El Yunque National Forest Featured in
El Yunque National Forest, previously known as the Caribbean National Forest, is a 28,000-acre (11,3-ha) rainforest situated in northeastern Puerto Rico. With an elevation of 3,500 feet (1067 m), it is the only tropical rainforest in the United States Forest Service and the United States National Forest System.
It is composed of four different forest vegetation areas: Palo Colorado Forest, Tabonuco Forest, Dwarf Forest, and Sierra Palm Forest. Here, you can learn about the 240 plants endemic to Puerto Rico. You can do some of the best birdwatching here, which will definitely leave you in awe. There's also a chance to check out green mangos, woodpeckers, and the Puerto Rican parrot.
El Yunque is considered as a natural treasure filled with orchids, waterfalls, and tree frogs, where you can be fully immersed in nature. Here, you can bathe in natural pools beneath waterfalls, hike on one of its many trails, or relax and enjoy the scenery. Moreover, there's no preferred season for visiting El Yunque. Just arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds or come during wet season to witness waterfalls at their best.
When is the ideal time to explore El Yunque National Forest?
El Yunque National Forest is always open. However, it would be best to visit during mid-December to mid-April for pleasant weather. The wet season, from May to November, unlocks the forest's full potential, comprising lush scenery, waterfalls, and hundreds of bird species. Visitors should prepare for rain during any time of year and come carrying outdoor gear and waterproof clothing. Show more
Which unique bird species inhabit El Yunque National Forest?
El Yunque National Forest is a thriving habitat for over 240 bird species, including the well-known Puerto Rican parrot. Other species include the green mango, Puerto Rican Woodpecker, Elfin Woods Warbler, Puerto Rican Flycatcher, Bullfinch, and Tody. Birdwatching allows you to see rare species that only exist in the rainforest's limits and enjoy the forest's bustling biodiversity. Show more
What are the different forest plant varieties found in El Yunque National Forest?
El Yunque National Forest presents four forest vegetation zones: Palo Colorado Forest, Tabonuco Forest, Dwarf Forest, and Sierra Palm Forest, each showcasing unique ecosystems, flora, and fauna. Visitors can find tall trees in the Palo Colorado Forest. Dominant tabonuco trees characterize the Tabonuco Forest. The Sierra palm forest grows at the park's lower limits, while bonsai-shaped Dwarf Forest is located at the highest elevations. Show more
What is the location of the natural pools below El Yunque National Forest's waterfalls?
El Yunque National Forest is home to numerous waterfalls and pools, but the top choice is La Mina. The waterfall drops 35 feet into a capacious pool, tempting you for a quick swim. It is easily accessible on the Big Tree Trail. In contrast, secluded La Coca Falls is ideal for relaxation and escaping crowds, with minimal water flow and a petite pool. Show more
How much time is required to explore the highlights of El Yunque National Forest?
Exploring El Yunque National Forest's prime offerings necessitates four to six hours if you plan to hike the core trails, explore waterfalls, and view wildlife. With 28,000 acres of tropical rainforest, the park offers short and long hikes and leisurely walks to suit your preferred visit duration. It is advisable to plan your trip beforehand to make the best use of your time. Show more