A couple of Saturdays ago, I embarked upon my most challenging hike to the date to the second tallest mountain in Trinidad, El Tucuche (936 m tall) with the Fitness Walkers Hiking Club. (NB. The tallest mountain in Trinidad is El Cerro Del Aripo which is 940 m in height.) I always wanted to do this hike so I didn’t even think twice about it when I was invited on this adventure 🌄
N.B. If you want a challenging hike and are in to fitness this is surely one for you to a try 😄💪
The hike started at 8 30 am on a sunny Saturday morning. A prefect day for a hike. The trail started off along a roadway which gradually sloped upwards for about 1 km before we began the real trail hike through the forest. Quite a few people from the group turned back at this point when they were told that “the real hike hasn’t even started as yet.” 😨 😰
PS. If you are having trouble on this portion of the trail, then it really doesn’t make sense to continue as you still have a very long way to go🌳This hike is harder than a hike to Paria as it is pretty much a constant uphill trek as compared to the more rolling hills of the Paria trail 🌲
Overall, the trail is fairly clear all the way to the top and well marked with yellow, pink and even red ribbons. At one point there is there is a side trail that can take you to Morang waterfall in St Joseph, however we stayed on the main trail to continue to the top of El Tucuche.
The steepest part of this trail actually has a name. It is called the Devil’s Staircase (I kid you not) 😈 because it is so steep that you need a rope to ascend it and it is surely the most perilous part of your journey to the top of the mountain. Thankfully, we were able to navigate this section of the with no mishaps. I will however hate to reach to this point on a rainy day ☔️
The Devil’s Staircase is about 2/3 of the way to the top of the mountain so we soldiered on, being sure to take frequent stops to drink water and take a deep breath.
Sadly, at the top there was no view to speak of because the trees were overgrown but there was a little clearing at the top where you can sit and relax. We took some pictures here including one of the geodetic sign left by the Inter-American Geodetic Survey in 1953 marking the exact position on the Earth’s surface of El Tucuche.
Our total hiking time to the top of the mountain was 1 hr 55 mins and although we did not get the view that we wanted when we reached to the top, the joy was surely in the journey for this one. This hike was an absolute work out for me (my legs were in shambles about 2 days later) but the trail was beautiful and I enjoyed every bit of this adventure.
As usual the return leg of a hike is always faster and although we took 1 hr 55 mins to reach to the top, we took 1 hr 25 mins to reach back to the cars. The total distance one way was 3.63 km and the elevation gain was 834 m. This was my most difficult hike ever and I look forward to doing more hikes like this that really test my fitness level.
Have you been to the top of El Tucuche before? What is the most challenging hike that you have done?