Friday, October 24, 2014

La Marquesa Forest Park in Guaynabo

La Marquesa Forest Park GuaynaboThe La Marquesa Forest Park is a great place for locals and visitors to relax and explore the roughly 600 acres of forest reserve.

Located to the south of Guaynabo; a 15 – 20 minute drive south from San Juan, the La Marquesa Forest Park provides an invigorating outdoor escape with spectacular views of Guaynabo, San Juan Metro Area and the surrounding towns and countryside.

The park includes, a small trolley designed like a train which kids will love, that takes you around the various parts of the park, picnic areas, a couple of small children’s playgrounds, and an observation tower.

Once you enter the park, you can jump on the trolley which will take you up towards the play areas and the observation tower or if you are feeling energetic you could skip the trolley and walk (but bear in mind it is UP HILL).

The trolley makes one quick stop a man-made waterfall that also provides great views of Guaynabo and the San Juan Metro Area. After a few minutes the trolley continues through the forest to its final stop.

At this point in the park there are clean bathrooms and a road that leads further uphill, taking you to the small children’s playgrounds, picnic areas, as well as to the Observation Tower.

La Marquesa Forest Park Guaynabo
Playgrounds and Picnic Areas
The playgrounds are small but the kuds will enjoy them and the adults will enjoy the picnic tables with large umbrellas that provide welcome shade and a place to enjoy the breeze.

Note for locals: La Marquesa Forest Park is a great place to hold a birthday party….

Note for visitors: If you have your own transport and are planning on doing the Original Canopy Tour, then add the park to your list of things to do; it’s right next door

Observation Tower
For those looking for the best views in the park, the Observation Tower sits at 1066 ft and is the place to go. The 70ft structure at the top of the hill (yes you have to walk even higher to get to it), provides fantastic 360 degree views of Guaynabo, the San Juan Metro Area, the north coast and the mountains that run through the central region of Puerto Rico.

Heading back to the entrance

To head back to the entrance, you can either take the trolley or head back along the gravel path through the forest.

Opening Soon….

The FIRST and ONLY Aerial Cable Car System in Puerto Rico
aerial cable Car at La Marquesa Forest Park GuaynaboScheduled to open in October 2012, the park will have the FIRST and ONLY aerial cable car system on the island that will transport visitors from the park entrance to the new aviary/butterfly house. The ride will also provide great views as it crosses above the trees.

We are looking forward to the opening of the cable cars and will be heading back there soon.

What: La Marquesa Forest Park (Parque Forestal La Marquesa)
Where: Guaynabo (south of San Juan)
When: Wedsnesdays – Sunday
Cost: Adults $3, Children $1, Cars $1
Directions from San Juan: Head south on RT 2 or RT 22 to RT 20. Stay on RT 20 until you pass a toll both on the opposite carriage way. Once past the toll both take the second exit (brown sign post for the park) and go straight across at the lights on to Rd 834. At the end of Rd 834 turn left onto Rd 835 which will take you to the park entrance.
Note once you get close to the exit on RT 20 there are brown signposts along the way for the park

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Comments

  1. Recientemente visite el parque para un dia familiar; las facilidades estan estupendas pero necesitan mejorar los servicios y sobretodo contratar a un consultor que les enseñe como correr un parque de esta magnitud o de lo contrario van a adquirir mala reputacion. Algunos problemas que confrontamos: (1) hay que erradicar la mentalidad de empleado gubernamental; los empleados tienen que ser entrenados para proveer informacion, estar atentos a lo que necesita el visitante; el dia que fuimos el telesferico no funciono porque los empleados no vinieron a trabajar; los conductores del tren tienen que mantener los trenes transportando a los visitantes constantemente en un itinerario fijo, parar en varios puntos para bajar y recojer personas y sobretodo, proveer informacion por altoparlante sobre el parque etc, tienen que actuar como si cada dia fuese el primer dia y tienen que demostrar entusiasmo (2) ciertas facilidades no habrieron hasta dos horas tarde por falta de agua (plan de contingencia?), (3) falta de cortesia de los empleados (4) cierran facilidades a la hora de almuerzo para que los mpleados almuerzen (y los visitantes…que?), (5) mucha empleomania pero haciendo poco trabajo, falta de direccion(6) falta de informacion en ingles, a los visitantes extranjeros (7) no hay facilidades para comer,(8) durante la presentacion de video de las mariposas, los empleados se quedan en el salon y comienzan a hablar y a caminar lo que no permite concentrar en la informacion (sobretodo…too many video screens in that room, it’s distracting), puedo seguir pero no quiero, en resumen, contraten a un consultor que les enseñe a manejar un parque y sobre todo entrenen a los empleados

    • Hi Pedro thanks for your detailed comment (google translated below)

      I have not been since they opened up the new sections (cable car, butterfly enclosure) but you make some great points and hopefully things will improve as this is a great facility.

      We have tried to go a couple of times recently but it was closed. We tried on a Sunday and also on a Monday which was a Puerto Rico Holiday. I know the park is usually closed on Monday / Tuesday but I expected it to be open on a holiday, but I guess I was wrong. I think the people running it need to ensure that the park is open on days when most families can go.

      Like I said hopefully the employees on the new areas will improve so that families who make the effort to go have a great experience

      Thanks again for your comment *translated by google), so apologies if it is not the greatest translation

      I recently visited the park for a family day, the facilities are great but need to improve services and hire a consultant mainly to teach them how to run a park of this magnitude or else they will acquire a bad reputation. Some problems we face: (1) must be eliminated government employee mentality, employees have to be trained to provide information, be aware you need a visitor, the day we visited the cable car did not work because employees did not come to work, train drivers have to keep trains transporting visitors constantly in a fixed itinerary, stopping at various points to go down and pick up people and above all, by providing information about the park loudspeaker etc, have to act as if every day were the first day and have to show enthusiasm (2) certain facilities habrieron not until two hours later due to lack of water (contingency plan?), (3) lack of courtesy of employees (4) facilities close to the lunch hour mployees that almuerzen (and visitors … who?), (5) much empleomania but doing little work, lack of direction (6) lack of information in English, foreign visitors (7) there are no facilities to eat, (8 ) during the video presentation of the butterflies, employees stay in the room and begin to walk and talk what is not possible to concentrate on the information (especially … too many video screens in that room, it’s distracting), I can go on but not I want, in short, to hire a consultant to teach them to handle a particular park and train employees

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