When we were in Puerto Rico, we decided last minute to check out the El Yunque rainforest. At first, I wasn’t too excited, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences! The rainforest was about a 45 minute drive from our hotel in San Juan and it was a gorgeous day, so we put the top down on the jeep & cruised right there.
[Side Story: We stopped at this random spot on the side of the road. You know, the ones that are either hole-in-the-wall slam dunks, or food poisoning waiting to happen! Thank goodness for us, it was the former! In a nutshell, we had a big plate (that we attempted to order in Spanish) of rotisserie chicken, ribs, pork, rice & beans, potatoes and plantains. All 100% local, authentic and incredible. It gave us just the amount of energy needed to hike!]
One of my gripes about El Yunque is that it’s not easy to figure out where to park, where trails begin, what the level of hiking is, etc. For example, the first “waterfall” (La Coca) was a 30 second hike from your car to this:
I’m sorry, but my kitchen sink waterfall is more exciting.
Thankfully the bf is an avid hiker and he took over. We hiked for about 45 minutes and it was probably intermediate level. While it was on a distinguished path, it was quite hilly and given that we were trucking along at a brisk pace while wearing a 25lb backpack, it was a pretty good workout. We ended at La Mina Falls and boy, was it worth it. The main waterfall is beautiful, but touristy.
We chose to walk down (a TON of slippery rocks- be careful there!) and found a few waterfalls of our own. We got out the go pro and took some awesome pics.
Then on the way out, we climbed the Yokahu Observation Tower- it’s an easy 100 stair climb to the top, but the view is nothing short of incredible. A 360 view that goes from rainforest to ocean to rainforest. Just spectacular, and the perfect way to end an amazing day!
If you’re in PR and want some exercise & a change of scenery, be sure to check out El Yunque! It’s a beautiful, natural spot and was a really fun time!