Common question - What can I do in El Yunque - Option#1

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These are Raul hints to make the best of a whole day in EYNF - Option 1.

el yunque rain forest puerto rico hiking vacation forest nature

The forest from Los Picachos on El Yunque trails

The Incredible Mt Britton Trail

 

0-Study the roads - PR 66, PR-191, El Yunque trails, be prepared. Bring water and food and a backpack with some 1st aid and raincoat, bath suit, good shoes.

If you want a slower way to get to EYNF you can go via Rio Grande, see this nice video on this approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxRVX6-TzKI. This is precisely the way back I recommend + Loiza road up to Old San Juan. It does cover the entire PR 191 road to El Yunque - a GREAT video - thanks!

1-Have your own car, arrive EARLY - EYNF Park Opens 7:30, closes 6 pm. Entrance is free.

el yunque rain forest puerto rico hiking vacation forest nature

2-From SJ use Route 66 (toll - prepaid) - it's much faster. But can return via Luquillo beach and then Loiza to Condado direct,  Make stops - food, beaches & can see awesome sunsets, coastline and palm trees on Loiza road PR-187 on the way back. PR-187 starts in PR-3 Rio Grande town - after EYNF entrance and gets to Condado and Old San Juan in the end - with little traffic compared to PR-3.

Jose in el yunque PR

3-Take a plunge and explore Quebrada Juan Diego - not may chances now for bathing,  La Mina Trail is closed after Maria.There is a great waterfall at the end of the trail too, but like all trails walk with FULL focus on the trail - to be SAFE. This has very few parking spots - if not possible keep going, or have someone drop you and pick you up later, or can walk up to road - but there is a lot of traffic.

el yunque rain forest puerto rico hiking vacation forest nature

4-Jump quickly to La coca falls, take photos and then Yokahu tower to get soon to Mt Britton trail. Maybe find a place to get wet in la Coca if step#3 failed.

el yunque rain forest puerto rico hiking vacation forest nature la coca falls

Next when you go up notice how the forest changes - you are arriving at the true cloud forest - the pristine forest that has never been cut down.

el yunque rain forest puerto rico hiking vacation forest nature

5-Drive to the end of the park,  road PR-191, it makes a LOOP then there are about 20 parking spots (that's why it is best to be early), else wait. Go up the Mt Britton  trail - a very good trail  - BEAUTIFUL and varied. Paradise! Great for photo and videos. The trail is up for about 1 hr.

el yunque rain forest puerto rico hiking vacation forest nature mt britton trail

Go to Mt Britton tower, then explore if you have time - this is another story...go down via the main (asphalt) road  - not the trail - more views and it's easy and longer. Note: the image is of the view of East peak from Mt Britton tower. What is the East Peak? - Sorry it is an open SECRET...

el yunque rain forest puerto rico hiking vacation forest nature

6-You will then end up just after the PR-191 close gate (half of PR-191 is closed due to a huge landslide) - go RIGHT. This closed road section is far more PRIVATE - and there are no cars! Not many reach here!

el yunque rain forest puerto rico forest nature vacation hiking caribbean eynf

7-Soon will see the Tradewinds trail (14km - very long). If have good shoes go for about 30 minutes slowly, appreciate the true forest. This is AFTER Maria, there is damage, but it is recovering fast. Explore a bit but do not leave the trail. It looks bad at the beginning - due to erosion - but it improves very quickly.

8-Walk down the closed PR 191 as much as you want - it's 2 hrs down and get back. I like to have picnics on this road. Kill the day there and relax 

9-Get back to the car, drive down to Luquillo beach (balneario La Monserrate) , have food, swim. There is food there too. Quiet during the week. 

luquillo beach el yunque rain forest puerto rico forest nature vacation hiking caribbean eynf

Awesome Luquillo beach - 15 minutes from El Yunque

Below the typical tasty PRican food in Luquillo or Loiza road

food of puerto rico luquillo

food of puerto rico luquillo

food of puerto rico luquillo

 

10-Return via Loiza (entrance in Rio Grande). Do not use PR 66 - unless you are in a hurry. Enjoy the many food places there, make stops, see the sunset.

loiza luquillo beach el yunque rain forest puerto rico forest nature vacation hiking caribbean eynf

11-You end now in a triumphant entrance to Condado via Isla Verde, another great beach on the way. Hang out in El Morro lawn or Old san Juan …

It's great feeling to have the 4-elements in a day:

a) A Good bath in a Yunque river b) Hike a trail c) Relax and explore a bit and have a picnic in a private setting d) Swim in the beach - it's a magical feeling!

regards 

raul - Yunque explorer