My wife and I visited El Yunque rainforest on March 30th. We rented a car and drove out there from Isla Verde. The trip was pretty easy and took us about 45mins. The guy at Charlie Cars said that there was construction on Rte 3 and took us north of the city. It was nice seeing all the littler beaches of San Juan. Just watch out for the road kill Iguanas.
I would definitely agree with many of the earlier comments about signage getting to El Yunque. Route 101 isn’t labeled off of Rte 3. You have to watch for a road sign that says its for El Yunque. Turn there even though it doesn’t look like a major streets. There should be signs that lead you to the 101 and into El Yunque. We ended up in Liqullio before we knew we should have turned.
Upon arrive at the park you will have to pay the 3 dollar entrance fee (pp) and then you can drive around to El Porto. There are some nice areas here for a photo. Also a gift shop, restaurant, bathrooms, and a part guide. The interesting thing I found about this part is that you actually drive through it, not hike it. Along the way there are areas for you to pull off and park and then hike to a site. Also there are about 2-3 restaurants that you stop off and eat at.
We had lunch at the nice café near the top. They had some really good grilled sandwiches.
The drive through El Yunque was nice and scenic. We drove to the top, but really didn’t want hike the 45 mins each way to the observation town. Plus, the rain was coming down pretty hard. We turned around and stopped for lunch at the café near the top of the mountain. They had some good grilled food and baked pastries there.
Further down the mountain, we decided to hike to the waterfall. Like the guide lady told us, it is 30mins there and 30 mins back. With the grade of the path it may wear on some, but the cold water of the waterfall will cool you off when you get there. It was very peaceful hiking through the rainforest. I would not recommend this hike for the handicapped or senior citizens. I sit behind a desk all day with little or no exercise and I was able to make the hike (though a little out of breath at the end).
The waterfall was really nice. Not as big as the waterfalls I have seen Oregon or Hawaii, but they didn’t let you swim in theirs. There are two paths that lead you into the waterfall. However they are
rock paths and hurt the bear feet to walk on. Would highly encourage you bring aqua shoes, a towel and some bottled water along. Also, be very careful in the basin of the waterfall and you can’t see the rocks
below. It could be very dangerous. Also, the water was rather cold. It had to be in the 50s or 60s. Like a very cold bath. Just be aware of that.
All-in-all…El Yunque was nice place to visit. Visit lasted about 3 hours. It was nice to see, but I don’t think I would ever go back.