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El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico

El Yunque Peak

El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is one of the island's must go to attractions. Covering over 28,000 acres, El Yunque is a lush rainforest with peaks soaring over 3,000 feet (1000 meters), cascades, streams, views, and a diverse flora. The park is a short drive (45 minute drive) from San Juan and tickets are less than $10 per car.

There are three main trails, ranging in difficulty, from 0.8 miles to 2.4 miles. Although typically cooler than the island's coast, you should make sure to bring water on hotter days, as there is no potable water (do not drink the water from the streams, as it could could contain Giardia which can make you sick).

Pools of fresh water collected right at the source. Pools of fresh water collected right at the source.
Lush vegetation. Lush vegetation.

It rains over 20 feet (6 meters) every year in El Yunque. You can expect sporadic showers on any given day, so the trails can be slippery.

Views to the South East. Views to the South East.
Yokahu Tower. Yokahu Tower.

There are three observation towers:

  • Yokahu Tower can be accessed by car and it's the lowest of the three.

  • Mt. Britton Tower can be accessed by hiking the 0.8 mile (1.3 km) Mt. Britton Trail

  • El Yunque Peak Tower can be accessed by hiking the 2.4 mile (3.9km) El Yunque trail

Views of the east from Mt. Britton Tower Views of the east from Mt. Britton Tower
Tabonuco tree specimen. Tabonuco tree specimen.

The Tabonuco tree is one of the endemic species that can be appreciated in the Big Tree Trail. The trail is 0.9 miles (1.4 km) long.

Bromeliads Bromeliads
Hiking in El Yunque makes everyone happy! Hiking in El Yunque makes everyone happy!
Sporadic showers usually only last a few minutes, you can always find shelter! Sporadic showers usually only last a few minutes, you can always find shelter!
Tree hugging is allowed. Tree hugging is allowed.

La Coca Falls La Coca Falls

For more info visit the USDA site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/elyunque/home