|Explore Mt El Tucuche’s summit |
Thursday, January 12 2017
MT EL TUCUCHE with an altitude of 937metres (3,072 feet) is the second tallest peak and just four metres shorter than the highest mountain El Cerro Del Aripo. Of the two ranges, El Tucuche is the preferred choice among enthusiasts mainly because of its fantastic sceneries and strategic location, latitude 10.7333 and longitude 61.4166.
It is recognisable by its two altitudinous peaks, which are visible from miles around.
Two places to spot its grandeur are from Luengo Village in the Maracas, St Joseph Valley and Rincon Village on the North Coast Road.
Tucuche is an Amerindian word that refers to the hummingbird.
Some 13 species of hummingbirds live around the slopes and in the valley. Some common names frequently found are the copper-rumped, black-throated mango, tufted-coquette, white-chested emerald, white-neck jacobin, blue-chinned sapphire, long-billed star throat, ruby topaz, brown violetear, little hermit, green hermit and rufous- breasted hermit.
A familiar place for an educational tour of the hummingbird is at Yerettes in the Maracas, St Joseph Valley.
Also found on El Tucuche is the golden tree frog (Phyllodytes Auratus) that lives inside the water brackets of the giant bromeliad plant at elevations over 700 metres. This frog is endemic to Trinidad but its survival is threatened by forest destruction and man’s intervention.
The trek to the summit of El Tucuche is always a memorable experience, and some do it for the pleasure of adventure, accomplishment, and determination.
It is a test of one’s fitness, and the climb can take between oneand- a-half hours to two hours. There are several routes to access the summit, however, the preferred one is from Hobal Trace in the Maracas, St Joseph Valley.
On a bright day, visible from the first peak are fantastic views of the Las Cuevas Valley while from the second, is a magnificent panorama of Maracas Bay. A colourful flower which is seen on the second peak is the psammisia urichiana with its red trumpet petals and yellow tips.
The vegetation at the summit is Elfin Woodland which consists of tree ferns, bromeliads, epiphytes and anare palms. The trees are short and they grow to a height of about 25 metres. The forest is always wet and green moss grow on the roots and barks of the trees.
On the return, one can divert from the main track and visit the Morang Pools for a refreshing dip. This route passes through the abandon cocoa and tonka bean estate.
On Saturday, Fitness Walkers explore the summit of Mt El Tucuche.