Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It's a Jungle Out There

I few days ago I wrote about San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Another place on the island which I have visited is El Yunque National Forest.  Located in the northeastern corner of Puerto Rico and just a 25 mile drive from San Juan, El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest system.

The forest is located on the windward side of the Luquillo Mountains. As the winds from the Atlantic hit the mountains, they release their moisture.  The rainy climate (around 240 inches of rainfall annually) has created a lush environment of tropical foliage.

The paved highway which goes through the forest passes next to one of its most photographed spots, Coca Falls.  The falls have a height of 85 feet.

Continuing along the highway, you come to the Yokahu Observation Tower.  Weather permitting, the tower offers spectacular views of the forest and of the Atlantic coast in the distance.

There are numerous hiking trails in the forest.  One of the most popular is La Mina Trail.  Although it is a short hike (less than a mile) it is rated as moderate in difficulty since it descends 500 feet in that short distance.  It follows La Mina River and ends at La Mina Falls.

A trip to El Yunque is a "must" for any visitor to Puerto Rico.

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