Thursday, April 18, 2024

Issues To Do in El Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico

Listed here are the most effective issues to do in El Yunque Nationwide Forest in Puerto Rico!

mt britton tower in el yunque national forest

My favourite place to go to in all of Puerto Rico is El Yunque Nationwide Forest. 

El Yunque (pronounced el-YOON-kay) is the one tropical rainforest within the U.S. Nationwide Forest system.

It’s house to lots of of distinctive vegetation and animal species – plus a lot of waterfalls!

On this submit, I’ll share my favourite issues to do within the rainforest, together with the most effective El Yunque climbing and trails.

How To Get To El Yunque Rainforest

view of rainforest and ocean from yokahua tower window

El Yunque consists of two foremost areas – the La Mina Recreation Space within the north (the place most individuals go to) and the El Toro Scenic Byway within the southern a part of the forest. 

It takes roughly half-hour to get to the doorway of the La Mina space from San Juan Worldwide Airport. 

For instructions to the primary space with probably the most sights, I counsel looking for El Portal Customer Heart in your maps app. 

That can take you proper to the doorway to the park which is straightforward to navigate with the map I’ll share beneath. 

On to the most effective issues to do in El Yunque, together with climbing, waterfalls, swimming, and consuming!

El Yunque Mountain climbing

el yunque trail going down mt britton

El Yunque undoubtedly has the most effective climbing in Puerto Rico.  There’s all kinds of trails for all skills. 

Listed here are my prime picks for El Yunque trails. 

Mt Britton Path

view of mt britton tower from parking lot

My favourite El Yunque path is the 1.6-mile roundtrip Mt Britton path.

You hike to the tower that appears tiny on this image, however the path is much much less difficult than you’d count on!

It begins at a trailhead on the prime of 191-N within the La Mina Recreation Space. You will have a timed reservation to entry this path. 

el yunque hiking on mt britton trail

The path is well-maintained, with elements of it nearly paved. 

It was created within the Nineteen Thirties by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) so it has an fascinating historical past. 

mt britton trail el yunque national forest

You’ll attain Mt Britton Tower after 0.8 miles uphill.

It was constructed from 1935-1938 by the CCC. 

view from top of mt britton el yunque

On the prime of the tower, you may be rewarded with panoramic views of the complete northeastern a part of the island. 

The path might be slippery after it rains so make sure to put on appropriate footwear. Please don’t do this in flip-flops. 

Probably the most difficult path on this part of El Yunque is positioned close by.

It’s the 2.4 mile one-way trek to El Yunque Peak. Plan for 4 hours roundtrip for this demanding path. 

Angelito Path

things to do in el yunque - hike to rio mameyes

My second favourite El Yunque path is the Angelito Path. 

It’s a straightforward 0.8-mile roundtrip path that leads all the way down to Rio Mameyes, a delegated US Wild and Scenic River. 

Additionally it is positioned within the El Mina Recreation Space, although it’s exterior the part that requires a reservation. 

This makes it a superb alternative should you aren’t capable of get a reservation for the day!

puerto rico rainforest hiking trail

To seek out the path, flip off of the primary street (PR 191 N) onto PR 988, which you will note shortly after passing the customer’s heart in case you are getting into the park. 

After about 5 minutes of driving (3.6 km to be actual) you will note automobiles parked alongside the street and the trailhead signal in your proper. 

The path is vast and well-maintained – excellent for youths. 

It’s about 0.4 miles downhill to get to Rio Mameyes. 

swimming in rio mameyes on angelito trail

There are ample locations to swim, take a look at some brook trout, or climb round on the rocks. 

Convey water sneakers, swimsuits, and towels. 

Little ones received’t wish to depart so plan for a minimum of an hour right here!

Different Trails

Listed here are just a few extra El Yunque climbing trails that you just may wish to take a look at:

  • La Coca Path leaves from the car parking zone throughout from La Coca Falls. It’s steep and muddy, entails a number of stream crossings, and is 3.6 miles roundtrip. 
  • La Mina Path has been closed since 2017 however we’re hopeful it’s going to reopen in some unspecified time in the future. 
  • El Toro Path is accessible from Route 186 within the southern part of the park. It’s a troublesome 4.6-mile path up the best mountain within the forest, El Toro Peak. 

There are additionally some quick accessible trails discovered across the El Portal Customer Heart. 

Now on to a different massive attraction, the El Yunque waterfalls!

El Yunque Waterfalls

el yunque waterfall san diego upper falls

There are a bunch of beautiful waterfalls in El Yunque Nationwide Forest.

Listed here are my favorites!

Juan Diego Falls

people under juan diego falls puerto rico

My favourite spot in El Yunque is Juan Diego Falls, which is truly a sequence of a number of waterfalls. 

It’s within the part of La Mina Recreation space that requires a reservation, so plan forward and get a reservation right here if you wish to go to. 

You park alongside Rt 191 subsequent to the trailhead – you’ll see a lot of automobiles there. 

puerto rico waterfall and pool below

The primary set of falls is reachable by a five-minute hike. 


Convey your swimsuit and wade into the chilly water for a refreshing bathe!

I additionally strongly advocate water sneakers. The rocks are painfully sharp with out them. 

To the fitting of the primary falls is one other tough path that goes steeply as much as entry the higher falls. 

juan diego upper falls

I solely advocate this for older youngsters and for when it isn’t too muddy. Coming down the path when it’s moist might be harmful. 

At one level the path will cut up – make sure to keep to the left to get to the higher falls. 

That is truly the taller of the falls and really spectacular!

You’ll nice pictures at each places so carry your cellphone or digital camera alongside. 

La Coca Falls

girl in front of la coca falls

La Coca Falls is the very first thing you will note if you enter the restricted a part of La Mina Recreation Space. 

It’s a enormous waterfall actually proper off the street!

You park throughout the road to entry photograph ops for La Coca Falls. 

La Mina Falls

la mina falls

Photograph Credit score: US Forest Service

Sadly, the path to La Mina Falls has been closed since Hurricane Maria brought on main injury in 2017. 

La Mina Falls is a beautiful 35-foot waterfall reached by a steep 1.4-mile roundtrip path. 

I hope that the Forest Service is ready to restore this path in some unspecified time in the future so extra guests can get pleasure from La Mina Falls. 

Onto extra enjoyable issues to do in El Yunque Nationwide Forest!

El Portal Customer Heart

flowers in front of el portal visitor center

The El Portal Customer’s Heart reopened in January 2022 after a few years of rebuilding from hurricane injury. 

The brand new house is gorgeous and an incredible instance of sustainable structure. 

exhibit in el portal

There’s a price related to visiting the middle, nevertheless.

It’s $8 per grownup and youngsters underneath 15 are free. 

When you have a Nationwide Parks Go you’ll pay half worth, which is what we did. 

girls looking at map in puerto rico rainforest visitor center

There are some instructional shows on the primary and second ground. I believe you possibly can see every thing in lower than an hour. 

Don’t miss the possibility to see some Puerto Rican parrots! They’re critically endangered and the birds there are a part of a reintroduction program. 

el portal rainforest cafe sign

I extremely counsel grabbing lunch on the cafe on the Customer’s Heart!

It has glorious and reasonably priced Puerto Rican delicacies. 

puerto rico rainforest cafe seating

There’s a lot of seating and it’s been quiet each instances we’ve visited. 

puerto rican fried food platter

This sampler platter was $20 and included seven totally different Puerto Rican dishes. 

Although there’s a further price related to the Customer’s Heart, I believe it’s value it.

Plus a part of your cash will help conservation efforts, that are sorely wanted. 

El Yunque Rainforest Map

el yunque mountains and flowering tree

El Yunque consists of two foremost areas – the La Mina Recreation Space within the north (the place most individuals go to) and the El Toro Scenic Byway within the southern a part of the forest. 

You will get maps of each elements of the forest right here.

I extremely counsel downloading a replica of the map to your cellphone, since service might be spotty if you end up contained in the park. 

At the moment, you will have a timed reservation to entry elements of the El Mina Recreation Space.

You will get a reservation at 8 am the day earlier than your go to right here

El Yunque Rainforest Zipline

el yunque rainforest zipline tour info

A well-liked exercise in El Yunque is ziplining. 

There are many firms that supply an El Yunque zipline tour on Viator, my most well-liked solution to guide actions. 

Youngsters should be about eight years outdated to take part, so we would do this on a future journey.

El Yunque Horseback Driving

puerto rico horseback riding in el yunque

We have now horses at house so on one journey we hoped to trip horses within the rainforest.

Nonetheless, I used to be actually choosy concerning the tour information I used.

Animal welfare isn’t nice in Puerto Rico total, and I had seen horses that had been clearly underfed and mistreated whereas on the seashore prior to now. 

I used to be so joyful I discovered Amy at La Vista Rides, an skilled horsewoman who runs a superb operation!

paso fino horse

All of her horses had been effectively cared for and clearly liked. 

I obtained to trip her Paso Fino Mariposa who was tremendous candy. 

swimming in river on rainforest ride adventure

We took her signature Rainforest River Experience Journey, which concerned a brief trip down the mountain to a stunning river for a swim. 

After the swim, we rode again up the mountain and had recent fruit from the timber on her property. 

el yunque horseback riding puerto rico trail

In case you are searching for horseback using in El Yunque, I extremely advocate La Vista rides

I actually don’t assume you’ll discover many different Puerto Rico horseback using experiences that will probably be on horses which can be truly cared for correctly. 

Yokahua Tower

yokahua tower full view

In case you are touring with little ones or didn’t get to do the hike to Mt Britton tower, you then’ll undoubtedly wish to take a look at Yokahua Tower earlier than you permit. 

It’s near the forest gate entrance and has ample parking proper in entrance. 

view from the top of tower of ocean and luquillo

Whenever you climb to the highest you’ll be rewards with panoramic views of the forest and all the way down to Luquillo and the seashore. 

It’s a pleasant fast cease earlier than you head out of the rainforest. 

leaving el yunque national forest sign

I hope this submit helped you uncover all the enjoyable issues to do in El Yunque rainforest. 

There’s nice climbing, ziplining, horeseback using, swimming and extra that you just don’t wish to miss in your go to. 

Any questions on planning a visit to El Yunque Puerto Rico? Simply depart a remark beneath and I’ll do my greatest to reply. 

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