Into the Rainforest: El Yunque Style

This past May, I finally achieved my goal of visiting a Caribbean country and a Latin American country, and what better place than Puerto Rico (especially since you don’t need a passport and my phone service still worked there lol!). I was in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for 4 days and I wanted to do as much as I could and make the most out of the 4 days. On one of those days, I took a day trip to El Yunque Rainforest, which was about 45 minutes away from San Juan, the capital. The rainforest itself is free, we just got trapped into paying to go to the visitors center when we really could’ve done without that information, but I digress.

I went with a group of people from the hostel that I was staying at and we decided to rent a jeep for this trip! It was an inexpensive option instead of trying to risk taking an Uber where we wouldn’t have cell service or going on an expensive tour. We drove along the trails throughout the jungle and we stopped at certain points. The first stop we made was at La Coca Falls. The waterfall is very visible, so not much hiking is needed. I decided to climb up the rocks so that I could get closer to the waterfall, and it was a pretty cool view!

The next stop we made was at the Yokahu Tower. You can climb up the tower and get a spectacular view of the jungle once at the top. You can see the endless amounts of green hills that make up the jungle and you can even see tiny houses built on top of these hills.

I will let it be known that there are a lot of stairs that one has to climb to get to the top, but it’s totally worth the view! Our next stop was the infamous La Mina Falls. Now this trail was very tedious. It took somewhere around 30 minutes to actually walk the trail and get to the falls. I was so worn out before we even got to the falls but the sound of the water as we were getting closer was my legit motivation. Legitimately.

La Mina Falls was awesome. There were a ton of people there, so it was a bit crowded, but there was enough room for people to take a dip into the falls. The water was very clear and the whole scenery was just refreshing. There’s something about listening to water splash and fall that is just so relaxing and refreshing.

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La Mina Falls was definitely the highlight of El Yunque. I wish that there was more hiking that I would’ve done but I was winded and out of time to try and hike a trail to get to one of the highest peaks of the rainforest, but I bet the view would’ve been something special to see and to take in.

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