For a biking adventure in Puerto Rico, we chose the Piñones sector nearby Isla Verde sector and Road 187, Loíza Municipality. The fascinating attribute of this location is that you may bike on Piñones Boardwalk while watching views of the coastline and beaches followed by biking on Piñones Forest trails. The contrasting views of nature in Piñones resulted in a very interesting biking adventure.
First, we rented the bikes at Lula’s Bike Rent, an easy-to-spot bike rental van shop nearby km. 5.9, Road 187. Alexei Poventud, the friendly owner of this bike rental shop, advised us to first bike along the coastal trail towards the forest trail closest to the main road.
Since the Piñones mangrove forest is so close by this area, we could not resist looking at the plants and trees adjacent to Lula’s Bike Rent. It was curious to find young Noni edible fruits nearby an almond tree and the palm trees typically found in this Caribbean Island.
Soon after 10:30 a.m., we were already biking upwards on a small slope towards the Piñones coastal trail. Once we reached the top, we were delighted with a wonderful panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean coast. Rock formations at this site resulted in an interesting ocean scenery. At that moment, all I could think of was: “What a beautiful island I live in.” Of all the ecotreasures found during this biking adventure, this was the first of the most impressive ones.
While we continued biking on the Piñones Boardwalk trail, we appreciated flowers and plants found along the way. Suddenly, we had to stare at the second impressive ecotreasure: a little honey bee. We had to thank the bee for pollinating the flora nearby the area. It even posed for the picture!
By that moment, we felt the pretty hot temperature typical of a Caribbean island; however, the ocean breeze let us continue riding happily along our way.
Then we found the first area with many colorful kiosks on the other side of the main road and still in front of the ocean. It was 11:00 am and we could not resist riding across the road to stop and savor traditional Puerto Rican food. Some of us had a delicious “alcapurria” while drinking coconut water right from a refreshing “coco frío”. “Alcapurrias” are a Puerto Rican local dish, comprising of deep-fried dough usually made of green bananas and yautia or cassava. We suggest stopping by “El Cacique del Terraplen de Sonia”, a shocking pink-colored kiosk that you won’t miss at this area.
The stop at the kiosks area was also great to listen to Puerto Rican lively and loud music right in front of the beach.
Next we continued riding our bikes on a trail at the side of the road where the kiosks area was. On our way to the mangrove forest and nearby km 7, we watched red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) and discovered other impressive ecotreasures: a small natural red pond and a young black mangrove (Avicennia germinans). We felt as if these welcomed us to the forest and to what we were about to experience.
Riding the bike into the Piñones Forest was our other impressive ecotreasures encounter. It was simply wonderful.
As we began our ride in this different habitat, we saw surprising enormous termite colony nests nearby the red mangrove trees. The Greater Antillean Grackle bird (“chango” in Spanish) hid among these trees.
Tall Casuarina trees with a pine-like appearance were abundant along this forest trail. Little cone-like fruits and almond drupes were scattered over the path. Casuarina needle-like leaves covered part of the path, resulting in beautiful natural scenery.
Further on our journey, we encountered two wooden trails to choose from. We chose the one closest to the main road. It was interesting to ride on this trail while listening to Puerto Rican lively music at a point in time and later on riding where pure nature and silence were our companions.
While we were enjoying our ride, we kept admiring the mangroves and watched lizards, birds, spiders, and many more termite colony nests. Some of the huge termite colony nests were even hanging on tree branches.
Our biking adventure lasted around two hours both ways, including our stops to take pictures as we were amazed by the ecotreasures discovered.
After such adventure, we suggest a visit to “El Burén de Chita”, a kiosk where you will savor excellent food resulting from Tainos and Africans’ legacy. You may read the “where the crew ate” subsection for more information.
If you do not have a bike, you may rent one at Lula’s Bike Rent. You may park your vehicle nearby this bike rental shop van. Operating hours: Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 10:00 am-6:30 pm. T: 787-374-9010.