Private Cars and Rainforest Don’t Mix: The Quest to find the Waterfall
Two hours before the El Yunque Rainforest closed to visitors, Bob and I were told that our car with our private driver wasn’t allowed to drive us into the forest. Apparently there is a law that private drivers must get a permit to drive into the rainforest prior to showing up. Since this was a last minute trip, our driver didn’t have one. (Our driver was provided by the San Juan Marriott to help us film our video projects.)
Since we were determined to see the rainforest, we decided that we were just going to walk the 5 miles up hill to the final waterfall that we had researched. As we were walking and it was getting decidedly more difficult and time was going by, it hit us that we might not actually make it up the mountain and back down again before they closed the gates. This is when panic hit us. We both looked at each other and decided that we could easily run up the mountain- why not, we thought, we go to the gym. HA! Well, running lasted about thirty-five seconds and then we resumed walking, without really acknowledging to the other what had happened, we just kept going.
Right when I was pretty much ready to give up, someone drove by and honked at us. We looked back but they didn’t stop and so we just kept walking. A few minutes later, a fellow Video Blogger and new friend Mike, from Mike’s Road Trip, pulled up and asked if we wanted a ride. OH. MY. THANK YOU.
We jumped in the car, praising him over and over about how thankful we were and how we couldn’t have done it without him. A few minutes later (yep, minutes to drive those couple of minutes) we were let out in front of the first waterfall. We made it!
The first waterfall video (18 seconds):
After about ten minutes, we looked at our visitors map and noticed that another big waterfall was 2 more miles ahead. Bob looked at his watch, insisting that since we were already up this far, we go easily hike the rest of the way and see the bigger waterfall. Why not? Let’s do it!
Again, we started off with gusto. Running, walking, running, walking, stopping for photos, running, walking, video, running some more. When we arrived at the beginning of the hike to the waterfall we had about thirty minutes. The walk was easily 20 minutes in, 20 minutes out. We were determined though- and just started walking.
My biggest tip- make sure you have plenty of time to explore the rainforest. You could easily devote an entire day to it.
We could hear the waterfall about ten minutes before we saw it. Then we heard laugher, screams, yelling. There were probably twenty or so other people swimming in the water- with not a care in the world. Seriously, it was like no one had mentioned to them that the park closed at 6pm. (But then again, they also had cars so getting out in a few minutes wasn’t going to be that difficult for them.)
The sweat, worry and calf sprain was worth it when we reached the waterfall. It was powerful, beautiful and peaceful (even though there were other people there).
Like most adventures Bob and I set out on, the experience of doing it together rivals visiting the place itself. Would we care about the rainforest as much if it hadn’t been such a journey to get there? I don’t know. But because of our experience, I will definitely never forget that day.
I know what you’re thinking- but wait, where is the actual footage of the waterfall?! It is on San Juan Marriott’s Facebook Page for a Contest they are running. Click this link and check it out! you can vote on which one you think is best (we’d love your vote!).
*This post was part of our Vlogger Experience with San Juan Marriott and Diamond PR.