One of my favorite day trips that I have taken from San Juan is to El Yunque Rainforest. El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest within the US National Park system and it is a great place to enjoy some of Puerto Rico’s lush, green natural beauty. If you decide to rent a car, you can make it from Old San Juan to El Yunque in about an hour. Not too bad!
Once you get there, parking is easy and you can choose from different trails to take through the park. It’s been a long time since we have gone to El Yunque, so I am not 100% sure of which trail we took, but I think it was out to see the La Mina Falls. Here is a map of the various trails. The hikes we have taken have all been fairly easy, but again, I can only speak for the trails we’ve done (and of course I can’t recall which they were. Sad, I know! 🙂 ) Here are a couple of pictures we took along the way.
As you wander the paths of the forest, you can listen for the sounds of the coqui frog and other native creatures. It’s also a chance to see how amazingly green and fascinating the rainforest is! It was here, at El Yunque, that we first learned about air plants that don’t even need soil to grow. What?!?! Yep, pretty awesome! There is actually enough moisture in the air and nutrients in the host plant to keep these plants growing! Here are some of the beautiful plants you might come across when traversing the trails of El Yunque:
When you get to a lookout point, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Puerto Rico. This island’s views are beautiful from up close and from afar! Here are a couple of pictures that we got when we were enjoying a few minutes to rest and capture the moment.
As you can see, El Yunque is a great little trip to take if you are ready to see another side of Puerto Rico. Rich in beautiful vegetation and stellar views (and if I forgot to mention FREE), this is an obvious addition to your Puerto Rico itinerary! Have a great time, but be sure to watch out for the Chupacabra–I hear he lives around there! 😉
More San Juan Day Trips