Our Cerro Gordo Adventure

Hiking on a Biking Trail

One of the things we were supposed to enjoy doing here and Puerto Rico was getting out on a regular basis to explore new areas. Up to this point we have actually not been very good at that. We are still spending a fair amount of time setting up our household. 

Last Sunday, however, we did take the opportunity to visit Cerro Gordo National Park. Cerro Gordo means fat hill or big hill, large hill, something to that effect. We arrived early. In fact we arrived so early that the park was not yet open. I guess we were eager to explore a new-to-us nature reserve!

Once the park opened we did pay the four dollars to park in the official parking lot. You can park outside near the mountain bike trails for free and come in that way, but it would be a long trek to the beach portion so I think most people heading to the beach just pay the parking fee.
Lyndon and Julie on the trail!

We parked the car under a shade tree and made sure we were 'sunscreened up' and dressed for hot weather hiking. We made sure we each had water with us for our hike. We probably hiked for about 3/4 of a mile till we actually got to the trail head.
The map. It needs a little help from some friends!

Again, unplanned on our part, we headed out on the trail head in reverse direction of the mountain bikers. Since we were walking and this path is primarily used for mountain biking this turned out to be a wise unplanned decision!

The Cerro Gordo mountain bike trail is a 5 km loop with a fairly wide single track, with mostly rolling hills composed of dirt, sometimes grass, rocks, tree roots, lava rock sections, and intermittent views of the ocean. We took lots of pictures, needless to say.

Since we headed out in the earlier morning hours and were hiking an interior jungle type trail it was cooler than being out in the direct sun. All the mountain bikers were very polite and we were able to move to the side for them to pass without a problem.
Julie contemplates the wide expanse of ocean.

Once we finished our hike, we headed back to the car and switched into our beach gear (the official changing area and bathroom was not very nice) and went out to the beach for a rest and swim. Still before noon, the beach was not at this point crowded but it was starting to get busier. 

It is an official swimming beach with lifeguards and an official swimming area. The beach was relatively clean and we were able to enjoy some time in the water - mostly floating where we could not touch bottom. I forgot how the salt water helps with that!
Balneario Cerro Gordo (official beach with lifeguards)

We had brought our picnic lunch but decided to call it a day before we ate as it had started to rain and we weren’t sure how long the downpour would last. So we packed up and ate our picnic lunch at home. It really was a good experience being able to hike on the mountain bike path, experience some great trails, view some great beaches and lava formations, and enjoy our new surroundings. 

 We will definitely be heading out more and giving more reports of our local adventures! If you want to visit, just give us a call. We'll have plenty of options for you to choose from if you're into hiking and exploring like we are. What are you waiting for?


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