Things To Do in El Yunque National Forest

Image Source: Adam at La Coca Falls, El Yunque Rainforest by BluEyedA73, on Flickr

El Yunque rain forest is the only and the most spectacular rainforest in Puerto Rico. Many people from all around the world come to visit it each year for its unique, rare birds and trees and its very picturesque landscapes also, it is a great place for adventures lovers where you can try many activities like hiking, camping and ziplining!

How To Get To El Yunque National Forest

The best way to get there from San Juan is by simply driving, you can take route 3 and travel for about an hour to route 191, then you will be there! The forest usually opens from 7:30 am until 6 pm and you can go anytime through the year as the weather hardly changes. So, if you are a nature lover and you love taking pictures, trying new things and adventures, this is definitely for you!

What Is There To Do in El Yunque National Forest

Many people visit this forest to go hiking in its beautiful hiking trails, the forest includes about 16 different hiking trails. The best-known one is La Mina Trail which you can reach by taking the Big Tree Trail. This trail is special as it leads to La Mina falls where you can enjoy swimming as it is the only waterfall that is open for swimming.

The El Portal Visitor Center for El Yunque provides informative exhibits, rainforest education, and a gift shop.

Another trail is Mt Britton trail that will take you to the stone tower that was built in the 1930s by the civilian conservation corps or the CCC.

If you are a serious hiker, you can take on the ridge of the Luquillo Mountains (Sierra de Luquillo). It takes a full day and is only for serious hikers. There is a threat of flash floods and hiking boots are required to navigate the potentially deep mud.

Right off the widing road, you can find La Coca Falls.

El Yunque Rainforest La Coca Falls by BluEyedA73, on Flickr

It makes for a quick stop as you are driving through the forest.

Adam at La Coca Falls, El Yunque Rainforest by BluEyedA73, on Flickr

Not too far from the Coco falls is the Yokahu Observation Tower. Its hard to miss with an easy to spot sign.

Yokahu Observation Tower, El Yunque Rainforest by BluEyedA73, on Flickr

A true highlight is an old tower which you will find after a hike up a paved trail.  From here you can enjoy views of the rainforest and other parts of the Island.

From Inside Yokahu Observation Tower by urbanshoregirl, on Flickr

There are also activities that are more daring like taking a canyoning tour where you can do many- adrenaline rush – activities like zip-lining, leaping, rock climbing, and rappelling! You can stay the night are can go camping there, just don’t forget to bring all your stuff and supplies you are going to need and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

The weather in El Yunque National Forest is fair with temperatures around 73°F (23°C) year round. Since it is a forest, you will likely be in the shade most of the time so you may want to bring a jacket.  Long pants make it less likely you will be dealing with mosquito bites.

You can also get with you an insect repellent, as there may be insects in the forest, just make sure that you don’t go into the waterfalls after applying it. Also, don’t forget to bring an umbrella and a waterproof bag because it rains usually four times a day there! Thanks to the rain, there are no mosquitos at all in the forest.

Rare species in El Yunque

The waterfalls and the nature of the forest made it home for more than 240 species of plants and birds. Little toddy or San Pedrito for example, can be found there and is considered one of the most beautiful and colorful birds. You will also be able to spot the screech owl and the Puerto Rican parrot.

There are few mammals inhabiting the forest, this goes back to the nature of the creation of the forest, it was created as a result of volcanic activity and thus, any creature has to fly or swim to get there. You may also see bats, rats, skunks, gall wasps, raining frogs, and mongoose. So what are you waiting for, grab your backpack and get ready for the best experience ever!

moderate temperatures of 73°F (23°C) year round and is usually covered in mist or it’s raining. So after visiting Fort San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan, grab your bathing suit and a rain jacket because we can go swimming in this rainforest!

 

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