El Yunque Rainforest San Juan review ; Been there twice
We have stayed precruise twice (Destiny) in San Juan thus renting a car.
Hope I get this right:
El Yunque is the only US control National Rainforest.
When you think of a rainforest, consider this more of a plant excursion and home to the Coqui frog(which if you are quiet hear the distinct call of the frog -pretty cool- my son bought a stuffed frog that had the sound built in when pressed its foot). Our animal sightings were limited to a few parrots we could see high up in the trees (and I am talking--gee that looks like a parrot, that's how far away they were.) I was very impressed with foilage resembling jurassic park, it is a very serene place.
Our first time there (2001) we arrived around 7am, bypassing the visitors center and heading with our car inward & upward. We stopped briefly for photos of a small waterfall --part of my family even carefully climbed rocks upward to have waterfall behind them in photo. Not that dangerous if you are sure footed and tennis shoes.
We then proceeded to a beginners trail. I think labeled 1-1/2 miles. It is a moderate incline, well defined by lannonstone walkways. Further up a wonderful taller castle turet style lookout. (By now I was so glad we had brought bottled water- a must.) There was virtually no one on the trails having done it from 7-10am. By 11am the buses were arriving and chugging uphill, from what I have read, because of the incline they often turn off airconditioning. On the rainforest trail, people were coming toward us single file on trail as we passed them on the way back down. Then we went to the official visitors center with a small gift shop, well equiped/ clean restrooms and snack shop. Only one drop of rain literally.
Our second trip (2005) having my parents along who are late risers we arrived closer to noon. We did the visitor center first, small lookout area and started a trail. This was the trip I would call "rain in the rainforest" -unusually heavy storm - umbrellas did not keep us dry. But there was a nearby hurricaine spinning offmore rain and wind than usual.
We laughed heavily, resembling drowned rats, and then made our way back to the rental minivan.
I would say if you can rent a car, or if trip is early in am go for it. If later in day a bit more crowded, hotter and not so sure about the bus situation.
However, make sure you have water with you, a camera with a flash (many shadows and in order to take people photos may need fillin flash).
Anymore questions drop me an email or post again, I can send some photos.
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