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Experience the Rainforest Without a Ticket

Explore the captivating rainforest of Puerto Rico, no ticket required. Discover nature's wonders and adventure in our immersive blog experience.

El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the national forest system. Covering 29,000 acres of Puerto Rico, it is the smallest and most biologically biodiverse forest. Many parts of the park are closed as the forestry department works on the trails impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Fiona. Because of this ongoing work, a limited number of parking spaces are available. Due to the limited parking, it is required that you have a parking pass to visit the park as well as separate tickets for the visitor's center. 

Sometimes tickets can be hard to come by. Fortunately, there are many places where you can see the rainforest, even if you can’t visit the park itself. Always be aware of the weather and flash floods, especially during the rainy season, April through November. 

Hike and Swim: 

Puente Roto

Angelito Trail Head

The drive along the winding road up PR-988 will allow you to take in the sights and scenery of the jungle. With towering bamboo, giant ferns, and the surrounding greenery, it feels like something from prehistoric times. Puente Roto is on PR 988, which turns off before you enter the park boundary, and parking is free along the side of the road. There are also a couple of small parking turnout areas nearby. Beneath the bridge, at Puente Roto, you can swim in the river, hike or sunbathe amongst the rocks. It doesn’t require much walking to access it. 

Angelito Trail is just a short distance past Puente Roto. It is a popular swimming hole about a half-mile walk from the road; most park along the side of the road to access it. Please make sure you park far enough off the side of the road to let cars pass by. It can get muddy sometimes, so park where your vehicle won’t get stuck. The trailhead is well-marked. It is not a steep up-and-down hike, but you’ll have to go over some hills. The path is well maintained, but it is still a good idea to be aware of your footing at all times. Take your time walking in the rainforest and enjoying the scenery. You’ll walk over a couple of streams to the swimming hole. The swimming area is large and can get crowded during peak season. There’s a rope swing, fish in the pool, and boulders to sunbathe. Please leave only footprints and carry out your trash. 

Ziplining

About 45 minutes away from San Juan, EcoRainforest Ziplining is in Luquillo. It is a thrilling way to experience the rainforest with their five ziplines. They offer an option to do an easy 50 ft. rappel suitable for all ages, weather permitting. There’s a hanging canopy bridge to walk across and a 10-minute rainforest hike with amazing views. Bilingual tour guides are available. $119 per person for the approximately two-hour tour, available seven days per week. They offer transportation from the metro area for $60 per person with a four-person minimum. 

Horseback Riding

If you enjoy riding horses, La Vista Rides is a great way to experience the rainforest. The Rainforest River Ride Adventure tour takes you in the rainforest, where you can stop to pick fruit off the tree, swim in the river and take in the scenery. Be sure to wear a swimsuit or clothing you don’t mind getting wet, as well as sturdy footwear. The small family-owned farm takes excellent care of their horses; they work no more than two rides a day and get four days off each week. You can book a two-hour tour online. Excursions are $100-$120 per person. Rides led by a seasoned rider and tour guide are available Friday, Saturday, and Monday.

ATVs and More

In Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park, you can drive or ride an ATV through the lower part of the rainforest. After a short briefing, the guide will lead your excursion and remain with you to keep you safe and from getting lost. You’ll experience the thrill of driving along a dirt track amongst the towering trees and verdant jungle. Swimming in the Mameyes River will give you a chance to cool off. Excursions can be booked for one or two hours. It is $65 to drive the ATV or $40 to be a passenger. 

Overnight Stay

Yuquiyú Treehouses is a glamping experience you won’t soon forget. With four treehouse options, you’ll have a peaceful and serene experience in nature. Each treehouse contains a kitchenette, bathroom, and queen-sized bed, accommodating two people. They have electricity and hot/cold water in each house but no WiFi onsite. Hiking and swimming are available right on the property. Listen to the jungle noises while you sleep and enjoy the amenities. They offer delicious food on-site to make your stay more enjoyable. The property is meat and smoke-free. If you want an authentic Caribbean experience and don’t need the amenities of a hotel, this may be a great place for you. $300 per night, reservations available online

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