El Yunque Rain ForestCurrently Open [Closes at 06:00 pm]
- Address: Carolina, Puerto Rico, 65664556, El Yunque National Forest 00979, Puerto Rico, Fajardo
- Timings: 07:30 am - 06:00 pm Details
- Phone: +00738-7878881880
- Ticket Price: Free
- Time Required: 05:00 Hrs
- Tags: Outdoors, Forest, View Point, Waterfall, Scenic Drive, Nature
El Yunque Rain Forest - Review
Feast on all life has to offer by experiencing nature at every turn at the El Yunque Rain Forest. Stroll beneath towering trees, orchids, giant ferns, wild flowers, and tropical hardwoods. Be whisked away by the ancient Indian legend of the good spirit Yuquiyu who reigned at El Yunque on his mighty mountain-top throne, protecting Puerto Rico and its people.
Embark on nature walks to rewarding viewpoints. Marvel at spectacular waterfalls, and see panoramic views of the entire north-east coast. Covering 28,000 acres, and receiving more than 200 inches of rain per year, El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the US Forest System. The forest a sprawling green space abundant with trees is home to more than 400 different plant species. The main features here are the Sierra Palms and a superabundance of epiphytes. These are plants that grow on another plant or on the thick trunks of trees, especially one that is not parasitic, such as the numerous ferns, bromeliads, air plants, and orchids. This unique survival strategy is called the Dwarf Forest. The forest is peppered with trails for hiking, picnic pavilions, stone towers, and rimmed with rivers, and waterfalls.
The peak is nearly always covered in thin mist and, due to its high humidity, a quick shower is developed during some afternoons. The forest has a number of trails from which the jungle-like territory's flora and fauna can be appreciated. El Yunque is also renowned for its unique Taíno petroglyphs. Petroglyphs (also called rock engravings) are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. There is no distinct wet or dry season in El Yunque; it rains year round. The temperature and length of daylight remain fairly constant throughout the year. All of these factors provide a year-round growing season.
The actual rainforest is at the top, you must drive to the top of the road and hike up to see the cloud or dwarf forest. There is no rainforest lodging within the actual rainforest, nor within the park boundaries. The intrigue of visiting the El Yunque rain forest is to understand how varieties of plants have managed to grow and adapt to the copious amounts of year round rainfall and winds near the top. The magic of El Yunque is in the unspoiled beauty, the hums, the silence and the tranquillity.
The rivers and waterfalls formed by all that water rushing back down from El Yunque to the sea are very beautiful refreshingly cool and clean to jump into!
It is a very calm forest. In fact; there are no poisonous snakes or insects to scare you away!
El Yunque Rain Forest Information
- The El Portal Visitors Centre is $4 per person and $2 for senior citizens. Kids under 16 are free.
- On Christmas Day there are no Rangers or security etc. Ranger stations are open 9-5. The gates close at 6pm.
- There are a number of maintained and some un-maintained trails in the rain forest, go through the website to find the details.
- Due to the rain, the trails can be slippery – wear appropriate foot wear (sneakers or hiking shoes). The forest is a great place during the weekend so to avoid the crowds, go on a week day.
- Camping is allowed in certain parts of El Yunque with a permit. You need to contact El Yunque to check.
- If allowed, you need to fill out your camping permit paperwork two weeks in advance of intended camping stay to provide ample time for processing.
- They have a pamphlet that will show camping areas and rules.
- If you would like a ranger-guided tour of the forest, stop in to the ranger’s station at the Palo Colorado station.
- They offer 1 hr tours on Wednesdays at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm (as long as guides are available) for $5 for adults and $3 for children (5-12) and seniors.
- Get a trail map from any of the ranger stations. There are clean bathroom facilities here, and the picnic pavilions are also accessible from here.
- There are picnic areas set up right on the trail to La Mina falls that are just perfect for a peaceful lunch.
- At the start of the trek there are several shops selling souvenirs and outlets to eat.
- The Sierra Palms Recreation area has a food stand Yuquiyu which serves delicious local cuisine and there are restrooms and a picnic area.
- Coqui International is a really nice art, artisan gift shop. They hand-make soaps and candles too.
- Palmer Bakery, is also located on the trek, where you can pick up sandwiches for a picnic.
- Next to the bakery is another store, Caribbean Trading Company which sells cute local crafts and Caribbean inspired things.
- There is a gift shop with some good bargains on souvenirs.
- There also is a little restaurant, La Pozo that has roast pork- pig on a spit on Saturday and Sunday and on Holidays.
- Dagao yet another restaurant along the way, serves Puerto Rican food. It is open for lunch and dinners most days.
El Yunque Rain Forest Opening and Closing Hours
- The recommended time to visit is at 8am.
Restaurants Near El Yunque Rain Forest
- The Rum House: Local Cuisine
- Lluvia Deli Bar & Artefacto: Latin, Breakfast, desserts
- Panaderia Rico Pan: Bakery, Café, Sandwich
- La Familia Bakery 2: Dessert, Bakery, Café, Sandwich
Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in Fajardo before you plan your trip.
Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Fajardo and book an accommodation of your choice.
Things to Know Before Visiting El Yunque Rain Forest
95% of people who visit Fajardo include El Yunque Rain Forest in their plan
09 AM - 10 AM
78.07% of people start their El Yunque Rain Forest visit around 09 AM - 10 AM
People usually take around 5 Hrs to see El Yunque Rain Forest
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting El Yunque Rain Forest
El Yunque Rain Forest Map
El Yunque Rain Forest Trips
El Yunque Rain Forest, Fajardo Reviews
My family and I had a wonderful ride up the mountain. Sadly, Hurricane Maria did incredible damage to roadways and the park as a whole. We were told it probably wouldn't be completely open until October 2018. However, we did get to visit the beautiful waterfall and a wonderful lookout spot that provided excellent views and incredible scenery. Just seeing the waterfall was worth the drive up. We got great photos. There are a couple of interesting gift shops, too. Stop in and get a souvenir to commemorate the visit. Looking forward to El Yunque being restored to its beautiful old self.
As of this review (May 2018) a majority of the park is still closed due to Hurricane Maria, but they are hard at work rebuilding the roads and trails. We had the opportunity to go into the closed areas and were awestruck by the natural beauty of the mountain. I hope the park is fully reopened soon so everyone can visit!
While areas are still closed due to Hurricane Maria, it is rebounding nicely with the fantastic human help. It is worth visiting! Some trails are already reopened and their progress is great. Also, the staff is not just super friendly, they are knowledgeable and helpful.
Lots of beauty to be had and explored despite the devastating aftermath of 2017’s hurricanes. This is one of the great parks of the National Park system , please visit and appreciate. Oh, and one of the best river swimming holes I’ve ever been privileged to enjoy.
Amazing rain forest. The trails, waterfalls, and wildlife was incredible. The roads are tight and narrow but you are immersed in the jungle and environment. Be very very careful when hiking and moving around because it is very slippery and can be dangerous.
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