Long time, no talk.
As I sit here typing this, I feel compelled to brag about my incredible view. I’m writing this post from a balcony, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. This was my first time leaving the Continental US, but I’ll tell you more about that when we get home.
El Yunque was a big part of why I wanted to visit Puerto Rico. It is the only rain forest in the national forest system; it receives over 200 inches of rainfall every year.
We decided to “splurge” on a guided tour through Puerto Rico Tour Desk, both to save money on a rental car and because I’d read about how curvy the road leading up to the forest was. I am so glad we booked this tour because they picked us up from our hotel, dropped us back off at our hotel, and our tour guide was awesome. Lily was so passionate about Puerto Rico’s history and I learned so much from her.
We took the “off the beaten path tour” – I highly recommend being in decent shape to complete this tour. The rain forest is incredibly muggy and slippery. I actually bought hiking boots to do this tour (because I love to hike and have many vacations in my head that are centered around hiking). Shoes with tread are an absolute must – seriously. As we walked to the first waterfall a guy behind our group fell right on his shoulder and had to turn around and go back. As we were coming up from the falls, a guy had a shirt wrapped around his bleeding head. So, yeah. Shoes with tread are a necessity.
Anyway, we made it to the first waterfall (La Mina Falls), already soaked because of the humidity. Everyone wore a bathing suit under our hiking clothes, and by this point we were dying to get in the water.
Unfortunately for us, this is one of the most popular hikes in El Yunque and this was the day before July 4th. The water under the falls was packed with people. Luckily, Lily knew a smaller swimming area that required some light rock climbing (another reason why you need shoes with tread). It was literally right under these falls.
After our hike back up, we headed to a different location.
The best part of this location was the rope swing.
**If you know me, you know I don’t know how to swim. I’m actually terrified of deep water, so I didn’t jump from the rope, but of course my husband did.
We were gone from 9 am to a little after 4 pm. We stopped at a “Kiosk” for a late lunch and the food was absolutely delicious (I’m a picky eater, so that’s saying something). I had an absolute blast and would highly recommend touring with Puerto Rico Tour Desk; if you don’t want a guided tour, it is still a must to visit El Yunque if you come to Puerto Rico.
If you need a good pair of hiking boots, I loved mine. I wore them in the water to help my footing and I literally didn’t slip a single time – in or out of the water.