El Yunque National Rainforest is one of Puerto Rico’s and the Caribbean’s most precious natural resources…a thick emerald green forest covering 28,000 acres with peaks that rise up to 3000 ft. El Yunque is the most visited attraction on the island and part of the US National Forest. Most tourists and locals visit El Yunque as a morning / afternoon trip or take a guided tour. To really appreciate this amazing ecosystem, we encourage you to spend at least one full day exploring the misty lush forest by walking the trails and cooling off under the plunging waterfalls and natural pools with crisp spring waters.
El Yunque National Forest Update After Hurricane Maria
With deep sadness in our hearts, we inform you that El Yunque, one of the most precious natural treasures in Puerto Rico was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria on September 20th. “El Yunque National Forest will remain closed until further notice after Hurricane Maria. Clean up efforts and assessments to the Forest’s ecological resources and facilities are currently underway. ”
Forest roads have unstable landslides, most trails are blocked by debris, and recreational facilities are damaged throughout the Forest.
The following roads, recreation sites, and trails are accessible on a limited basis:
- Roads: 1) PR191 to La Coca Falls; 2) PR988; 3) PR966/9966, and 4) PR186
- Recreation Sites: 1) La Coca Falls vista; 2) Puerto Roto day use site; and 3) Angelito trailhead
- Trails: A portion of Angelito trail
As road work, debris removal, and power grid repairs continue within and on the way to El Yunque National Forest, visitors can expect traffic delays and temporary closures to facilitate ongoing recovery work. While efforts have been taken to provide for safe travel and recreation use of areas, be mindful that recovery efforts both within and outside the Forest will continue for the near future and will significantly impact your visit.
Videos of El Yunque National Rainforest
El Yunque Tour by CNN
The Sounds of El Yunque Rainforest
Visiting El Yunque National Rainforest – Puerto Rico
You don’t need a tour guide, the trails are clearly marked. If you want a more educational experience and make the most of your time there, inquire about a tour by a ranger or with a private tour company.
The Forest Service offers a one hour guided tour from 10:30 to 2:30, they leave at every half hour and the cost is $5 per person, children and seniors is $3. Rangers will take you on tour on the easiest trails, if you want to experience the more challenging trails you have to explore them on your own.
What to Bring
Bring some snacks, drinks, walking shoes, swimsuit if you want to get in the falls, bug repellent and if you have children all your necessities. There is a snack place with few items and refreshments.
- El Yunque is open 7 days a week and it closes at 6pm.
- El Portal Tropical Forest Center on Rte. 191 is open daily from 9am – 5pm. Tel. (787) 888-1880
- El Yunque Catalina Field Office along the highway on the north side of the forest offer hiking information and will help you plan tours of El Yunque including overnight ones. Tel. (787) 888-1880
Entry to the rainforest is free of charge. Visitor’s center is $3 per person, children 12 and under and seniors is $1.50.
(787) 888-1810 or (787) 888-1880 – US Forest Service
On the Web
Camping at El Yunque Rainforest
Getting to El Yunque National Rainforest
Concierge desk typically have a map of Puerto Rico and ask for additional directions. Following we’ll provide directions from San Juan.
From San Juan take Rte. 26 / Baldorioty de Castro Expressway east to Carolina, from where you will get on Rte. 66 / Roberto Sanchez Vilella Expressway. Go east to the right on Rte. 3, follow east to intersection of Rte.191, a 2 lane highway that leads south into the rainforest. Then take 191 for about 3 miles. As the road goes uphill you will be entering El Yunque Rainforest.
Make a stop at the visitor center for maps and more information about the rainforest. See map below.
Driving through the rainforest
All individuals can enjoy a visit to El Yunque, including those that may have physical limitations. The best way to experience that rainforest is by foot; if you’re not able to walk or you’re short on time, you can drive along and see a few waterfalls along the way and enjoy the sights. If you have sunroof, open it the whole way and look up at the giant ferns. There is a lookout tower with an open observation patio at the top with breathtaking views that extend all the way to the east coast shores on a clear day.
Map of El Yunque National Rainforest, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Hotels near El Yunque National Rainforest
If you would like to enjoy El Yunque to the max, there are some nice small inns in the heart of the rainforest as well as many resorts and hotels on the east region of Puerto Rico.
Keep Exploring Puerto Rico
About Puerto Rico
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