As the only rainforest in the US National Forest System, a must-visit place in Puerto Rico is El Yunque National Forest.
The forest area is relatively small with a handful of hiking options. I chose to do the following trails:
- El Yunque peak
- La Mina waterfall
For someone pressed on time, a drive through the park is still worth the detour.
El Yunque peak is one of the trails rated as “challenging” in the park. However, with moderate fitness level it is a good hike with amazing views.
The view is spectacular at the top of the peak for sure. The hiking trail also offers some great rainforest experience with lush green trees, and foggy valley.
The La Mina trail is one of the most popular and certainly a stunningly beautiful waterfall trail that goes along a stream.
The trail has lot of stairs to climb down to reach the waterfall. And it is a pretty crowded place to swim.
For sure the way back from the waterfall is all uphill that offers butt-kicking workout.
Best part is you can enjoy the forest and the hikes in one day if you reach there early enough with plenty of water, lunch and snacks.
For the hiking trail map: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/elyunque/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprdb5190546&width=full