Rainforest el yunque puerto rico: El Yunque National Forest — Home

El Yunque National Forest — Home


Los boletos de entrada para las principales áreas recreativas a lo largo de la carr. 191 de El Yunque están disponibles mediante reservación previa en la plataforma Recreation.gov. La capacidad de acceso al bosque se está manejando para garantizar la seguridad del público durante los trabajos de construcción en la zona.


Entry tickets for the main recreation area in El Yunque, along Rd 191 are available by reservation at Recreation.gov. Visitor capacity is being managed to ensure public safety during construction work in the area.


El Yunque National Forest

¡Bienvenidos al El Yunque! Welcome to El Yunque!

Find Your Adventure


Descubre Tu Bosque • Discover Your Forest

Bienvenidos • Welcome

El Bosque Nacional El Yunque es el único bosque tropical lluvioso que pertenece al sistema de bosques nacionales. Con sus casi 29,000 acres, es uno de los de menor tamaño en extensión territorial, pero uno de los bosques nacionales de mayor diversidad biológica.

El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the national forest system.  At nearly 29,000 acres, it is one of the smallest in size, yet one of the most biologically diverse. Come experience the breathtaking scenery, clear mountain rivers, and outdoor recreation opportunities year round.



Fondo Para Cuidar al El Yunque — El Yunque Stewardship Fund

Los huracanes Irma y María pasaron por Puerto Rico en septiembre de 2017 y dejaron una franja de destrucción en todo el bosque. Español & English.

Prueba la Aplicación Móvil • Try the Mobile App

El Bosque Nacional El Yunque se ha asociado con OnCell para lanzar una aplicación móvil gratuita para visitantes.  Español & English.

Alerts & Warnings

  • Partial closure for emergency work on PR-186

  • Cierre parcial por trabajos de emergencia en la PR-186

  • Bisley Road/Trail closed for construction works

  • Carretera/Vereda Bisley cerradas por trabajos de construcción

  • Rd 9938 Repairs — Closed to Vehicles / Pedestrian Access to Mt. Britton Trail

  • Reparaciones en Rd 9938 — Cerrado a vehículos / Acceso peatonal a Mt Britton

  • Main Recreation Area Open by Reservation

  • Principal Área Recreativa Abierta Por Reservación

  • COVID-19

View All Forest Alerts   

Reservation Ticket for El Yunque (191 N) • Boleto de Reservación para El Yunque (191 N)

Things To Do in El Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico

Here are the best things to do in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico!

My favorite place to visit in all of Puerto Rico is El Yunque National Forest.  

El Yunque (pronounced el-YOON-kay) is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system.

It is home to hundreds of unique plants and animal species – plus lots of waterfalls!

In this post, I’ll share my favorite things to do in the rainforest, including the best El Yunque hiking and trails.

El Yunque Rainforest Map

El Yunque consists of two main areas – the La Mina Recreation Area in the north (where most people visit) and the El Toro Scenic Byway in the southern part of the forest. 

You can get maps of both parts of the forest here.

I highly suggest downloading a copy of the map to your phone, since service can be spotty when you are inside the park. 

Currently, you will need a timed reservation to access parts of the El Mina Recreation Area.

You can get a reservation at 8 am the day before your visit here. 

How To Get To El Yunque Rainforest

It takes roughly 30 minutes to get to the entrance of El Yunque from San Juan International Airport.  

For directions to the main area with the most sights, I suggest searching for El Portal Visitor Center on your maps app. 

That will take you right to the entrance to the park which is easy to navigate with the above map. 

On to the best things to do in El Yunque, including hiking, waterfalls, swimming, and eating!

El Yunque Hiking

El Yunque undoubtedly has the best hiking in Puerto Rico.  There’s a wide variety of trails for all abilities. 

Here are my top picks for El Yunque trails. 

Mt Britton Trail

My favorite El Yunque trail is the 1.6-mile roundtrip Mt Britton trail.

You hike to the tower that looks tiny in this picture, but the trail is far less challenging than you’d expect!

It starts at a trailhead at the top of 191-N in the La Mina Recreation Area. You will need a timed reservation to access this trail. 

The trail is well-maintained, with parts of it almost paved.  

It was created in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) so it has an interesting history. 

You’ll reach Mt Britton Tower after 0.8 miles uphill.

It was built from 1935-1938 by the CCC. 

At the top of the tower, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the entire northeastern part of the island. 

The trail can be slippery after it rains so be sure to wear suitable footwear. Please don’t try this in flip-flops. 

The most challenging trail in this section of El Yunque is located nearby.

It is the 2.4 mile one-way trek to El Yunque Peak. Plan for 4 hours roundtrip for this demanding trail. 

Angelito Trail

My second favorite El Yunque trail is the Angelito Trail. 

It is an easy 0.8-mile roundtrip trail that leads down to Rio Mameyes, a designated US Wild and Scenic River. 

It is also located in the El Mina Recreation Area, though it is outside the section that requires a reservation.  

This makes it an excellent choice if you aren’t able to get a reservation for the day!

To find the trail, turn off of the main road (PR 191 N) onto PR 988, which you will see shortly after passing the visitor’s center if you are entering the park. 

After about 5 minutes of driving (3.6 km to be exact) you will see cars parked along the road and the trailhead sign on your right. 

The trail is wide and well-maintained – perfect for kids. 

It’s about 0.4 miles downhill to get to Rio Mameyes. 

There are ample places to swim, check out some brook trout, or climb around on the rocks. 

Bring water shoes, swimsuits, and towels. 

Little ones won’t want to leave so plan for at least an hour here!

Other Trails

Here are a few more El Yunque hiking trails that you might want to check out:

  • La Coca Trail leaves from the parking lot across from La Coca Falls. It is steep and muddy, involves several stream crossings, and is 3. 6 miles roundtrip. 
  • La Mina Trail has been closed since 2017 but we are hopeful it will reopen at some point. 
  • El Toro Trail is accessible from Route 186 in the southern section of the park. It’s a difficult 4.6-mile trail up the highest mountain in the forest, El Toro Peak. 

There are also some short accessible trails found around the El Portal Visitor Center. 

Now on to another big attraction, the El Yunque waterfalls!

El Yunque Waterfalls

There are a bunch of lovely waterfalls in El Yunque National Forest.

Here are my favorites!

Juan Diego Falls

My favorite spot in El Yunque is Juan Diego Falls, which is actually a series of several waterfalls. 

It is in the section of La Mina Recreation area that requires a reservation, so plan ahead and get a reservation here if you want to visit. 

You park along Rt 191 next to the trailhead – you’ll see lots of cars there.  

The first set of falls is reachable by a five-minute hike. 


Bring your swimsuit and wade into the cold water for a refreshing shower!

I also strongly recommend water shoes. The rocks are painfully sharp without them. 

To the right of the main falls is another rough trail that goes steeply up to access the upper falls. 

I only recommend this for older kids and for when it isn’t too muddy. Coming down the trail when it is wet can be dangerous. 

At one point the trail will split – be sure to stay to the left to get to the upper falls. 

This is actually the taller of the falls and very impressive!

You’ll great photos at both locations so bring your phone or camera along. 

La Coca Falls

La Coca Falls is the first thing you will see when you enter the restricted part of La Mina Recreation Area. 

It is a huge waterfall literally right off the road!

You park across the street to access photo ops for La Coca Falls.  

La Mina Falls

Photo Credit: US Forest Service

Sadly, the trail to La Mina Falls has been closed since Hurricane Maria caused major damage in 2017. 

La Mina Falls is a gorgeous 35-foot waterfall reached by a steep 1.4-mile roundtrip trail. 

I hope that the Forest Service is able to restore this trail at some point so more visitors can enjoy La Mina Falls. 

Onto more fun things to do in El Yunque National Forest!

El Portal Visitor Center

The El Portal Visitor’s Center reopened in January 2022 after many years of rebuilding from hurricane damage. 

The new space is beautiful and a great example of sustainable architecture. 

There is a cost associated with visiting the center, however.

It is $8 per adult and kids under 15 are free. 

If you have a National Parks Pass you’ll pay half price, which is what we did. 

There are some educational displays on the first and second floor. I think you can see everything in less than an hour. 

Don’t miss the chance to see some Puerto Rican parrots! They are critically endangered and the birds there are part of a reintroduction program. 

I highly suggest grabbing lunch at the cafe at the Visitor’s Center!

It has excellent and affordable Puerto Rican cuisine. 

There’s lots of seating and it’s been quiet both times we’ve visited. 

This sampler platter was $20 and included seven different Puerto Rican dishes. 

Though there is an additional cost associated with the Visitor’s Center, I think it’s worth it.

Plus part of your money will support conservation efforts, which are sorely needed. 

El Yunque Rainforest Zipline

A popular activity in El Yunque is ziplining. 

There are lots of companies that offer an El Yunque zipline tour on Viator, my preferred way to book activities. 

Kids need to be about eight years old to participate, so we might try this on a future trip.

El Yunque Horseback Riding

We have horses at home so on one trip we hoped to ride horses in the rainforest.

However, I was really picky about the tour guide I used.

Animal welfare isn’t great in Puerto Rico overall, and I had seen horses that were clearly underfed and mistreated while on the beach in the past. 

I was so happy I found Amy at La Vista Rides, an experienced horsewoman who runs an excellent operation!

All of her horses were well cared for and clearly loved. 

I got to ride her Paso Fino Mariposa who was super sweet. 

We took her signature Rainforest River Ride Adventure, which involved a short ride down the mountain to a gorgeous river for a swim. 

After the swim, we rode back up the mountain and had fresh fruit from the trees on her property. 

If you are looking for horseback riding in El Yunque, I highly recommend La Vista rides. 

I honestly don’t think you’ll find many other Puerto Rico horseback riding experiences that will be on horses that are actually cared for properly.

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