim Es-actly! Yes, the s was pronounced instead of a z. I imagined hiking with Ricky Ricardo, his humor kept me trekking in the 80 degree heat and humidity. As he reminded, we are of a generation who live by the motto: Never Give Up. Es- actly!
Hiking through the rain forest is as majestic as walking through stands of old redwoods. Embrace the majesty and be guided by a man with great knowledge and a sense of humor!