To get off the beaten path, try this short but challenging trail. Wilder and less maintained than some of the more popular forest rambles, this 2.9-km (one-way) hike descends through thick tabonuco forest and enormous ferns and crosses several rocky streams. Most visitors take three to four hours for this out-and-back trek because of the slippery terrain and tempting swimming.
You’ll get muddy and have to do some scrambling (long pants are recommended and good walking shoes are a must), but the rewards of private waterfalls and dipping pools more than make up for it.
The trailhead is just up the road past the falls of the same name – just before the Yokahú Tower – and there is a small parking lot here.
La Coca made its mark on El Yunque history when a US college professor disappeared here for 12 days in 1997, claiming after his rescue that he got off the trail and was lost. The Forest Service, which had enlisted a search party of 60 volunteers and aircraft, was hardly amused.