El Yunque Rainforest

This post is part of a series called Working in Puerto Rico
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A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nov '09

El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Luquillo National Forest and the Caribbean National Forest, is a forest located in northeastern Puerto Rico. It is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System.



There are many trails throughout the park, running alongside streams and waterfalls through dense and lush vegetation. It’s fairly easy to reach from San Juan by bus or by hiring a car, the roads are good leading to and within the park itself.



While visiting Marc hiked the La Mina and Big Tree trails. It consisted of a lot of steep decents and stairs, but it was well worth it as it provided some amazing views out across the park. The first part runs along a river with a few waterfalls along the way, it provides many opportunites for some rock hopping and taking a dip to cool off. The second half is more forested and provides good bird watching and wildlife viewing opportunities.



To complete the visit he visited the Yokahu Observation Tower, one of two observation towers in the park, the other being Mount Britton Tower. While Mount Britton Tower is at a higher altitude it is often covered in clouds, so Yokahu is the one to go to for the better views. After climbing the 100 step spiral staircase you get sweeping views of the rainforest.



El Yunque is a special place and a great escape from the more urbanized areas of Puerto Rico, a true national treasure.


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