Less than an hour from your beach hotel in San Juan is El Yunque National Rainforest Puerto Rico. Every season is rainy season at El Yunque, where over 250 inches of rain fall each year. Encompassing 28,000 lush acres, visitors have a chance to see the endangered Puerto Rican parrot, hike trails to waterfalls, and marvel at giant tree ferns as well as hundreds of species of trees, plants, and other birds. Listen carefully for “El Coqui,” a noisy, but reclusive tiny tree frog native to the island. Only at El Yunque can you enjoy vistas of both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
There are miles and miles of scenic drives, plentiful picnic areas, and towers to climb for spectacular views. But the best way to experience this tropical magic is on foot. Our favorite trails are The Big Tree Trail, 1.4 miles round trip, that takes you to the refreshingly cool La Mina waterfall; and El Toro Peak Trail, a strenuous three hour hike that summits at 3494 feet, the highest peak in the Luquillo Mountains. El Portal Visitor Center is a worthwhile stop for multimedia displays, books, and souvenirs.