Monday, January 17, 2011

El Yunque Rainforest

El Yunque
Did you know that El Yunque is the only tropical Rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System?

Located approximately 45 minutes to an hour from San Juan, a trip to El Yunque offers trail hikes, waterfalls, and views that have remained virtually unchanged. More than 100 billion gallons of precipitation fall here annually, spawning rushing streams and cascades, 240 tree species, oversized  ferns, and more!

In the evening, millions tiny coquís (tree frogs) begin their calls. El Yunque is also home to the cotorra, Puerto Rico's endangered green parrot, as well as 67 other types of birds. Formally known as the El Yunque National Forest, El Yunque's name is believed to be derived from the Taíno word yukiyú (good spirit), although some people say it comes directly from yunque, the Spanish word for "anvil," because some of the forest's peaks have flattened tops.

Daily 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; closed on Christmas.
The El Portal Center opens at 9:00 a.m.
Adults $3; children (5-12) $1.50;  seniors (65+); children (4-younger) free.
Route 191, Río Grande (787/888-1880).

For more information about El Yunque, click on the following links below:

El Coqui

La Cotorra
There's also:
The Botanical Garden a living laboratory of the native flora of Puerto Rico, with over 200 species of tropical and sub-tropical plants.
Daily 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (787/250-0000 ext 6580)

Puerto Rico has countless hiking, mountain biking, and reserves as well. Most reserves and camping areas require a permit which can be obtained in San Juan from the Department of National Resources of the Government of Puerto Rico, which works in conjunction with other conservation groups. (787/24-3647) 
  • Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve
  • La Selva Nature Reserve
  • Susua Forest Reserve 
  • Vega Reserve
  • Piñones Reserve across the bridge over Boca de Cangrejos, on Route 187
  • Aguirre Forest Reserve in Salinas
  • Tortuguero Lagoon Reserve on Route 687
  • Toro Negro Forestry Reserve on Route 143 (787/722-1726)
  • Rio Abajo Forest Reserve on Route 621 
  • Punta Guaniquilla Reserve in Cabo Rojo
  • Punta Ballena Reserve in Guanica
  • Maricao Forest Reserve on Road 120 in Maricao
  • La Cordillera Nature Reserve must get to by boat from Las Croabas
  • Jobos Bay Reserve in western Jobos Bay
  • Ines Maria Mendoza Reserve in Barrio Camino Nuevo
  • Boqueron Forest Bird Refuge near Cabo Rojo
  • Guajataca Forest Reserve in the Karst region
  • Humacao Natural Reserve on Route 3 near Rio Abajo
  • Cambalache Forest Reserve east of Arecibo near Carr. 682
Bottom line, there is something to do every day in every part of this gorgeous island!

Piñones Reserve
El Coqui

Email Yvonne and Nelson at to book your condo today!

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