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Puerto Rico and "El Yunque" National Forest

Updated on September 4, 2016

This video is property of El Yunque

Directed by Maria Falcon

Narrator: Benicio del Toro

Journey into a Tropical Rain Forest - Benecio del Toro

Puerto Rico, the smaller Caribbean Island of the Greater Antilles, houses the only tropical rain forest in the United Stated National Forest System, El Yunque National Forest. It is also, one of the smallest forests in the National Forest System (28,000 acres or 43.753 mi2 ). El Yunque is located on the eastern part of the Island approximately 24.8 miles from the capital of San Juan and its land rests on the slopes of the Sierra Luquillo mountains. It also comprises the entire El Yunque Mountain that raises to 3,494 ft. above sea level and most of the other neighbor mountains (including the highest mountain in Puerto Rico, El Toro, with an elevation of 3,533). El Yunque gets its name from the aboriginal Taino word yu-ke (meaning: "white lands") due to the low clouds and mist on top of the mountains.




Rainforest, El Yunque

Climate

One of the fascinating aspects of El Yunque is the ability of the plants and trees (mostly on the top of the rainforest) to endure the recurrent amounts of rainfall which reaches over 220 inches a year in some areas creating the mystic jungle-like setting. Since the rainforest spreads along slopes, all the rainfall constantly fills the water streams and rocky rivers creating waterfalls and pools. All around the year, El Yunque maintains fairly the same warm tropical climate (730F/210C). The length of days and seasonal changes are almost unnoticeable. This is the ideal environment for the ebullient tropical vegetation.

The sound of the Coqui

Visit the official website of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Rainforest el Yunque.com for more information.
Visit the official website of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Rainforest el Yunque.com for more information. | Source
Photo courtesy of Father Alejandro Sanchez
Photo courtesy of Father Alejandro Sanchez | Source

Capturing the beauty of the rain forest

Approximately 1,000,000 people visit El Yunque every year, and their experience have been an unique one. The rain forest is an excellent place for people of all ages who are looking to learn and understand the ecological importance of the forest and/or experience serenity and quietness. The forest provides seven recreational trails (total of 24 miles), and six administrative trails, which are restricted to hiking. These trails lead to unique different areas of the rain forest. Although handicapped access is not yet available for the trails, the "Portal Tropical Forest Center is. Many areas will never be used for trails in the future in order to preserve the environment.

El Yunque offers a variety of areas for recreation like: camping, cabins, outdoor learning, scenic driving, hiking, picnicking, water activities and nature viewing. There is a small admission charge if you go to the Portal visitor center or reservations for tours, which is used for the administration and maintenance of the rain forest. Visiting to the forest is free, just drive up. Camping permits are available.

Take a whole day to visit El Yunque. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes or layers that can get wet, walking shoes, a backpack and first aid kit if you plan to go to the farther areas of the rain forest. Although there are facilities at the starting point of the trails and some other recreational areas (camping), no facilities are available once you are in the rain forest itself.

For travelers who want to stay near El Yunque, they can choose among a variety of mountainside cabins, bed and breakfast and eco-lodges. Also, there are luxurious hotels ranging from five to 15 miles from the rain forest: Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Resort, and El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo.


Visit el Yunque the next time you travel to Puerto Rico. For more information, visit:

http://elyunque.com/, http://www.topuertorico.org/reference/yunque.shtml


© 2012 AnnaCia

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    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Although I am not likely to ever make it to the area, that was a really good review. We need to protect these beautiful and endangered places for future generations.

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • Silwen profile image

      Silwen 5 years ago from Europe

      Great hub, it was interesting to read. Thank you.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Thank you Brett and Silwen.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Visiting Puerto Rico has always been on my bucket list. Your descriptions and video are wonderful. I truly hope to make it there some day. Wonderful hub! :)

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      sgbrown. If you have more questions about Puerto Rico let me know. There are many wonderful places to visit that do not have to be only in the Capital San Juan. Thank you for your comment

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 5 years ago

      Yes, wonderful hub, although I have never thought of visiting Puerto Rico you may have helped me have a change of heart

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Clairemy, thats good to know. Glad you liked the hub

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 5 years ago

      I did, and actually am beginning to take a keen interest in the planets ecology and enviromental issues.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      That is very good. I would love to see you write something related to that.

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 5 years ago

      I will, for sure but at the moment am busy looking for some online work.....such is life:)

    • grinnin1 profile image

      grinnin1 5 years ago from st louis,mo

      I am ready to go. Really wonderful article; informative, beautifully done, well written. I learned a lot- keep writing!

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Oh, Thank you grinnin1. Happy to know you liked the hub.

    • misshill profile image

      misshill 5 years ago from United States

      Nice article and nice videos; I love reading about rainforest of various countries.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Thanks misshill. I am happy you visited my page.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I would love to return to Puerto Rico and see the rain forest. I enjoyed your hub very much. I went to the rainforest in Costa Rico and it was awesome also. Very interesting hub.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Hi Pamela, thank you for visiting my hub. I have been told that the rainforest in Costa Rica is amazing.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I don't know why it never occurred to me before that Puerto Rico would have a rain forest, and I certainly had NO idea until now that rain forest is part of the U.S. National Park System. Learn something new every day! Thanks so much for sharing this national treasure that we all hope will be preserved for many generations to come! ;D

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Good to know that though this hub I am opening doors for others to learn something new. I am learning from your hubs too. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Welcome to HubPages! I can see I need to visit this beautiful place; your details and photos are inviting! I love to travel, and I enjoy seeing new countries. Puerto Rico has been on my list for a while now; I think it's time to make a plan!

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Thank you for welcoming me! I am glad you are here enjoying my hub. When you decide to visit Puerto Rico, and we are still writing here, let me know if you have questions, Ill help you. I loved writing about El Yunque.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      I've spent a little time hiking in El Yunque and it's called rainforest for a reason. Make sure to pack a rain poncho in your day pack. : ) The best part of my trip was climbing a mountain in El Yunque in the morning and then spending the afternoon on the beach looking back up at the peak I had just summitted.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Deborah, thank you for your comment. It is nice to know you have experienced the adventure of El Yunque. Yes, the rain poncho is important.

    • profile image

      El Ray 5 years ago

      I didn't know PR had a rainforest, so I thank you for creating this El Yunque hub page and sharing it with us. You've provided a lot of rich detail that's making me put El Yunque on my list of "have-to-go-there" places. Voting Up + Interesting!

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      ElRey, I appreciate your comment. I hope someday you go to Puerto Rico and enjoy many beautiful places, like El Yunque.

    • conradofontanilla profile image

      conradofontanilla 4 years ago from Philippines

      Voted up and useful. The Philippines, like PR, lies in the tropics. We have rainforests, too. As a child I went along with some farmers to gather rattan poles and buds of some palms for food. I worked in a government forest agency as editor of a technical journal and a semi-technical newsletter.

      We have sturdy trees like sagat or molave that were used by the Spaniards, former colonizers, in making ships some of which comprised the Spanish Armada that fought the English navy led by Horatio Nelson. Molave wood calcifies with sea water so it is ideal for ships where no metals are used in joints. Our rainforests are now mostly second growth. However, some patches of virgin rainforests still remain. One thing I enjoyed in my youth was laying bird traps under the canopy of mahogany and other dipterocarp trees. I love those wild doves with plumes of green and blue and tinge of red and yellow. I would put them in a cage for a few months then let them free to fly away lest they die. My family cleared a virgin forest in the plains to convert into agricultural cultivation. Some trees were so big we did not cut them down but let them rot away. We only had axes, no chain saws yet. Besides, to let the timber lay blocks the plowing of the field. Our houses were made of wood cut from such rainforests.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 4 years ago

      conrad: Thank you for your visit. Unfortunately our rain forests are slowly dying. With so much construction and developments we are killing them. Our dear forests...

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 4 years ago from Tennessee

      WOW!!! What a wonderful hub. So descriptive, felt like I was there. Welcome to HubPages. So glad to meet you and thanks for the follow. Voted up, useful, beautiful and shared with all my other friends...

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 4 years ago from India

      This is really an amazing place to be in. I am hearing about this place for the first time, but these beautiful images have really thronged into my heart..

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 4 years ago

      samsons1, thank you for visiting my page. El Yunque is one of the few beautiful natural elements in Puerto Rico which takes your breath away. Hope you visit one of these days.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 4 years ago

      george; Our Rainforest is a place where you can find peace; a place where you are able to experience a beautiful natural creation. Thanks for your comment.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Looks like a great place to go for a trip.

    • AnnaCia profile image
      Author

      AnnaCia 2 years ago

      Hi, poetryman6969. It is really a beautiful place. Thank you for your comment.

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