When I think about a relaxing place to be, the beach is always first followed by the rain forest. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by lush vegetation and nature sounds. Puerto Rico’s El Yunque Rain forest supplies all this and more. Tucked on the Eastern coast of the island, El Yunque is a must do excursion.
First of all, EL Yunque is beautiful and mountainous so be prepared to hike. The other thing about rain forest is, well, it rains. All of the time. So even though the sun might be blazing when you enter, clouds can pour buckets of rain within minutes, which is what happened when I visited. A rain poncho or extra layer of clothing is a good idea because it also gets cool in the heart of the forest. There are also several rivers and waterfalls that flow through El Yunque and jumping into them was my favorite part. I also caught a fleeting glimpse of the rare Puerto Rican parrot, as its bright crimson feathers were flapping. My other favorite part was hearing the chirp of the coquis, the indigenous tree frogs that make sounds that echo their name. It took three hours to hike through the rain forest and back, it was a sweaty, slippery trek but well worth the effort. Afterwards, you can head to El Conquistador Resort and sip on a rum drink while the kids play in the pool.
Photo by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates