Friday, November 28, 2008

Guanica's Dry Forest

There are a couple ways to get to the Dry Forest - one is on the long and windy road following the signs that leads to a parking lot where there are several trails and a guy who can give you a map of where they go. They will give you a little book of drawings of plants only if you ask. Or - you can follow the signs to Copa Marina and continue on the road past the marina which will end at a parking lot which is closed right now because it is underwater and the endangered toads are emerging to mate. This is where we went since it is close to our friend's house. The scene is like this.

There was a little more rain than usual in the forest this year and cacti are showing a lot of growth. They weren't flowering but some were ready to and others were done.
There are a lot of neat cactci including some that have flower stalks 20 feet high!
This one looked to me like a cityscape with tall skyscrapers ready to bloom.

We followed a trail of sorts and then came back along the water of the old coconut plantation. I love how organized and symmetrical nature is.

The seas were calm down south (very different story from what is going on up north) and the blowhole wasn't blowing. We could walk on the beach where you usually can't. The dry forest is a really neat place that you can't appreciate the first few times you go there. I love plants and am into knowing names and such but when you walk around it doesn't look like anything special until you do some research.Not everything is a cactus or succulent, there are a lot of hard wood trees. Everything is very stunted and very old. There are skinks with fluorescent blue tails that look fake. If you go early you can see some unusual birds. It is one of only a few "dry forests" that exist. Pretty cool. Puerto Rico has got Dry Forest, Cloud Forest, Rain forest, a huge cave system, reef systems and for an island as small as it is it has amazing diversity. The only problem is trying to decide where to go and what to do!


Rosa said...

I love Guanica. I stayed at the Copamarina hotel many years ago and enjoyed the amazing cactus. No one in the states believed me when I showed them pictures of the giant cactus. I heard that in Guanica there is a wine making place which our friends Gary & Audrey when to and had a great time, we will be checking that out.

Anonymous said...

Do you know that in the Guanica dry forest there are some easily accesible caves. And also there is a cool watch tower from which you can see the beautiful Guanica bay.


Anonymous said...

Rosa - wine making in Puerto Rico? Do they buy the grapes somewhere else? Let us know what you find out - it would be a good place to take visitors, then to Copa Marina for dinner!

Ivan - Any time you want to come our way to show us these caves know that you have a place to stay. katrina