The Rainforest Inn's Lost Machete Hike
Venture into the El Yunque jungle where things become missing, and one misplaced step can send you sliding down the mountain, entangled in vines never to be seen again. Your companions go on without you and mourn your passing into the enchantment of the Rainforest El Yunque. Maybe the ghost stories really are true.
Okay so we are exaggerating just a little. However, The Lost Machete Hike is not an easy hiking trail. But you were looking for an adventure, right? This is a private trail where you will not encounter others. It is on our private property. There are several very steep areas where one misplaced step could send you sliding down the mountain side. Also the rocks and boulders of the beautiful stream (that will remain nameless to protect the trail's anonymity) are very slippery. The trail is very well maintained though, and if you're lucky you might see one of the resident Boa Constrictors lying about. Now that you have learned of some of the dangers let's explore the unique beauty that will make risking the wilds all worth while.
One step off the pavement and you will immediately feel the jungle surround you. At the trails end you will experience a waterfall that very few hominoids have ever seen up close. Be a part of the cadre of hikers that have enjoyed these descending waters and bathed in the pools. We can't claim that you will be a part of the Mile High Club but you will be treated to an awesome vista of the Caribbean Sea as you perch upon a boulder that is yours for the day.
Privacy here is a premium. The Lost Machete Hike may be the the most memorable adventure you embark on, on the Isla Del Encanto. Some of our guests have even proposed at the pool above the waterfall.
In addition to our private trail there are also secret hikes that we can tell you about (or draw a map to) into un-traveled areas of the El Yunque rainforest. There are also several public access trails that we suggest (and we help spot a car on the other side). The El Toro trail is our favorite and very near our place it leads to the Trade Winds Trail which is a seven hour combination that needs a guide especially through the places where the trail has suffered landslides. In the El Yunque Recreation area we recommend La Coca Trail or The Big Tree Trail. El Yunque Trail is also nice as are shorter trails like Baño de Orowhich are short hikes which do not need a guide. And don't forget about birding in the El Yunque rainforest.
We can also help you arrange sailing on a local fishing sloop, out to a beautiful sandy key, with great snorkeling or show you the route for a scenic drive down around the southeastern tip of Puerto Rico. Information about rainforest activities.
A rainforest is a forested biome with high annual rainfall due to the Inter-tropical convergence zone. Maximum rainfall in El Yunque "America's rainforest" can be 250 inches per year. Sometimes it rains hard every day for three or four days although usually we just get showers in the afternoon. The soil is poor because high rainfall tends to leach out soluble nutrients -- we use truckloads of horse manure for our exotic tropical gardens.
Rain forests are home to two-thirds of all the living animal and plant species on the planet. It has been estimated that many hundreds of millions of new species of plants, insects, and microorganisms are still undiscovered and have no names yet. Tropical rain forests are called the "jewel of the earth", the "Earth's lungs", and the "world's largest pharmacy" because of the large amount of natural medicines discovered there.
Despite the growth of flora in a rainforest, the actual quality of the soil is quite poor. Oxisols, infertile, deeply weathered and severely leached, have developed on the ancient Gondwanan shields. Rapid bacterial decay prevents the accumulation of humus. The concentration of iron and aluminum oxides by the laterization process gives the oxisols a bright red color and sometimes produces mineable deposits (e.g. bauxite). On younger substrates, especially of volcanic origin, tropical soils may be quite fertile. The undergrowth in a rainforest is restricted in many areas by the lack of sunlight at ground level. This makes it possible for people and other animals to walk through the forest. If the leaf canopy is destroyed or thinned for any reason, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense tangled growth of vines, shrubs and small trees called jungle.
The Caribbean National Forest located on the island of Puerto Rico, and commonly known as El Yunque (named after the Taíno Indian spirit Yuquiyú, and meaning "Forest of Clouds") is the only tropical forest in the United States National Forest System.
The forest is located the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo Mountains in Puerto Rico, and encompasses over 28,000 acres (113 km2) of land; making it the largest block of public land on the Island of Puerto Rico. The highest portion of the mountain measures 1074 meters (3494 ft).
The forest covers lands of the municipalities of Canovanas, Las Piedras, Luquillo, Fajardo, Ceiba, Naguabo, and Rio Grande.
The forest region was set aside in 1876 by the Spanish Crown, and represents one of the oldest reserves in the Western Hemisphere. It is home to over 240 species of trees and plants, 26 of which are found nowhere else.
Typical yearly rainfall can be up to 240 inches (6 m) per year. More than 100 billion US gallons (380,000,000 m3) of rainwater fall on the forest per year.
El Yunque is composed of four different forest ecosystems:
• Tabonuco Forest
• Palo Colorado Forest
• Palma Sierra Forest
• Dwarf Forest
LINKS TO OTHER EL YUNQUE RAINFOREST INFORMATION:
El Yunque Rain Forest Information Websites: