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.

Rio Sabana Trail in El Yunque

1/21- Rt 191 on south side of El Yunque is open. And at times (weekends 9a-5p), the gate is open and the picnic area has been cleaned up. The Trail is open, and it has been recently cleared to the top! Most people use the lower part of it and you can picnic and play in river. But it is a difficult trail!

Sadly, I hear that there are a lot of thieves now in this area just by the gate, especially on weekends. Be careful. Don’t leave anything of value in your car.

Rio Sabana Trail

I am happy to report on the "newest" addition to El Yunque National Forest trail system — the Rio Sabana Trail. The trail head is located on Road 191 South, which gives people visiting the forest from the south side of El Yunque a trail to use.

We had originally hiked this trail in 2009, when they were still working on the refurbishment. The Rio Sabana Trail has been around for many years, but until its refurbishment, it was not an "official" trail for hikers. This was our first trip back to that trail since it was re-opened in April 2011, along with the Rio Sabana Recreation Area.

Rio Sabana Recreation Area & Picnic Pavilions

Rio Sabana Trail

When you get to the end of Road 191 South, you will come to gates which are supposed to be opened daily from June 1 to August 15, and on weekends the rest of the year (except September, when it recreation area is closed). We have been here 3 times since the recreation area officially opened, and the gate has never been unlocked.

We’ve talked to the National Forest folks about this, and supposedly the town of Naguabo is responsible for the gate. If you go, maybe you will get lucky and will be able to drive in and park right at the picnic pavilions. If not, park outside the gate (along the side of the road) and walk the 0.8 mile in to the recreation area.

There are about 10 picnic shelters with tables, benches, and a charcoal BBQ. There is no running water, but there are composting restrooms (though we have never seen them unlocked, either).

The picnic pavilions are right alongside the Sabana River, where you can play in the water and cool down, or go for a hike on the Rio Sabana Trail. Additionally, the Waterline Trail (an unofficial trail) starts in the recreation area parking lot and leads to Los Prieto Falls.

Rio Sabana Trail

The trail head is to the right of the picninc pavilions, up behind the restrooms. The trail map at the trail head states it is a difficult trail, 2.9 miles each way, with an estimate of 1½ hours each way. It has a gain in elevation of about 1000 feet as it goes up the mountain.

Rio Sabana Trail

They were not kidding when they rated this trail as difficult. The trail is not well-maintained and it is not frequently used. There have been landslides, and there are lots of fallen trees that you need to go over/under/around.

The trail is packed earth with rocks, but we found it to be super muddy and slippery. It took us about 1¾ hours each way.

As you start out, the trail it is not that bad. The bottom half of the trail is used a bit more frequently than the upper half, so it is a bit wider. It starts out in the Sierra Palm forest, so it is very tropical-looking. It also has a number of spots where there are small streams you pass, and some areas of huge rocks. Some really pretty spots.

Rio Sabana Trail

About 45 minutes to 1 hour into the trail, you will come to a river crossing. It’s our suggestion that most people stop at this river crossing, spend some time here (sit down, play in the river, cool off), and then turn around and retrace your steps back to the picnic area. This lower part is the best part of the trail, and the trail deteriorates even more to a "primitive" trail once you cross the river. The Tradewinds trail is not open, so there is no where to go anyway!

When it first opened, we were able to continue on this trail ( though it was never well maintained or marked)- we crossed the river (walk through the river as there is no bridge), there were a few places where we were happy to see marking tape that previous hikers used to mark the trail. In some parts, the trail is little more than a foot path.

The trail is overgrown with razor-grass, and trees that have grown to block the trail. There are even a few side trails that looked like they might have been the main trail. It would be easy to get off the main trail and end up where you don’t want to be. You really need to keep an eye out for tape marking the main trail.

The Rio Sabana Trail ends when it meets up with the Trade Winds Trail. But there was no indication that we had reached the end of the trail — no sign or anything. Luckily, we had hiked the Trade Winds Trail a couple of times in the past, and we recognized the junction of the two trails. Had we not recognized that junction, we would have just (unknowingly) continued walking on the Trade Winds Trail. NOTE- THE TRADEWINDS TARIL IS NOT OPEN!

Rio Sabana Trail

Now, having said all that, the upper part of the Rio Sabana Trail does have some pretty spots. And, because it is less frequently used, it has more flowers, wild orchids, and interesting plants not usually seen on the more often used trails. The change in elevation also brings about a change in the vegatation along the trail. It is interesting to note the types of trees and plants that thrive at the different elevations.

Rio Sabana Trail Map

This map is our interpretation of the trails leading through the El Toro Wilderness Area. We used a variety of sources, as well as waypoints from our own GPS taken along the trails. We’ve marked the hiking trails with different colors. There’s no significance to the colors. We just wanted to be able to make the different trails "stand out" on the map. Please note that you can click on the blue labels in the map for more information.

Bottom Line

The Rio Sabana Trail is not on my list of favorite El Yunque trails! There is no pay off at the end … no spectacular view, no waterfall … no money shot. I really think that people should just do the first half, enjoy the river, and then return to the picnic area.

Details

Rio Sabana Trail

According to the sign, the recreation area is open daily from 9am to 5pm from June 1 through August 15. The rest of the year, it is only open on weekends and holidays. The exception is the month of September, when the recreation area is closed.

We strongly recommend that you wear hiking shoes for this trail. The upper half of the trail (after you cross the Sabana River) requires long pants and long-sleeved shirt (to avoid cuts from the razor grass).

For additional information you can contact the Municipality of Naguabo or the El Yunque National Forest office.

Read about Hiking on Trade Winds Trail Goto Our El Yunque National Forest Recreation Area Trail Map GPS: 18.293792 N 65.792106 W GPS: 18.280234 N 65.810500 W GPS: 18.267429 N 65.795014 W

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