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El Yunque Rainforest: Perfect for Chasing Waterfalls

El Yunque river stream Puerto Rico.

A tropical rainforest with ample hiking opportunities and waterfalls to admire? Yes, please!

Realistic image of lots of tourists in the waterfall in the El Yunque forest in Puerto Rico, on June 7, 2014

Photo © Dennis Van De Water

El Yunque National Rainforest is one of Puerto Rico’s most treasured and visited spots on the island, filled with incredibly lush vegetation and wildlife tucked into one dynamic ecosystem. Fun fact: it is also the only tropical rainforest managed by the US National Forest System.

According to its website, El Yunque houses over hundreds of native fern and tree species as well as rare birds like the Elfin Woods Warbler. The forest also has some cool history. It was once treated as a place of worship by the ancient Taino people before the Spanish took over the island in 1876; under King Alfonso XII, it became the first known forest reserves to exist in the west. It has also been renamed several times since the U.S. acquired Puerto Rico via the Treaty of Paris, and it has survived and endured natural disasters, including the recent Hurricane Maria.

While some parts of the park are closed due to damage from Maria, don’t you fret: there are certain areas that are still open to the public. The Angelito and Mt. Britton Trails are open for business, and these trails tailor to both advanced hikers as well as beginners. You can admire the aquatic splendor at La Coca Falls and wind down for lunch at Rio Sabana Recreational Areas.

The hurricane damage hasn’t deterred visitors from having fun and posting pictures of their rendezvous / nature escapade. Did we mention this is an Instagram dream?

 

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little do you know my back is v sunburnt

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Charco Frio Golden Hour ✨ Puerto Rico

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El Yunque is open every day from 6:30am to 7pm. Click here for the latest park updates, and be sure to bring a swimsuit and some bug repellent if you ever visit! (Ah, the pros and cons of being in the tropics…)

#ElYunqueNationalForest #Wanderlust

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