We finally hit the road for a sightseeing trip due a long time ago: an exploration on Route 186, starting on intersection between such road and Road 966 in Municipality of Río Grande, Puerto Rico. When we explored Road 966 and found an incredible flamboyant tree route some years ago, we peeked at a few scenic views along nearby Route 186 and immediately knew that more hidden nature’s gifts would lie far ahead. So we decided to dedicate another day to look into those. Our instincts were right. The path on Route 186 led us to vibrant green and cozy natural meditation lounges where sounds of water unwound us. Mother Nature had invited us to see a spectacle where Espíritu Santo River and El Yunque National Forest were mainly responsible for the great performance.
As a prelude, El Yunque forest’s hills were right in front of us while royal palms, mango and African tulip trees and other flora opened the doors of the way towards grand nature. The imposing Espíritu Santo River showed its strength and reenergized us.
Then we reached a spot where the curtain was lifted for the first act―El Yunque forest was right there, next to us. The road became a forest paved way, and scenery drastically changed. Greenery design made by leafy trees and climbing plants covering trees as well as bamboo tree arches evoked mystery. Climbing plant-covered trees joined to form an elegant horse shape. A variety of palms, such as coconut palms, royal palms and sierra palms, living among Cyathera arborea tree ferns (“helecho gigante” in Spanish), yautia plants, trumpet trees (“yagrumo hembra” in Spanish) and other flora surrounded us.
Afterwards, the second act began, and we saw firsthand evidence of Espíritu Santo River's watershed on our course. We were hypnotized by beautiful views and relaxing sounds of rivers, streams and small waterfalls guarded by big rocks. We found four surprising natural meditation lounges near bridges. At the first spot named Quebrada Sonadora, we saw small cute and shy waterfalls, and a stream. At the second spot, Espíritu Santo River showed an amazing riverbank view while its orchestra delighted us with extraordinary waterfall sounds. At the other side of the bridge, many boulders surrounded a fearless waterfall, creating striking beauty. We had found the outstanding Espíritu Santo River Observation Point. At the third spot, we felt a lot of peace while staring at a small waterfall and natural pool in a stream with waters coming from Grande River (Espíritu Santo River’s tributary). The end of the explored path was marked by intriguing and stunning views of a stream, boulders and a small waterfall on the background, all still part of Espíritu Santo River's watershed.
El Yunque forest and Espíritu Santo River remarkably showed off in this impressive show of nature’s gifts presented along Route 186, mainly on what is known as Route 186 Corridor. It was and is pure art at its maximum expression to be admired and protected.