El yunque height: El Yunque National Forest — El Yunque Trail

El Yunque Rain Forest, Puerto Rico

 

Click Here To See Images of El Yunque

Click Here For A Stroll from «El Condado» to «El Fortín de San Gerónimo»

 

The Caribbean National Forest is located 40 kilometers east of
San Juan metro area. It consist of 28,000 acres of the most beautiful Rain Forest in the world. It
is characterized by a rugged topography and an overabundant,
highly diverse vegetation. There are 240 native tree species, 23
of them found only in El Yunque. 88 Rare tree species. 50 native
orchids and 150 types of ferns.

For the Taino aborigines, the Luquillo Mountain Range was a
sacred place. The word «Yuke» means white lands in
reference to the mountain tops which are usually covered by
clouds. Petroglyphs can be found in some remote parts of these
mountains.

EL Yunque is the oldest Forest Reserve in the Western
Hemisphere. In 1876 King Alfonso XII of Spain set aside 12,000
cuerdas (1 cuerda =.9 acres of land) to be protected for all
times. In reality his goal was to avoid the enemy from getting
hold of some of the great wood for making strong ships that grew
and still grow at EL Yunque. In 1903, the forest was proclaimed
The Luquillo Forest Reserve and became the only Rain Forest
within the US National Forest System. It is the only Puerto Rican
Forest administered by the US Dept. of Agriculture Forest
Service.

The most important mountain peaks are at El Yunque are:

El Toro 3533 Ft
Pico El Yunque 3496 Ft
Pico Del Este 3446 Ft
El Cacique 3346 Ft
Los Picachos 3175 Ft
Mount Britton 3075 Ft
La Mina 3055 Ft

Average temperature at El Yunque is 77.9° F at the lower
elevations and 65.3° F at elevations above 3,280 ft. It rains
almost everyday. Average rainfall is 200 inches a year. It usually
rains more during springtime and autumn.

Although the Caribbean National Forest is the smallest
administered by the US National Forest system, it is the most
divers.

El Yunque is divided into 4 forests:

Tabonuco Forest— Located at elevations of up to
2000 ft, trees grow to a maximum of about 115 to 125 ft
tall. Tabonuco and Ausubo tree are the dominant specie but there
are plenty of Yagrumo , Guaraguao, Laurel Sabino and giant ferns.

Palo Colorado Forest— Occurs at 1970 ft-2950 ft. Here
you can find lots of Caimitillo, Caimitillo Verde and Palo
Colorado.

Palma Sierra Forest— This forest is found at
elevations of over 1958 ft, as its name describes, the Sierra Palm
is the dominant specie.

«Bosque En Las Nubes» (Forest in the
clouds)- Located 2500 ft above sea level, this forest is limited
to the highest mountain tops. These trees do not grow over 12
ft. It’s usually very windy and the earth is saturated with water.
Common tree species are Némoco, Roble de Sierra, Limoncillo
Guayabota and Camasey.

Three types of fauna are found at El Yunque, reptiles, birds
and amphibians. There are 8 types of lizards, 13 types of coquies
(Puerto Rican tree frogs that sing). 50 types of birds,
including the Puerto Rican Parrot which is an endangered specie.
There is only one type of mammal natural to El Yunque and that is
the bat, there are 11 types. There are also many varieties of
fish, shrimps and other aquatic animal life. Also found, but very
rare are snakes. The Puerto Rican Boa can reach a length of 90
inches. Hunting in El Yunque is prohibited and punishable by law.

One of the most wonderful things about EL Yunque is that it
offers the opportunity the enjoy and experience a real Rain
Forest. You can take a less than one mile walk within the paved
forest paths down to the most beautiful waterfall. Enjoy seeing
the beautiful plant life, feeling the humid fresh air and
listening to the birds and our one and only Coquí (singing tree
frog). Another less than one mile hike
can take you to the relatively high peak of Mount Britton where
you can view much of El Yunque Forest, the Atlantic Ocean, the
Caribbean Sea and a great part of Puerto Rico. That is of course,
only for the short moments that the clouds may clear up. All of
this and more can be achieved in a relatively safe manner. There
are no wild or poisonous animals to worry about. Our advice: Get
information at the visitors Center, and stay on the paved path.
Also you may want to take something to protect your skin from
mosquitos and use non-slippery footwear.

Cool Places To Visit at El Yunque:

Yokahá Tower
Mount Britton Tower
La Coca Falls
La Mina Falls
Quebrada Juan Diego
Baño De Oro and Baño Grande
El Portal Visitors Center
Palma de Sierra
Palo Colorado Picnic Area
Caimitillo
Palma de Sierra Quebrada Grande

 

Click Here To See Images of El Yunque

Click Here For A Stroll from «El Condado» to «El Fortín de San Gerónimo»

For great information on El Yunque visit The Caribbean National Forest WebSite

 

A Guide To El Yunque, Puerto Rico — Updated 2022

Chandana 

Updated

The only tropical rainforest in the United States national forest system, the beautiful El Yunque National Park in Puerto Rico was previously known as the Caribbean National Forest. Meaning “white lands”, this rainforest is set on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo mountains. Rich in endemic species of flora and fauna, the highest mountain, this national forest extends to a height of 3,494 feet (1065 m). Numerous trails run across the forest, giving you plenty of opportunities for exploration and outdoor fun. The lush foliage, waterfalls, and rivers make for a spectacular sight all around the year. The second-largest peak in the forest is named El Yunque and it is revered by the indigenous people as their chief deity Yucahu. Check out our guide to El Yunque, Puerto, Rico, below.

1. Things to do / highlights

Source:
Photo
by Wikimedia Commons user
Geoff Gallice
used under CC BY 2.0

Blessed with nature’s bounty, this forest affords enough options to keep you busy for days. Try out one or more of these things to do in El Yunque National Park depending on your schedule.

El Toro

One of the toughest hikes in the forest, this peak is scaled through the four-hour Trade Winds Trail.

Yokahu Tower

Built as a vantage lookout point, this 65-foot (20 m) tall tower with a Moorish appearance offers views of the islands in the east.

La Mina Falls

Accessible via a four-minute hike from the Palo Colorado information center, this waterfall cascades from a height of 35 feet (10.6 m).

El Hippie Petroglyphs

Situated on the fringes of the national park, these ancient engravings on two massive rocks are set close to a swimming hole known as El Hippie.

Zip lining and horseback riding

Zooming over the lush canopy of the forest will give you a unique perspective on this ecologically important region not to mention the stunning bird’s eye views that await you. Exploring the foothills of El Yunque atop a horse is yet another exciting activity that awaits you here.

2. What to eat

Source:
Photo
by Wikimedia Commons user
User: Jpatokal a…
used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Being a region blessed by nature’s bounty, fresh produce, and seafood, as well as homegrown meats, are characteristic of the local cuisine here.

Lluvia Deli Bar and Artefacto

Taste authentic local delicacies and fragrant coffee at this elegant restaurant with its minimalistic décor. With open-air seating available, this spacious restaurant is known for the hearty breakfast options while lunch and dinner are not far behind. Perfect for fueling up after a day of exploring, some items on the to-try are blueberry muffins, pancakes, and frittatas.

Degree 18 Juice Bar

A must-visit for health food fanatics, this place is a great place to catch your breath after a trip to El Yunque National Park. This open-air café bar serves up a variety of smoothies, juices, acai bowls featuring fresh local ingredients. Plenty of vegan and vegetarian options such as lentil wraps and veggie burgers are available at this charming little spot with great service.

Peccas Helado Artesanal

There is no better way to cool off after a hot and sweaty hike at El Yunque National Park than with an artisanal ice-cream. Items on the menu at this place include delicious sorbets, frozen yogurts, and shakes apart from ice-creams. The yummy pancakes here are also worth a taste!

3. Travelers tips

Source:
Photo
by Wikimedia Commons user
Bjoertvedt
used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Start early

Reaching the park early in the morning can help you explore it in solitude before it gets crowded with tourists by the busload. If hiking up one of the peaks is on your itinerary then it would be advisable to plan for the whole day and move the rest of the sightseeing to another day.

Don appropriate footwear

Wearing sensible shoes is recommended as the ground in the park can often be wet due to dew or rainfall. Sturdy hiking shoes or tennis shoes with a good grip as also waterproof ones make for a good choice here. The pools under the waterfalls have sharp rocks and if you plan on getting into the water, it would be a good idea to keep your shoes on.

Food and water

While there are plenty of restaurants and eateries outside the park, it might be a good idea to arm yourself with a picnic lunch or at least some snacks or sandwiches and plenty of drinking water.

Prepare for rain

Keep an umbrella or a rain poncho handy at all times as rain is a constant here. While the rain does not last long, it can be quite intense and you might get soaked despite all the precautions. Carrying an extra pair of dry clothes is also advisable.

4. How to get there

Source: Pxfuel

Private Cars

El Yunque National Park is about an hour’s drive away from San Juan and you can either opt for a guided tour or just rent a car and drive out. You will travel along Route 3 most of the way and then transition to Route 191 via the town of Palmer.

5. El Yunque National Park information

El Yunque National Park

Address: PR-191 Río Grande, PR 00745

Website: El Yunque National Park

Opening hours: 7:30am — 6pm (daily)

Tourism board: Puerto Rico

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NASA team assessed Hurricane Maria damage to rainforests

Hurricane Maria passed over Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, but traces of the destruction caused by it are still visible on the island. Wind gusts reached almost 250 kilometers per hour. Heavy rain flooded cities, communications were also destroyed and settlements were de-energized.

Tropical forests in the northeast also suffered greatly from the impact of the elements — the hurricane broke and uprooted trees, and the landslides caused by it simply mowed down sections of steep slopes.

A few months after the disaster, a team of NASA scientists traveled to Puerto Rico to assess the damage to forests, EurekAlert! reported.

“From the air, the extent of damage from the hurricane was astounding,” said expedition leader Bruce Cook.

If before «Maria» the island was densely covered with vegetation, now there are fallen trunks and rare patches of surviving trees with broken branches.

NASA satellites monitor the health of forests around the world to detect seasonal changes in vegetation cover or sudden loss of trees. But in the case of Costa Rica, the scientists planned to collect more detailed information. They used an onboard instrument called Goddard’s Lidar with a hyperspectral camera and a thermal imager. From the plane flying thousands of feet above the trees, the instrument collected data about the forest area, including surface temperature, height and vegetation structure.

Before and after comparison shows that forests across the island are still reeling from the effects of the hurricane.

Thus, the elements destroyed 60% of plantations near the city of Arecibo, which previously covered the limestone hills in the north of the island. In the northeast, on the slopes of the El Yunque National Reserve, the hurricane cut the forests, reducing their average height by one-third.

«Mary» stopped many of the processes that contribute to the natural development of forests, said study participant Doug Morton. However, nature is capable of accelerated self-healing. Just seven months after the hurricane, new branches and leaves began to appear on the trees, that is, the ability of plants to photosynthesize was restored. However, according to Morton, it is not yet possible to say with certainty whether the damaged trees will survive in the coming years.

According to Columbia University ecologist Maria Uriarte, strong hurricanes like Maria will wipe out some species while benefiting others.

Thus, the absence of a forest canopy harmed the local parrots that hid under it from hawks, lizards and frogs, accustomed to living in a cool and humid atmosphere. But lizards, which prefer dry and sunny weather, were able to expand their habitats. As a result, one ecosystem began to crowd out another.

As far as trees are concerned, palm trees in Costa Rica now feel best when they have withstood the gusts of wind and now receive plenty of sunlight.

“Palms will form the main component of this forest’s canopy for the next decade or more, and in some way will help facilitate the restoration of the rest of this forest,” concluded Doug Morton.

The study of the effects of hurricanes, as well as other climatic manifestations on forests, scientists say, is of great importance. Vegetation affects all areas, from biodiversity to the economy and public health. In July, a NASA team is set to travel to Alaska to study the impact of global warming on boreal (taiga) forests, which play a key role in cooling the planet’s climate.

Robinson Crusoe Island in Chile

Daniel Defoe’s novel «The Life and Amazing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe» is familiar to many, and even those who have not read the book, at least in general terms, know the story of a sailor who managed to escape after a shipwreck and settle in an uninhabited island. But only a few know that the story that formed the basis of the world-famous novel took place in reality and is associated with one of the islands belonging to Chile — Mas-a Tierra, which is part of the Juan Fernandez archipelago.

The real protagonist of this story — the Scottish sailor Selkirk — was landed on the island as a punishment as a result of a quarrel with the captain of the ship he served on, which, by the way, saved his life — the ship was wrecked, and the weight of the crew died. Among the things left to him were some articles of clothing, a knife, an axe, a gun, navigational instruments, a bowler hat, tobacco, and a Bible. At first, the wanderer fell into despair, but over time he settled down, set up a house for himself on a mountainside. From his secluded dwelling, it was convenient for Selkirk to get to his observation post, where he watched the passing ships, since they could turn out to be not only salvation for him, but also a disaster — if found, the Spaniards could kill him or turn him into a slave. Such caution allowed the former rebel to hold out on the island for about five years. He produced fire by friction, made clothes from goat skin, and ate «Robinson» edible plants, including wild berries, fished and hunted sea turtles, tamed the goats that lived on the island, as well as wild cats that protected him from rats on at night. The only thing missing, according to Selkirk, was salt, while the rest of the spices — such as pepper and mustard — grew around. An English ship returned the lost sailor to the mainland. By that time, Selkirk was completely overgrown, he could only utter inarticulate sounds, and only a few weeks later he spoke and told his story, which Daniel Defoe later immortalized.

If you decide to visit the legendary place, it is better to plan an excursion for the period from October to April. Flights to the island are carried out by small aircraft with a maximum number of passengers of 10 people. There is no airport as such on the island; planes land on a strip of solidified lava between mountain ranges.

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