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Hiking And Ziplining In The El Yunque National Park: Puerto Rico

Updated on December 29, 2013
My lovely daughters and traveling companions
My lovely daughters and traveling companions | Source

The Coqui frog


The El Yunque National Forest

The most popular and most beautiful hiking trek in Puerto Rico is El Yunque. This rainforest is a 45 minute drive from San Juan, and it is the only tropical forest in the U.S. National Forest Service system. (Yes, we forget that Puerto Rico is considered part of the United States). This virgin forest is the same as it was when Columbus first sighted Puerto Rico in 1493.

El Yunque is home to more than 240 species of tropical trees, flowers, and wildlife. You will find more than 20 kinds of orchids growing here. Ferns are everywhere; more than 50 varieties. There are literally millions of the tiny tree frogs known as the Coqui (pronounced "ko-kee". We heard these little frogs that sing all night everywhere in Puerto Rico.

At one time a greenish blue, red fronted parrot once flew free in the rainforest. Once almost extinct, they are making a comeback.

The brochures advise to bring a raincoat because it will certainly rain! No surprise there. More than 100 billion gallons of rain fall here each year.

Listen to the sounds of the Rainforest and enjoy the beauty there.

You Have To Hike To Reach The Zipline

The hiking trails have been carefully marked by the Forest Rangers. Since my daughters are part of a Hiking Tour, there isn't much chance of them getting lost in this vast rainforest.

At the beginning of the hike, everyone is given a helmet and safety ropes. They had to sign waivers not to hold the tour company liable for their safety. In other words: Do this adventure at your own risk! They were then taken by an eight wheel amphibian for the beginning of the hike. This hike is part of the day long tour that will also take them ziplining. In fact, it is ONLY way to get up to the zip line. So, if you want to zipline, you have to first hike! They were told in advance to wear good hiking boots, which they did. The hike is extremely strenuous. I would suggest if you are over the age of 65, leave this adventure to the young people.

The girls hiked up the river through boulders and waterfalls. A cable car was waiting to take them to the first platform for the zip line. After you reach the first platform the guide places a safety harness on your body that has heavy duty metal snaps that will be used to attach you to the cable. When you are ready and are snapped on the cable securely, the guide gently pushes you off. You literally fly over the canopy of trees to the next platform about 50 feet away. After you are allowed to catch your breath, another guide who is waiting for you on that platform pushes you off the to the next platform. There are a total of four platforms.

Take the time to watch the videos so you will know what it is like to zip line through the rainforest high above the canopy of trees.

When you have reached your last platform, you have to rappel down a rope and onto the ground.

Transportation To The Beginning Of The Hike


This Is Just The Beginning Of The Hike


She Is Ready For The Hike


This Daughter Is Excited To Go For The Hike


Getting Up To The Zip Line Is Hard Work!


At The End Of The Hike

Check out all the mud!
Check out all the mud! | Source

My Experience Ziplining In Costa Rica

I will never forget my experience on the zip line in Costa Rica! I made it up to the first platform, and then I panicked! There was no way I could do this, I thought. The guide was very patient with me. After he got me all snapped in and ready, I just would not jump off the platform. He reminded me that there is no way down except to go on the zip line. He got behind me and held on to me and just pushed off the platform. We flew to the next platform, and I was screaming all the way. My family regrets not having a video of me flying and screaming to the next platform. Then, of course, I had to rappel down the rope to get to the ground.

I swore then I would never zipline again, and I never have!

Fasten Your Seat Belt! See How It's Done

After Watching This Video Would You Like To Zip Line?

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San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Vieques, Puerto Rico

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Cayo Icacos, Cabezas, Fajardo 00738, Puerto Rico

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Arecibo Observatory, PR-625, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico

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camuy caves puerto rico:
Camuy Caves Park, Lares, 00669, Puerto Rico

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el yungue national park puerto rico:
El Yunque National Forest, Río Grande 00745, Puerto Rico

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