Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ›’ All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ” ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ›’ The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 2022)
β›΅ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚒 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.
πŸ“„ ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

El Portal de El Yunque Visitor Center & Walking Trails

El Yunque National Forest (aka "the rain forest") is one of the many places you can visit in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico. It covers 28,000 acres of land, and is the watershed for much of the northeast of the island.

El Portal de El Yunque is the main visitor and information center in El Yunque National Forest. It features an elevated walkway through the tree tops, educational displays, a short wheelchair-friendly interpretive trail, a short interpretive walking trail through the lower forest, a counter-service restaurant, some beautiful “selfie spots”, and a small gift shop. Though completely optional, the visitor center is an informative stop for first-time visitors to El Yunque.

El Portal de El Yunque

A Visitor Center Reborn

The visitor center was essentially destroyed by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September of 2017. After about 3 years of rebuilding, and an $18 million dollar investment, El Portal de El Yunque officially re-opened to the public on 20 January 2022. Originally built in the 1990s, the new facility design incorporates current building, sustainability, and accessibility codes. It is much more locally-oriented, with more Spanish and local colors and themes, showcasing local artists. They even used trees felled by hurricane Maria for the information desk and some signs!

A Walk Through the Visitor Center

The entrance to El Portal de El Yunque is along an elevated walkway that provides a view of the forest from the tree tops. One of the first things that you come to is a topographical map that gives some perspective of El Yunque National Forest in relation to the eastern part of Puerto Rico. If you look down at the floor, you’ll see a map of islands in the Caribbean.

El

This initial area in the visitor center contains a bunch of displays and information about the rain forest. You’ll also find an information desk, staffed with some really helpful people. There is a large map of the forest, showing the recreation trails. Talk to the staff and they can help plan your visit to make the most of your time in the forest. This is where they will post the “ranger talks” of the day. You can get your “Junior Ranger” badges/books here, too!

A big new thing is the display of endangered Puerto Rican parrots (Amazona vittata), locally referred to as cotorras. This is probably the only chance you will get to see them, as there are so few of them in the wild.

El Portal de El Yunque

Across from the information desk you’ll find the gift shop, where you can get compostable rain ponchos, forest trail maps, snacks, and souvenirs.

When you venture out into the courtyard area, you’ll find the movie theater and the stairs/ramp leading to the second floor. The short movie shows distinctive features of the forest, its history, and the important role it plays in larger “ridge to reef” ecosystem. Note that currently (January 2022) the movie theater remains closed due to COVID. They are working on setting up an open-air theater in the courtyard on the second level.

El Portal de El Yunque

Making your way up to the second floor, you’ll find a courtyard that serves as a rain-water collection system, a counter-service restaurant, and a room filled with educational displays about conservation, ecology, water, rain forests, wildlife, and other nature-oriented themes. El Portal de El Yunque

Two Trails – One is Wheelchair-friendly!

Once through the building, you will find two interpretive trails: the Discovery Trail and the Science & Conservation Trail. Both trails begin on the right as you exit, going toward the parking lot.

The Discovery Trail is a concrete path that winds a short distance under the raised walkway and back to the parking lot. It is wheelchair-friendly, and provide a little bit of immersion in the forest. Just be mindful of the slight downhill slope (and of course, the uphill on the other side!). It is not too long, but it is very nice!

El Portal de El Yunque

To get to the Science & Conservation Trail, start on the Discovery Trail, and after you cross under the raised walkway, you’ll see a gravel walking trail that goes off to the right. This gravel path is the Science & Conservation Trail – it is a loop through the forest that leads right back to the starting point. It is in the lower forest area, so you will see some different vegetation than you will see on trails farther up the mountain. It takes about 15 minutes to walk this trail. Note that this gravel trail is not wheelchair-friendly.

El Portal de El Yunque

On the trails you will be able to see many native trees, different birds and lizards, some bananas, heliconias, and gingers. Along the way you will find bi-lingual information placards about the flora & fauna of the trail, and the rain forest in general. It has some pretty views and scenery. I enjoyed this nice starter trail. I also think this would be a great place to bird watch, with lots of trees and open spaces.

El Portal de El Yunque

Details

The entrance fee for El Portal de El Yunque $8/adult. Kids under 15 are free. They collect the entrance fee upon entry to the parking lot. Your National Park Service passes are valid here.

There is no cost to get into El Yunque National Forest (for hiking, etc), though certain recreational areas do require a reservation. El Portal de El Yunque is located outside of the area you where you would need a reservation, so they can help you plan your day in the forest – reservation or not.

El Portal de El Yunque is open 9am to 5pm, 7 days/week. Closed Christmas Day.

For more information, including driving directions, please refer to our Getting Started in El Yunque National Forest article.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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Other Puerto Rico Resources …

Coqui's Hideaway Rainforest Villa in Rio Grande Located in the Foothills of El Yunque