El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque National Forest
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Forests
Read more
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Plan a day trip to the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. With 29,000 acres of lush foliage and 25 miles of year-round trails, this is a nature enthusiast’s sanctuary. Attempt to spot elusive wildlife like the Puerto Rican parrot on a rejuvenating hike, soar through the canopies on a zipline, or go horseback riding at Carabalí Rainforest Park. If time permits, visit the Yokahú Observation Tower which has an elevation of 1,575 feet and provides expansive views of the mountains. Sporadic showers are common here—check their website for the latest information about trail statuses and park closures before setting out. – Tripadvisor
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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  • lizakq
    1,094 contributions
    Favorite place...
    This is my favorite place on the island. Doesn't matter how many times I go there is always something new to explore. My last visit was in March just before all the Covid-19 restrictions were on place. Now you need to make a reservation at recreation.gov, fee is 2$ and maximum of 2 cars per reservation. There are two time frames to choose from; I recommend the 8am one because it allows you to spend all day exploring. The Mina waterfall is still closed due to hurricane Maria.Take plenty of water and snacks because even though they are a few spots where you can buy something to eat once you are on the trails ( depending destination) you are on your own. Wear comfortable sneakers preferably with a good grip and I prefer light clothes because even though is a rainforest you will feel the heat with all that hiking. Take lots of pictures, enjoy the views and don't leave trash behind. PS feel free to message me if you have any questions.
    Visited December 2020
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 29, 2020
  • Larie0088
    Green Bay, Wisconsin25 contributions
    Astonishing Rainforest!
    We had an excellent experience at El Yunque. You do still need tickets ahead of time and they release a set number exactly 1 month before your desired day or 24 hours prior to your desired day. The charge is only $2 per vehicle but once they are gone, they're gone. We got ours a month ahead so that we did not have to stress about it once we arrived. The drive up is fun and scenic. You can visit El Portal Visitor Center without the previously mentioned ticket and admission is $8 per adult. This was a newly reconstructed visitor and education center with a restaurant and gift shop as well as some short hiking trails. If you are unable to get a park ticket, this is still a fun thing to do and provides a taste of the rainforest. From there, we did indeed head to the actual park entrance where you show your ticket and are allowed entrance. The majority of the sites and trails are open. We visited La Coca Falls, Yokahu Tower, Juan Diego, Baño Grande and Mt. Britton Trail and Tower. All in all, we spent about 3-4 hours there and were able to see everything we wanted to. Great day in the rainforest!!!
    Visited May 2022
    Written June 2, 2022
  • tykamp4
    North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina21 contributions
    Absolutely gorgeous, reminds me of Road to Hana in Maui
    My wife and I rented a soft top Jeep, put the top down and headed up to El yunque. We had an absolutely spectacularly gorgeous time. The road is twisty and windy and narrow just like the road to Hana in Maui, if you've done that before. We were hoping to hike to the El Mina waterfall/pool, but that is currently closed due to covid. ****Important**** you now need to reserve a time at recreation.gov from either 8-11am or 12-3pm to proceed to Mt. Britton tower, Coca Falls, and the bulk of the hiking as a Park Ranger checks every incoming vehicle for a pass. The cost is just $2, I think they are attempting to control volume of people coming in to the park due to Covid-19. Masks are required. Despite these hassles, was WELL worth the trip. Highly recommend an open air Vehicle to take in all the views. Also, the hike to Mt. Britton tower was the highlight.
    Visited November 2020
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 5, 2020
  • GregBChi
    Chicago, Illinois21 contributions
    This goes for all National Forests: Don't Be a Karen
    Recommendation: if you're a person who loves national parks and forests, this place is a gem. If you're looking for ziplining, stay away, thanks. You need to make an online reservation, but once you're in, it's like seeing Puerto Rico that has no development, no houses, wires, just ferns that are bigger than your car, enormous, beautiful leaves undulating in the regular soft rain fall. You don't know which way to look, but would not be surprised if a pterodactyl came soaring out of the trees, or saw the searching head of a brachiosaurus reaching for lunch. We parked by the Juan Diego Trail to see the first falls and then hike up to see the second falls. (We made a wrong turn and ended up hiking 2 hours up the mountain, but that's another story, with recommendations about the best footwear for very wet mud.) The first set of falls, not far from the road, was busy, including a group of young people making a video. When we returned and got to the second falls, hot and sweaty and ready for a cold dip in the mountain water, the kids making their video were at the second falls. We watched them for a moment, undressing to slip into the water, when we became aware of a conflict. A white woman, who we had passed on the trail, apparently felt that these kids were hogging up the water for their video, and started yelling at them. First of all, she was in her 40s and these kids, two boys and two girls, were in their early twenties. Second, she was an American tourist, and they were Puerto Rican kids, probably students, doing what students do all over the damn place, make videos and art and whatnot. But this white lady was having none of that. She had come to a National Forest, and she was going to get her time in the water. She strode past us, into the water, yelling, and I heard the kids saying "We can't read your mind. We had no idea you were waiting. Why didn't you talk to us?" But communication with natives was apparently not part of this woman's plan. She submerged herself into the water while her embarrassed husband and daughter watched from the side. My wife and I talked to the kids. They were sweet, and surprised that the woman was so angry. DON'T BE A KAREN. Seriously, you're not at home. Be humble. Be humble anyway. You're a person, he's a person, she's a person. You're all the same. Be respectful. Oh, you should definitely come to El Yunque. It's breathtakingly gorgeous.
    Visited April 2021
    Written April 17, 2021
  • krankn
    Hoffman Estates, Illinois79 contributions
    Must see during your visit to Puerto Rico!
    There is much you can see from the road, even without taking hiking trails, many of which are still closed. Wear appropriate shoes. There are a couple of small parking lots at stops, but otherwise parking is along the road. We were in the park by 10 and left around 1 when there was already a line of cars waiting to enter. As it is still recovering from Hurrican Maria, I'm surprised that there's not an entrance fee or donation box to support that. A few porta potties along the way, I'd recommend being prepared with wipes and your own tissue. The temporary visitor's center is in the town of Palmer.
    Visited December 2019
    Written January 2, 2020
  • JeanneCristello
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania79 contributions
    Breathtaking Views and So Much to Do!
    El Yunque is an indescribably beautiful rain forest spanning 29,000 biologically diverse acres in Northeast Puerto Rico. Outside the entrance of El Yunque is a small town offering many food and souvenir options. El Yunque offers many natural sites for visitors to immerse themselves in its beautiful trees. El Yunque is home to hundreds of unique plants and animals in a jungle-like environment. There are hiking trails ranging in difficulty, observation points, a natural pool, Yokahu and Mt.Britton Towers, waterfalls, picnic areas, and even a rainforest-themed restaurant. You could spend an entire day or two exploring El Yunque Rainforest, so making a plan is important to hitting all your stops. Also, this might be obvious, but this is a rainforest so be ready for short and long rain showers that are common within El Yunque. We decided to attempt the difficult El Yunque trail starting near the top of the road within the rainforest. This trail took 2 hours each way and was pretty difficult at times. As someone who has very limited hiking experience, this was a challenging trail, but still doable. The trail takes you to magnificent views (pictured below), through streams, and past some inviting rest stops positioned in scenic areas. The top of the El Yunque trail offers breathtaking views over the rainforest and down all the way to the ocean. Vistors like to say they are "in the clouds" when they reach the top of the trail because the peak is so high you are actually inside clouds! Also at the top of the trail is an Observation Tower that looks to be an old Catholic site with its engraved and painted crosses throughout the structure. If you are up for the challenge, the El Yunque trail was one of the highlights of my trip.
    Visited February 2020
    Written March 1, 2020
  • Bud Wysor
    Blowing Rock, North Carolina205 contributions
    A little rain, lots of WOW!
    We rented a car and drove from San Juan 45 minutes east on good roads to El Yunque National Park. Clearly marked signs led us right up the mountain. You have to have a reservation on line in advance to get a ticket as they only allow 130 people. Once there it is fabulous! The views are spectacular from the mountains to the sea. Very narrow roads so drive defensively. Take a bathing suit to dip in the crystal clear streams.
    Visited April 2021
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 18, 2021
  • antoniaalexe
    Montreal, Canada18 contributions
    great views
    If you are in good shape and have somewhat experience hiking i do not recommend getting a guided tour through the forest. We rented a car and drove from San Juan - entrance to the park is free, so is parking! I recommend getting there early especially if you plan on stopping at the very last parking where Mt. Britton trail starts ! After visiting Britton Torre we went up to the Yunque peak which offers beautiful views of the rainforest from the top & of the east coast, this hike is slightly more challenging and could get very muddy if it rains. If you don’t mind walking in the sun, coming back down from the peak is much easier (& extremely faster) on the paved road than on the trail. We ended the day swimming in the Coca Falls (note that as of January 23rd La Mina trail is still closed). !!!!! Do not park your car on the road or anywhere else that does not have a parking sign - THEY WILL FINE YOU !!!!!!!
    Visited January 2020
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 1, 2020
  • Risa M
    77 contributions
    Amazing Vistas and Views
    Rented a car for a day and drove to El Yunque. Long drive up the mountain to the entrance. but beautiful scenery along the way. You MUST book a reservation ticket in advance on Recreation.Gov website for $2. Several sections still closed but we did a few different trails and they were challenging but enjoyable and several towers to climb to get fantastic views of the entire island. Highly recommend!
    Visited May 2021
    Written May 11, 2021
  • mlatina2
    Groton, Connecticut50 contributions
    A MUST do, but be safe!
    If you know when you're going to PR, make your reservations in advance via RECREATION.GOV, otherwise you might not get in. Its only $2! I believe they hold on some spots on the day off, but you better be in the site at least two minutes they released them cause thats how fast they go. We were able to get tickets for 8am and I truly believe this is the best spot, They have 8am and 12pm spots but that really doesn't limit you to stay all day and you will be there for long hours exploring this beauty. Check out the map and there are plenty places to park if your intention is not be walking. We did the trail to the Yokahu tower and we walk few minutes to Juan Diego creek which was our kids best stop. We actually made it to the top of this creek, yet theres no signs nor guidance/security to make it, so please be aware and hold on properly where you can. There are a few closed spots that currently are only observation points. This is a must and beautiful place to watch, breathtaking views well worth it and amazing waterfalls, simply nature at its best, but definitely need more signs and guidance to the general public.
    Visited June 2021
    Written July 3, 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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GregBChi
Chicago, IL21 contributions
Apr 2021
Recommendation: if you're a person who loves national parks and forests, this place is a gem. If you're looking for ziplining, stay away, thanks.

You need to make an online reservation, but once you're in, it's like seeing Puerto Rico that has no development, no houses, wires, just ferns that are bigger than your car, enormous, beautiful leaves undulating in the regular soft rain fall. You don't know which way to look, but would not be surprised if a pterodactyl came soaring out of the trees, or saw the searching head of a brachiosaurus reaching for lunch.

We parked by the Juan Diego Trail to see the first falls and then hike up to see the second falls. (We made a wrong turn and ended up hiking 2 hours up the mountain, but that's another story, with recommendations about the best footwear for very wet mud.) The first set of falls, not far from the road, was busy, including a group of young people making a video. When we returned and got to the second falls, hot and sweaty and ready for a cold dip in the mountain water, the kids making their video were at the second falls. We watched them for a moment, undressing to slip into the water, when we became aware of a conflict.

A white woman, who we had passed on the trail, apparently felt that these kids were hogging up the water for their video, and started yelling at them. First of all, she was in her 40s and these kids, two boys and two girls, were in their early twenties. Second, she was an American tourist, and they were Puerto Rican kids, probably students, doing what students do all over the damn place, make videos and art and whatnot. But this white lady was having none of that. She had come to a National Forest, and she was going to get her time in the water. She strode past us, into the water, yelling, and I heard the kids saying "We can't read your mind. We had no idea you were waiting. Why didn't you talk to us?"

But communication with natives was apparently not part of this woman's plan. She submerged herself into the water while her embarrassed husband and daughter watched from the side. My wife and I talked to the kids. They were sweet, and surprised that the woman was so angry.

DON'T BE A KAREN. Seriously, you're not at home. Be humble. Be humble anyway. You're a person, he's a person, she's a person. You're all the same. Be respectful.

Oh, you should definitely come to El Yunque. It's breathtakingly gorgeous.
Written April 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

krankn
Hoffman Estates, IL79 contributions
Dec 2019
There is much you can see from the road, even without taking hiking trails, many of which are still closed. Wear appropriate shoes. There are a couple of small parking lots at stops, but otherwise parking is along the road. We were in the park by 10 and left around 1 when there was already a line of cars waiting to enter. As it is still recovering from Hurrican Maria, I'm surprised that there's not an entrance fee or donation box to support that. A few porta potties along the way, I'd recommend being prepared with wipes and your own tissue. The temporary visitor's center is in the town of Palmer.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JeanneCristello
Philadelphia, PA79 contributions
Feb 2020
El Yunque is an indescribably beautiful rain forest spanning 29,000 biologically diverse acres in Northeast Puerto Rico. Outside the entrance of El Yunque is a small town offering many food and souvenir options. El Yunque offers many natural sites for visitors to immerse themselves in its beautiful trees. El Yunque is home to hundreds of unique plants and animals in a jungle-like environment. There are hiking trails ranging in difficulty, observation points, a natural pool, Yokahu and Mt.Britton Towers, waterfalls, picnic areas, and even a rainforest-themed restaurant. You could spend an entire day or two exploring El Yunque Rainforest, so making a plan is important to hitting all your stops. Also, this might be obvious, but this is a rainforest so be ready for short and long rain showers that are common within El Yunque.

We decided to attempt the difficult El Yunque trail starting near the top of the road within the rainforest. This trail took 2 hours each way and was pretty difficult at times. As someone who has very limited hiking experience, this was a challenging trail, but still doable. The trail takes you to magnificent views (pictured below), through streams, and past some inviting rest stops positioned in scenic areas. The top of the El Yunque trail offers breathtaking views over the rainforest and down all the way to the ocean. Vistors like to say they are "in the clouds" when they reach the top of the trail because the peak is so high you are actually inside clouds! Also at the top of the trail is an Observation Tower that looks to be an old Catholic site with its engraved and painted crosses throughout the structure. If you are up for the challenge, the El Yunque trail was one of the highlights of my trip.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bud Wysor
Blowing Rock, NC205 contributions
Apr 2021 • Couples
We rented a car and drove from San Juan 45 minutes east on good roads to El Yunque National Park. Clearly marked signs led us right up the mountain. You have to have a reservation on line in advance to get a ticket as they only allow 130 people. Once there it is fabulous! The views are spectacular from the mountains to the sea. Very narrow roads so drive defensively. Take a bathing suit to dip in the crystal clear streams.
Written April 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

antoniaalexe
Montreal, Canada18 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
If you are in good shape and have somewhat experience hiking i do not recommend getting a guided tour through the forest. We rented a car and drove from San Juan - entrance to the park is free, so is parking! I recommend getting there early especially if you plan on stopping at the very last parking where Mt. Britton trail starts ! After visiting Britton Torre we went up to the Yunque peak which offers beautiful views of the rainforest from the top & of the east coast, this hike is slightly more challenging and could get very muddy if it rains. If you don’t mind walking in the sun, coming back down from the peak is much easier (& extremely faster) on the paved road than on the trail. We ended the day swimming in the Coca Falls (note that as of January 23rd La Mina trail is still closed).
!!!!! Do not park your car on the road or anywhere else that does not have a parking sign - THEY WILL FINE YOU !!!!!!!
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Risa M
New York City, New York77 contributions
May 2021
Rented a car for a day and drove to El Yunque. Long drive up the mountain to the entrance. but beautiful scenery along the way. You MUST book a reservation ticket in advance on Recreation.Gov website for $2. Several sections still closed but we did a few different trails and they were challenging but enjoyable and several towers to climb to get fantastic views of the entire island. Highly recommend!
Written May 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mlatina2
Groton, CT50 contributions
Jun 2021
If you know when you're going to PR, make your reservations in advance via RECREATION.GOV, otherwise you might not get in. Its only $2! I believe they hold on some spots on the day off, but you better be in the site at least two minutes they released them cause thats how fast they go. We were able to get tickets for 8am and I truly believe this is the best spot, They have 8am and 12pm spots but that really doesn't limit you to stay all day and you will be there for long hours exploring this beauty. Check out the map and there are plenty places to park if your intention is not be walking. We did the trail to the Yokahu tower and we walk few minutes to Juan Diego creek which was our kids best stop. We actually made it to the top of this creek, yet theres no signs nor guidance/security to make it, so please be aware and hold on properly where you can. There are a few closed spots that currently are only observation points. This is a must and beautiful place to watch, breathtaking views well worth it and amazing waterfalls, simply nature at its best, but definitely need more signs and guidance to the general public.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

anarr44
Washington DC, DC3 contributions
Aug 2022
We didn't do any of the hikes but if you like to hike, this is definitively for you! The peak is about 2.5 each way. My girls played at the San Diego waterfall and loved it. Wear water shoes or crocs since its very rocky! The scenery is breathtaking. You do have to make a reservation (about a month out) and if you miss it, they release limited tickets the day prior at 8am on the rec.gov site. It's $2 per car and there's parking. Bathrooms available near parking. Bring bug spray.
Written August 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom L
Klein, TX104 contributions
Nov 2021
Wonderful views whether driving the tight curves or hiking the trails. We chose to hike the El Yunque Trail for exercise. Mother Nature rewarded us with a very peaceful journey since few tourist choose the long hike. It is nice to enjoy the tropical forest and many views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, sea coasts, and cities. Carry water! We didn’t pack enough water to reach the peak and return. It drizzled on us a few times, but it was light enough without a rain coat. Yes, you get to walk into the clouds!

We originally reserved our trip over a week in advance, but the park service refunded our $2.00 entry fee a couple days later. It seems you can only make a reservation the day before your visit. The website opens at 8am the day before, and tickets can go fast.

Arrive early before it gets hot. While the weather is much cooler on the trails, it still heats up as you hike up hill.
Written November 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather G
London, UK6 contributions
Mar 2020
We visited El Yunque a couple of weeks ago. I have been there several times before and have always enjoyed it. This time, due to Hurricane Maria, some of the trails and waterfall areas were still closed. However, there is still plenty to see and do. We hiked the Mount Britton Tower trail which was a bit strenous, but very worth the view from the top. The only real negative was the very limited parking spaces available. We parked alongside the roadway as there was no official parking left. When we returned from our hike, we (as well as others) had a parking ticket on our windshield for $80!! This definitely dampened our experience. More parking needs to be provided, and such a hefty fine for a parking violation is outrageous!
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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El Yunque National Forest - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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El Yunque National Forest is open:
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