Friday, June 15, 2012

Puerto Rico: El Yunque National Forest

     We ended our weekend in Puerto Rico by going to El Yunque. This is the only rainforest in the Unites States National Park System and also one of the smallest. However, it has more species of trees than all the other forests in the system combined. El Yunque is a place everyone who goes to Puerto Rico should visit.

     Our first stop was El Portal, the observatory located at the entrance of El Yunque. Entrance is only $4 for those over 15 years old and there is plenty of parking. Throughout the observatory there are exhibits explaining the different species, forests, and history of El Yunque. There is also a 15 minute movie showcasing the diversity of the rainforest. We were there on a Sunday and there were multiple local vendors selling handmade objects, such as jewelry and paintings. The gift shop has a great variety of Puerto Rican goods and the cafe serves magnificent smoothies...we had the banana and loved it!

      Next, we went up the mountain to La Coca Falls. This is a great photo opportunity for those visiting El Yunque. Make sure you wear sneakers! We had a great time climbing up the rocks and getting so close to the falls we could touch the water.

      Last, we visited the Yokahu Tower. It is a long climb up but it is worth every step. The view from the top is magnificent! A must do when visiting El Yunque!


Entrance to El Portal
                       
Banana Smoothie 

La Coca Falls 


View from Yokahu Tower


El Yunque

For more information on El Yunque go to http://www.fs.usda.gov/elyunque
For more information on visiting Puerto Rico go to http://www.seepuertorico.com/




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