Exploring the El Yunque Rainforest

The El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. national forest system. It has many trails and observation points, including ocean vistas, bridges, and short hikes to waterfalls. You can drive the main route and there are places to park or pullover along the way, making it convenient for families and groups. The views are breathtaking and totally worth it.

waterfall in El Yunque

Just a heads up, you will need to make a reservation online ahead of time at the U.S. Forest Service. It only costs about $2 per vehicle, and it will buy you a morning or afternoon slot. I recommend doing this as far in advance as possible as availability is limited.

We did not know this ahead of time, so we had to spend our first visit at the visitor’s center. This was a little more expensive, $8 per person, but it’s actually a very beautiful center with gardens, a restaurant, and a gift shop. You will learn a lot about the history of the rainforest.

flora from the gardens

If you’re looking for more adventure like zip lining, hiking to the towers, or waterfall swimming, you may be interested in looking up some tours through Viator or Trip Advisor. I have not tried any of these personally, but try it out if you’re interested! As always, read reviews before booking and be sure you know where to meet your guide and what to bring.

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