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.
If you are hunting for a great waterfall in the El Yunque National Forest then Hippie’s Waterfall, or Salto del Hippie, should be on your short list. The rocks are amazingly smooth and make for a more relaxing afternoon than some of the other local waterfalls. Hippie’s Waterfall makes for a great picnic area or just a fun day at the waterfalls. The one warning or caution is that you should pay attention to the rate of water flow. There are times of the year that it can be quite slow and easy going, but it can also become a beast roaring to life with some heavy rain, even rain that fell days prior.
Finding: Please feel free to use our map located below. We have also marked the route / road you take, it is not marked as a road on google maps, but it is there. Do not be fooled by the fact it appears to be a driveway. There is a parking area at the end of the road.
Access: You can drive all the way up to Hippie’s Waterfall parking area, then take a very minor hike down to the waterfall from the parking area.
The following images and video came from a time of the year where rain was really heavy.
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El Yunque National Forest is one of the, or maybe even THE most popular destinations in Puerto Rico. El Yunque is a Tropical Rainforest and actually the only one in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
There are many things to do and see in El Yunque, including waterfalls, trails, scenic views, towers, park services, hiking, climbing, etc etc. If you are anywhere close by, make sure you go, just pay attention to the weather. This is a Rainforest and will catch you by surprise. I personally got caught in a flash flood one of the times I was there.
We will add some additional posts on El Yunque to break down the different activities. The waterfalls are by far the most popular attraction of the rainforest but we will also cover some of the other options.
UPDATE: Our El Yunque Map link will connect you to each rain forest activity discussed in detail.
If you want to go directly to a specific activity use these links:
La Mina Waterfall and Big Tree Trail
El Portal Tropical Forest Center
Juan Diego Waterfall
La Coca Waterfall
La Coca Trail
Las Cabezas Observation Point
Mount Britton Trail and Tower
Sierra Palm Picnic Area
Bano de Oro Trail
Bano Grande Pool
La Mina Trail
Palo Colorado Recreation Area
There is a National Parks building just as you enter El Yunque National Forest. It never hurts to stop in, but there is a fee to access the park. However, the waterfalls, trails, towers and such are actually accessible through free public parking further up the mountain.
!!!MOST VALUABLE INFORMATION!!!
Detailed Directions to El Yunque National Forest:
We have the GPS Coordinates of the Park listed below. You can enter those coordinates into a GPS, or make a copy of our mapped route. Trust me, finding things in Puerto Rico can be hard and for some odd reason nobody had good information and directions on finding El Yunque my first time I was heading out there.
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