The El Yunque rainforest – hiking and sight seeing
Paths through the El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico have been made by the C.C.C. in the 1930's. They are paved and very easy hiking as you can see in the photo.
The Big Tree Trail (Tabonuco forest and Sierra palm forest) is a very popular hike and I recommend you go on a weekday when it is not as crowded. We also can guide you on some
adventure hikes that go into areas of the rainforest that are not along paved trails and where it is unlikely that you will meet a fellow hiker. But you might meet a large boa hanging from a tree branch or sunning on a rock and you will certainly go through the tough silk strands of a peanut spider web.
The spiders along the rainforest trail are all unique. The are almost like snow flakes with their variations in colors and markings.
The seven hour El Toro Trail to Trade Winds Trail is one that few have accomplished. The upper third is in the cloud forest with stunted trees like bonsais on either side. Another hike that we can direct you on is to a little known tall ribbon waterfall at the end of the trail we affectionately call "the stair master from hell". A third adventurous hike ends up at the old (over 300 years) Spanish gold mine.
A cute baby coqui from a rainforest leaf.
swim at the base of a rainforest waterfall
El Yunque Lost Machete Hike (scroll down for other adventures)
Venture into the El Yunque jungle where things become missing. One misplaced step and you slid down the mountain and become tangled in vines never to be seen again. Your companions go on without you and morn 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. There are also mysterious plants that can cause a severe rash and burning sensation on exposed skin. The trail is well maintained and you will only encounter these plants off the beaten path. 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 unique group of people 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 the most memorable time you spend on the Isla Del Encanto. Some of our guests have proposed at the pool above the waterfall. See Nature photos of El Yunque that we have taken on our hike.
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 Oro which 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.
LINKS TO OTHER EL YUNQUE RAINFOREST INFORMATION:
El Yunque Rain Forest Information Websites:
El Yunque Guide with Photos & Info
Ray & Gwenn's Puerto Rico Day Trips
Guided tours and travel suggestions:
Check your dates for moon conditions on this easy to use moon chart