Take a Quick Walk to a Spring in Manatí
There are a number of natural springs around Puerto Rico, and a few are pretty close together near the Laguna Tortuguero Nature Reserve. These springs are important sources of fresh water for wildlife. For us humans, they are beautiful, small pools we can enjoy, but need to protect. The Manantial de Guayaney is one of these springs. We visited this little pool and loved the scenery. It looked like something from a dream.
The Manantial de Guayaney is located just off the Guayaney neighborhood, on the south side of the Tortuguero Lagoon, in Manatí. Located near the north coast of Puerto Rico, it is in karst country … beautiful limestone rocks that make interesting formations. This little spring comes out of the earth through this limestone.
There are mountain bike trails all around the lagoon, and following these trails can lead you to some neat places. We started our walk from the end of the MTB trail, so you need to be careful of bikes coming at you on the trail. The walk is on a nice dirt path, lots of roots and rocks, so watch your footing. It is through a dry, forested area, so it is shaded. The walk is about 15 minutes. You will pass a little water pool on the right — keep going. Then, on the right you will see an area cleared which leads you down to the pool. You have to descend some rocks to get to the pool, but it is generally easy if you watch your footing.
The pool itself is small, but the water is crystal clear. Not big enough for more than a few people to get into it, and it is not as cold as I expected. There were no fish in this pool, just clear water. I loved the rocks, with the ferns growing on them. The water was so clear it had just the slightest blue tinge. It is beautiful, but small. It is not really somewhere to spend the day, but it is pretty to see.
The pool and trails were super clean — PLEASE keep them that way! These nature areas need to be conserved for the wildlife who depend on them.
We parked near the MTB trail “exit” on Calle Guauaney, because the walk to the spring is shorter from here. We recommend parking there. Be careful not to block driveways or the (narrow) street. Try to pull your car off the street as much as possible. I was surprised by the amount of traffic on this road. There was some asphalt areas back down the road from the entrance that might be best for parking.
Most of the MTB folks will enter the trail from the trailhead on Road 686, across from the bar. You could start your walk there, but is a much longer walk to the spring, and most of the trail is across a field in full sun.
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