Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 18 Apr 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 08 Mar 2022)
📄 The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
• The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
• All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.

Views-A-Plenty at Arbol Solitario

There are some things that have been on my to-do list for years. Hiking up to Arbol Solitario (or Lonely Tree) has been one of them. You can see the tree, all by itself on a peak (or what remains of the tree), when you stop at the Jibaro Monument on Route 52 and look south.

It is one of those places that reward you handsomely for your effort. The tree itself is not what makes the journey worth it. It is the photo opportunity that awaits you at the peak, which is almost 2000 feet above sea level. Located between Cayey and Salinas, you get some great 360° views of the mountains, surrounding towns, and the Caribbean Sea. Also called Cerro de los Cielos.

Arbol Solitario

Not-So-Lonely Tree

In 2016, Trekking to this tree has become a very popular expedition. Of course, it is much better when you have the peak to yourself — to reflect, take photos, or just enjoy the bird’s eye views. But Puerto Rico’s beauty is to be shared with everyone, including 20 or 30 of your new best hiking buddies! But now in 2020, it is again a mostly solitary hike and arbol!

Arbol Solitario

Our Hike

When we went, there were two trails up to the tree. The one that we used started on Route 52, on the north-east side of the mountain, but as of 7/16, this route is not allowed anymore. Currently, the only available trailhead starts on the south-west side of the mountain.

Arbol Solitario

Note that the “trail” is not easy and it can be steep in places as you ascend. Almost the whole way to the peak, you are climbing dirt paths , through grassy areas. There is a gain in altitude of almost 600 feet. There are no handrails, ropes, or steps to make it any easier. It is at least a 90 minute walk/climb to the first peak, but most people will take longer. Take your time and be careful.

The trail was pretty obvious, but I hear now that fewer people visit, it is less obvious now! You will eventually get to the mango tree. It has 1 swing on it. The peak is up the trail a little bit and you will see the flag poles. The mango tree is nice for photos, but I think the photos from the peak are the amazing part of this trek. We stayed at the peak for about 20 minutes and then made our way back down to our car.

Arbol Solitario

Details

Do not try to get to the peak from RT 52- you will get a parking ticket if you park on the emergency ramp or in the shoulder of RT 52 and try to go up this way. There is parking on the roadside on the Salinas side.

This hike is definitely rated as a difficult hike. You should think twice about doing this hike if you have mobility issues, cardiac issues, or are otherwise not in good physical shape.

Take water, sunscreen, hat, and your camera! Watch where you walk and place your hands. There are cactus with thorns along the path. We had no problem in shorts and hiking shoes. Definitely no flip flops!

For the safer parking area the only allowed access to the peak, take the other trail to the peak starting on the west side of the mountain, from a road off of Route 1 in Salinas. We found info about that trail head on the GeoCaching site, but we did not try to find it. It is a longer hike (maybe 1½ hours each way). I hear this is a safer and less steep route, but you need long pants/long sleeves for protection from the razor grass. The GPS coordinates for the Southside parking are 18.055479, -66.238724. Continue up the road on foot to reach the trail head (thanks EGHost!). I have heard the owner of the parking area now charges $5 per car which includes the use of his bathroom.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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