Visit a Pterocaprus Forest Inside Palmas del Mar
Palmas Del Mar in Humacao is known as a luxury resort community with a beautiful homes, a golf course, marina, equestrian center, restaurants, hotels, and other lovely amenities. Many of these amenities are available for the general public to use. One of the newest amenities (and it is FREE!) is a really nice nature walk through the Pterocaprus Forest (or El Bosque de Pterocarpus). This nature area, with its raised walkway through the wet/marshy pterocarpus forest gives you a nice, clean, dry way to enjoy the forest, and to bird watch.
This forested area is a gift to the world, courtesy of the Palmas del Mar Homeowners’ Association (PHA), who purchased the abandoned 50-acre swampy land. Operating as the “Friends of the Pterocarpus Forest” (PHA Pterocarpus Forest, Inc.), they have worked to make it a wonderful recreation area. They cleared out garbage, invasive weeds, and the old dilapidated boardwalk. They installed a new metal boardwalk, which is stroller and wheelchair friendly. The boardwalk covers ¾ of a mile through the forest. They also installed a bunch of bilingual educational signs about the flora and fauna of the area all along the walkway.
There is also an observation tower, a gazebo, and play area for the kids. There is a pretty little “pond”, and they have future plans to put a bridge over to the small island in the middle. The area is clean, and there are restrooms, too.
When we went (mid-day, mid-week), we were the only ones there. It was peaceful and quiet, yet full of nature sounds (loads of birds calling). For people who don’t know, the pterocarpus tree (locally referred to as the palo de pollo) is a large tree that makes beautiful buttress roots as it grows. It was a magical place, and great for photography nuts. We were amazed there were no mosquitoes! It was cooler in the forest too, which was nice!
There is no fee to visit the forest.
The forest is open 6am to 6pm, daily. Closed on Christmas and New Years Day. They offer guided group tours in Spanish with previous reservation. Check their web page’s “visit us” ink for more info.
You need to stop at guard gate at Palmas del Mar entrance, give them your basic info, and tell them you are going to the forest. They gave us directions and a map!
Allow an hour or so to enjoy the forest.
You can call them at 787-285-6425 for more information.
You can visit their website for more information.
Once inside the gate at Palmas del Mar (which is Palmas Drive), turn left at the second street onto Country Club Drive. At the second traffic circle, turn right (¼ of way around) onto Nursery Drive (the Iglesia Católica La Sagrada Familiar church will be on the corner). Then turn right into the parking lot after the church parking lot, by the administration offices. The entrance to the forest path is in the back right corner of the parking lot.
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