El Yunque Rain Forest
The tropical rain forest El Yunque, is an impressive place that you just have to visit. The profuse vegetation makes a hike through this only tropical forest of the US National Forest system an amazing experience for persons of any age.
If you rather not want to share the rain forest with hundreds of other tourists and look for something more exciting, get in touch with our very tour guides with Paradise Tours Puerto Rico, which will take you off the beaten path to a hidden location in the rain forest far from crowds to a big natural water slide.
Already when you drive onto the upper elevation, where parking lots, little restaurants and souvenir shops are located, you feel that even in summer it is considerably cooler here than on the rest of the island. El Yunque really has a lot to offer – and furthermore, it is for free: from roofed-over barbecue areas, which can be found everywhere along the numerous paths leading through the rain forest, to belvederes with breathtaking views, to a bath under the numerous waterfalls.
The National Forest El Yunque is famous for having the bodies of water of best quality in Puerto Rico. Thanks to its location in the mountain, the forest is full of numerous rivers, streams, brooks and waterfalls. The most famous waterfalls are Cascada La Coca and Cascada La Mina. For those who like to be in the water, we recommend a hike over the rocks through any of the rivers along the actual path. Initially the water might feel quite chill, but especially in summer it is a nice way to cool off. This hike is much fun, especially when you are with a smaller group of friends.
The more than 100 billion gallons of rain water falling on the forest each year and the warm-tropical climate of the Caribbean, create the conditions for an evergreen rain forest, which is home to 240 endemic tree species (26 of which can only be found here), 50 native orchids (among them the smallest orchid of the world, which is so small, that a leaf can actually shield the flower from raindrops), giant ferns and many more.
But it is after sunset that the rain forest really comes to life. Millions of coquis start singing and insects fill the night sky, which is illuminated by thousands of cucubanos. El Yunque is one of just a few rain forests on earth in which are no poisonous dangerous snakes or spiders.
El Yunque really has a lot to offer. There are many trails to be explored, each boasting its own special attraction. Because of the great variety of different trails there are several degrees of difficulty and also various possibilities of exploring the respective routes. If you look at the trails on the map, you may discover that hardly a trail actually ends where it begins. In most cases you have to return to your vehicle via the same way you have come.