Hiking And Ziplining In The El Yunque National Park: Puerto Rico
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
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?
Day One Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- San Juan, Old San Juan: Day One Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
This is Day One of my six day vacation in Puerto Rico. This day we go to downtown San Juan and to the historic city of Old San Juan to see the Forts.
- Why Do I Love Puerto Rico? Let Me Tell You!
After spending three weeks in Puerto Rico, I am in love with this Enchanted Island. I'd like to tell you why I feel this way!
- Old San Juan, Puerto Rico: Forts El Morro and San Cristobal, Photos
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; visit to the city and Forts: El Morro and Fort San Cristobal. I stepped back in time when I walked on the blue cobblestone streets.
Day Two Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- Horseback Riding In The El Yunque National Park, Vieques Island, And The Bioluminescent Bay In Puert
Today we go horseback riding in the El Yungue National Park and to the Island of Vieques to see the natural wonder of the Bioluminescent Bay. We see millions of microscopic dino flagellates that light up when disturbed.
- Costa Rica Or Puerto Rico: Where Should I Go For The Winter Months?
I have to make a decision to go to Costa Rica or Puerto Rico for the winter months. Help me decide where to go.
Day Four Of Our Six Day Vacation In Puerto Rico
- The Arecibo Observatory And The Rio Camuy Caves In Puerto Rico
Today we will tour the Arecibo Observatory that was featured in the movie Golden Eye. It is the world's largest single aperture telescope. We also will tour the Camuy Caves today.
- A Scenic Drive To The Marchiquita Beach And The Towns Of Aguadilla, Rincon And Ponce: In Puerto Rico
This is Day Six, the last day of our Six Day Vacation in Puerto Rico. We have had a wonderful time here, and we hope to return another time. We know now why Puerto Rico is called the Enchanted Island.