Take a Walk in El Yunque Rain Forest with a Forest Guide or Ranger
The El Yunque National Forest is a large, lush and interesting place to visit. It easy to see the beauty, but to really know about the rain forest, an educational guided tour is great. The Federal Forest Rangers offer “Rent-a-Ranger” or “Forest Adventure Tours”, that are hour-long educational walks designed to teach you all about the El Yunque rain forest.
We have been to the rain forest dozens of times and have hiked many trails. We thought we knew a lot about the forest, but wanted to see what this program was all about. We stopped in at the Palo Colorado Station a little before 10:30 one morning and asked about the program. The tour was just about to start, so we bought our tickets. We were joined by 3 other people and our guide, Cynthia. We started the tour at the entrance to El Caimitillo Trail and continued along the trail for a total of about a half mile. Our guide talked about the lizards, snails and the coquis.
She was able to find all sorts of little flowers and creatures that everyone else would have just walked by and never noticed, such as the walking stick insects and tiny blooming orchids. We stopped often and she discussed things like the different levels of the forest and what trees can grow at each level and why. She told us about the rain forest mountains and why the location of El Yunque helps it get so much rain (about 200 inches a year). She discussed many interesting, lesser known things about the forest. It was a very relaxed, enjoyable hour of learning, that will make you appreciate the forest more and make you want to slow down and look around to really see the forest and its critters. We learned a number of new things and our Ranger told us about a lesser used trail we didn’t know about (that is an adventure for another day!).
I highly recommend this tour.
There is a fee of $5.00 for adults, and $3.00 for children under 12 years old and senior citizens (age 65 and above).
The tour is open to everyone, people of all ages and activity levels will be able to enjoy this activity. However, it is not wheelchair accessible due to steps at the beginning and end of tour. And though most of the trail is paved, the pavement is narrow.
The tours are Wednesday-Sunday (sometimes available Monday and Tuesday also), at 11:00am and 1:30pm, as long as there are guides available. So ask as soon as you arrive to make sure.
The tour takes about 1 hour. They are available in English or Spanish, Language chosen by first people who buy tour tickets.
For additional information please call 787.888.1810, 787.888.1880 or Fax 787.888.5685
The tours leave from the Palo Colorado Interpretive Site located at Km 11.7 on PR Road 191. That’s also where you purchase your tickets.
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