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.

Hike Big Tree Trail To La Mina Falls- NOT CURRENTLY OPEN

A Big Tree on Big Tree Trail

Update-12/2021- This trail has NOT yet reopened after the hurricanes. It sustained a lot of damage. It is being worked on , not expected to reopen until 2023.

If you have always dreamed about swimming in a waterfall, having the water cascade onto your back, massaging you, then you are in luck. Many people have that experience at La Mina Falls in the El Yunque National Forest. This beautiful 35 foot waterfall is one of the most popular places to visit while in the rain forest. Luckily there are two trails that lead you to La Mina Falls. One is La Mina trail, and the other is Big Tree trail. This article will describe Big Tree trail.

Unlike many other rain forests around the world, El Yunque rain forest is not full of huge old trees. The lush and beautiful mountain is actually covered with many different types of young trees, but most of them are only 15 to 50 years old. This is because El Yunque has been cleared a few times – sometimes by natural causes like hurricanes, and sometimes by unnatural causes like lumbering. However, if you walk the Big Tree trail, you will be able to see some of the large 200 to 300 year old trees that once made up the whole area. I like Big Tree trail for a few reasons

  • it is not as steep as La Mina Trail- it is more gradual up and down slopes
  • it has only one area with steps (but there are about 70 steps in a row!)
  • it is an interpretative trail, which means that it has informational placards (in both Spanish and English) all along the trail that tell you about the rain forest

Big Tree TrailSome of the facts about this trail: Big Tree trail is about 0.8 miles long one way. It starts at about 1800 feet and descends to 1640 feet, making it only about 160 ft drop in elevation. This means that it is not that steep. It is a fairly easy trail, except for those steps, so it has a "Moderate" difficulty rating. The trail head is located at the large parking lot at KM 10.4 on Road 191. It will take about 45 minutes to get to La Falls from the trail head, walking at a good speed. If you are a slower walker, or want to take your time and read the informational placards, it will take longer. There are some rain shelters with benches along the trail, so you can rest or get out of the rain. The trail is paved with asphalt or concrete most of the way. If you are planning on going into the falls, wear your bathing suit while hiking. There is no changing area at the waterfall. When you start walking on this trail, it is natural to stop at every placard sign that you come to. Another approach would be to read half on the way down and half on the way up. This way, you have an excuse to rest while you read the signs on the way up! The placards discuss all sorts of things about rain forests in general, and this one in particular. The trees, birds, insects, lizards, and plants you are seeing along the way. Take your time to look around and listen to the forest, it is a magical place, that is full of beauty. It seems longer then the indicated mileage as you anticipate getting to the waterfall. You can hear the waterfall long before you actually can see it. La Mina FallsAll this walking will lead you to the big pay-off — the La Mina Falls (Cascada La Mina). The water rushes over a cliff into a pool that people swim/play in. There are two ways to enter the pool. You can take the steps just at the end of Big Tree trail that lead down into the water. This way looks like an easy entry, but it’s not. It has lots of rocks and really sudden drop-offs. But if you go across the little bridge, you can step off of the trail to your right, and you can scramble down the rocks so you are face on with the falls. Wade straight in this way and swim out to the falls. The pool is not large, and it is popular, so it can fill up with people, which does take away some of the wonder of it. But I still think it is pretty and fun. Be aware – there are lots of slippery and sharp rocks – so wear water shoes. There are sometimes crabs hiding in the rocks. I have never heard of anyone getting pinched, but it could happen. The water is very heavy as it falls – test its weight before you sit directly under it. And just so you know – the water is "refreshing" – which translates to COLD! Be aware of chaging water conditions, flash floods can develop after a rain. There are no benches here, so you need to find a step or choose a rock if you want to relax and look at the view. The best pictures are from the bridge that connects Big Tree Trail to La Mina Trail.

To leave, you can go back up Big Tree trail, which is the easier choice, or you can go up La Mina trail. If you parked at the Big Tree trailhead, then you might think twice about taking La Mina trail. If you choose to return via La Mina trail be forewarned that it is more difficult on the way up, as there are many steps you’ll have to climb. Also, you will end up at the Palo Colorado Information Center located at KM 12 on Road 191 – which is a little over 1 mile up Road 191 from the Big Tree trail parking lot. You will have to walk downhill on the road to get back to your car. That is not really recommended.Here’s a trail map of the recreation area in the El Yunque National Forest that you may find useful.

There is no entrance fee for the national forest.

Open daily 7:30am until 6:00pm . Ranger stations are open 9:00am until 5:00pm. The gates close at 6:00pm.

Big Tree trail will take you about 45 minutes to walk one-way (to the falls).

You can call 787-888-1810 or 787-888-1880 for more info.

You can visit the El Yunque National Forest web site for more information.

Follow Route 3 to Rio Grande. Look for the intersection with Route 955. There is a big sign pointing to the rain forest. Follow Route 955 to Road 191. Turn onto Road 191 (there’s another sign for the rain forest here) and you’re there!

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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Other Puerto Rico Resources …

Coqui's Hideaway Rainforest Villa in Rio Grande Located in the Foothills of El Yunque