We now enter pristine forest on the Eastern face of El Tucuche, its getting cooler and the birds are chattering all around you. Toucans are calling with their puppy like yelp, hummingbirds zoom past, manakins getting all excited doing their courtship displays, and maybe you will hear Red Howler Monkeys in the distance. At 2000 feet the vegetation slowly changes to Montane Rainforest and tree trunks and branches become laden with mosses and ferns. The slopes here are steep and muddy, but with the cool, clean air and the beautiful scenery around it invigorate you.
As the first summit draws nearer the forest changes to Elfin Woodland, the trees become shorter, various Clusias and Palms become abundant. It is usually quite wet up here, even when it is not raining, and quite often cloud covered. The ground is so soggy it makes strange noises as you walk. The first summit is at about 2800 feet and has a 1000-foot cliff to one side. From a break in the vegetation the view is spectacular, when not cloud covered. Bathers can be seen at Maracas beach with binoculars even though you are several miles away. At this spot if you wait a bit you are almost certain to see the rare blue-capped tanager.
The last push to the real El Tucuche summit is then made. Slipping and sliding up the steep, muddy slope you push your muscles yearning to reach the final destination as the Elfin Woodland gets shorter and shorter. Then you emerge at the summit four hours after leaving base camp, here the views are even more spectacular, once it is clear views of the Caroni Plains and swamp, the North Coast, and Northern Range can be seen, even Little Garden, where it all began can be seen. Relaxation, lunch, photography are the activities here. The route down from the summit is by 2 trails, either the flatter and longer Caurita trail or the shorter but steeper Ortinola Trail
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Central America and Caribbean Trinidad and Tobago Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Caving
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