La Mina Waterfall and Big Tree Trail – El Yunque

Part way up the road in El Yunque National Forest you will come across a busy parking lot on the left side of the road. The sign by the parking lot will read, Big Tree Trailhead La Mina Falls. This is the first of two access points to the ultra popular La Mina Waterfall. The second entrance to La Mina Waterfall is further up the road at Palo Colorado Information Center & Picnic Area, which has multiple trailheads.

The Big Tree Trailhead leading to La Mina Waterfall has a paved parking lot, but also allows parking on the right side of the road. Even on weekdays this parking area can be packed so you may need to continue on to the Palo Colorado lot.

BE PREPARED TO HIKE! This is not a simple minute long walk to the waterfall, it is about a 10-15 minute hike with elevation change. The good news is that it is extremely well cared for with a paved walkway. There are even a few storm shelters in case you get caught up in a strong rain shower, but chances are if you are going to the waterfall you are not too worried about getting rained on. I personally made this entire hike easily in flip flops so don’t worry about bringing full setup of outback hiking gear. However, it would be smart to wear a bathing suit and bring some water and a camera.

Once you complete the hike be prepared to enjoy La Mina Waterfall. It is a beautiful waterfall and for that reason it can be busy. The waterfall is perfect for swimming and just relaxing. After the hike it can be a welcome relief to step in and cool off. If you are trying to stay dry it is still plenty of fun just relaxing and watching everyone. Be aware that this waterfall is large enough to produce a decent amount of mist so be careful with expensive electronics.

*One other note from the National Forest Website is that you should close windows, lock doors, and place valuables in your trunk.

GPS Coordinates: 18.308538, -65.775061

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