El Yunque National Forest – PR

Puerto Rico is an island of high hills and with US foresight, a fantastic rain forest at the E end of the island, heavily protected for all the population to enjoy. Almost There, who had visited it before for very keen to take us there and show us the sights.

Having all clambered in to the Jeep (a bit crushed) we headed up the hills to explore. As we got up into the hills the views were spectacular, even more so from the jeep although trying to look at them proved difficult once Robert decided to dance.027

As you can see the kids got into the spirit of it!

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We eventually reached the excellent visitor centre, high in the hills to find pleasantly, that there were no poisonous animals, snakes or spiders and wonderfully no mosquitoes in the forest. The only thing to watch out for is the occasional rabid racoon………..

There are a large number of waterfalls and walks available in the forest. In the end, we headed up to  La Mina Falls and work our way back down the hill.

La Mina Falls required a 30 minutes trek from the very, very busy parking lot, with an over enthusiastic ranger merrily improving everyone’s day by issuing tickets for anyone parking at the side of the road at a rapid rate of knots.

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The trail wasn’t really. The area is filled with concrete pathways to limit the damage to the park and we passed lots of folk making their way back and forth to the falls but the stream we walked down beside was lovely. H forced the pace as she needed to get to the falls quickly. The speed she disrobed and shortly thereafter the look of relief was hilarious.

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Relief

The falls were pleasant , little different than those we had visited on Dominica or elsewhere down island other than the numbers there. They were very overcrowded. Serves us right for going at a weekend. H found a friend to pull her closer to the falls. Small children who are confident and smile seem always to get a helping hand!

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Heading back down the hill we stopped for some lunch at one of the street cafes – delicious – then headed for the Yokahu Tower. Once used by the Forest Rangers, it is now a great spot for tourists to look down towards the coast.

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Robert and Shena enjoying the view?
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The View from the tower. Look at those ugly clouds

Next stop down was the La Coca Falls. Just off the road, most folk just drive past. They are missing one of the best photo opportunities.  We all had fun trying to frame the best shots!

There are a number of longer walks within the park which would have been fun to do but we had no time to organise these. For anyone following us, I’d recommend a couple of days in the park midweek to get away from the crowds and perhaps to see a little more of trail than we did. A great place to explore and a great day out.

 

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