San Juan, Puerto Rico
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 5 Hours
Meals not included
Embarking on a panoramic rain forest drive promises a lush and immersive experience. The winding roads take you through verdant landscapes, where the vibrant foliage of the El Yunque National Forest envelopes the surroundings. The gentle hum of wildlife and the scent of tropical flora create a sensory journey, offering a tranquil escape and a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the Caribbean.
Look out for El Yunque – the 3,500-foot peak within the forest. This peak’s name derives from the Indian word "Yuqui" meaning white land, but was changed by the Spanish to "Yunque" which means anvil.
When the peak is viewed from the north, it actually resembles an anvil (the iron block on which metal pieces are hammered). The rainforest here covers 28,000 acres, contains 75% of the virgin forests left in Puerto Rico and the entire area is a bird sanctuary. It's also the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System.
Thanks to receiving 100 billion gallons of rain per year, the forest is able to sustain some 250 species of trees, 50 types of ferns and as many as 20 varieties of wild orchids. In addition to the flora and fauna, El Yunque is also home to an array of Puerto Rican wildlife.
Your first stop will be at a local bakery in Palmer, a small town on the outskirts of the rainforest where you will enjoy a café con leche or hot chocolate with a quesito (typical cheese pastry).
From there you will head into the rainforest and visit El Portal, the newly renovated Visitor's Center, just reopened after its four-year closure due to Hurricane Maria, where it offers a rare view of the Puerto Rican parrot, currently an endangered species. El Portal is, as the name implies, is a gateway to knowledge about tropical forests in general and El Yunque in particular. At El Portal you will gain a better understanding of the needs and complexities of tropical forests and the practices required for their sound management and preservation.
Your guide will lead you on a short interpretative nature walk along a trail at the center.
Continue along to Yokahu Tower, which commands a view of the entire northeast coast of Puerto Rico. And finally, make a photo stop at the beautiful Coca Falls.
Please note: The order of stops may vary. As the rain forest is still undergoing renovations and reconstructions, certain stops may occasionally need to be omitted with little to no notice. Tour does not operate on holidays.