El Yunque is the only rainforest in the National Park System.
El Yunque rain forest is almost 29,000 acres of wilderness and the only tropical rain forest in the US National Park System. The park opens at 730am daily, with the welcome center open at 9am.
If visiting El Yunque, we recommend going early. This avoids the crowds and its less likely to rain in the morning typically. (If it is raining, its best to postpone your trip, as the trails will be too slippery). El Yunque offers groomed trails leading to La Mina waterfall, and hiking trails for all levels. You can find a list of the trails, and descriptions here.
We recommend ideally getting there at 8am (about 45 minutes drive from our location). Visit La Mina trail first as its the most popular and later in the day will be full of hikers. Feel free to dip into the waterfall. Later, visit the welcome center. The most interesting thing is the 20 minute movie, narrated by Benicio del Torro. It alternates from Spanish to English versions, so go to the theater upon arrival to the El Portal visitor center (welcome center) to see when the next version that you would like to see starts. The El Portal can also be rented for your destination wedding! To ensure the park is open, its always best to check the National Park System website
While El Yunque forest is beautiful and great to visit, there are so many other options as well. The El Yunque National Rain Forest covers only a small amount of the actual rain forest in Puerto Rico, most of which is on private land. These other areas are great for the more adventurous, and these others seldom close. The trails are less groomed and the hiking is a bit more advanced. My favorite so far is Las Tinajas. This costs $3 to park a car there, but even with Google is not easy to find. And it’s best to have a guide your first time there. I recommend Triple G Tours, but if not available, contact us for other recommended options. At Las Tinajas, there are natural rockslides, rope swings, cliff jumping, beautiful hiking and more.
You can make a full day of it and stay on the east coast, either enjoying the beaches such as Seven Seas, or later, the bioluminescent bay. You’ll be ready for a nice dip in our jacuzzi by the end of the day.