El Yunque National Rainforest is one of Puerto Rico’s and the Caribbean’s most precious natural resources…a thick emerald green forest covering 28,000 acres with peaks that rise up to 3000 ft. El Yunque is the most visited attraction on the island and part of the US National Forest. Most tourists and locals visit El Yunque as a morning/afternoon trip or take a guided tour.
To really appreciate this amazing ecosystem, we encourage you to spend at least one full day exploring the misty lush forest by walking the trails and cooling off under the plunging waterfalls and natural pools with crisp spring waters. The trails are paved and require moderate physical activity. If you have children you could take an umbrella stroller but there are some steps in which you’ll have to close up the stroller and carry it up. We recommend you book a tour so you can focus on enjoying El Yunque, without having to worry about the details. To make the most of your day and money, there are various tours that include the Bioluminescent Bay in Laguna Grande and/ or Luquillo Beach.
Videos of El Yunque National Rainforest - Puerto RicoPuerto Rico
Visitor Center InformationEl Yunque National Rainforest - Puerto Rico
The Forest Service offers a one-hour guided tour from 10:30 to 2:30, they leave at every half hour and the cost is $5 per person, children and seniors are $3. Rangers will take you on tour on the easiest trails, if you wish to experience the more challenging trails you have to explore them on your own.
What to Bring
Bring some snacks, water bottles, non-slip shoes, swimsuits if you want to get in the falls, bug repellent (for afternoons), hiking shoes or comfortable sneakers.
Please note: For up-to-date information, please visit the official website.
- El Yunque is open 7 days a week and it closes at 6 pm.
- El Portal Tropical Forest Center on Rte. 191 is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm. Tel. (787) 888-1880
- El Yunque Catalina Field Office along the highway on the north side of the forest offers hiking information and will help you plan tours of El Yunque including overnight ones. Tel. (787) 888-1880
Entry to the rainforest is free of charge. Visitor’s center is $3 per person, children 12 and under and seniors is $1.50.
(787) 888-1810 or (787) 888-1880 – US Forest Service
On the Web
Camping at El Yunque Rainforest
Getting to El Yunque National Rainforest - Puerto RicoPuerto Rico
Exploring El Yunque with a Tour Guide
Again, we recommend you book a tour so you can focus on enjoying El Yunque, without having to worry about the details. To make the most of your day and money, there are various tours that include the Bioluminescent Bay in Laguna Grande and/ or Luquillo Beach.
Most concierges at hotels offer a map of Puerto Rico. Be sure to have one handy for additional information just in case your phone fails you.
Top Rated Combo El Yunque Tours
Visiting El Yunque on Your Own
You will need to make a reservation in order to enter with your car.
Directions from San Juan to El Yunque National Rainforest, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
From San Juan take Rte. 26 / Baldorioty de Castro Expressway east to Carolina, from where you will get on Rte. 66 / Roberto Sanchez Vilella Expressway. Go east to the right on Rte. 3, and follow east to the intersection of Rte.191, a 2-lane highway that leads south into the rainforest. Then take 191 for about 3 miles. As the road goes uphill you will be entering El Yunque Rainforest.
Make a stop at the visitor center for maps and more information about the rainforest. See the map below.
Driving through the rainforest
All individuals can enjoy a visit to El Yunque, including those that may have physical limitations. The best way to experience that rainforest is by foo. If you’re not able to walk or you’re short on time, you can drive and see a few waterfalls along the way and enjoy the sights. If you have a sunroof, open it the whole way and look up at the giant ferns gently moving to the cool breeze of the rainforest. There is a lookout tower with an open observation patio at the top with breathtaking views that extend all the way to the east coast shores on a clear day.