About the Forest

En Espanol

 

Located on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico in the Greater Antilles group, the El Yunque National Forest is the sole tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The forest’s relatively small 28, 000 acre size belies its importance. It differs significantly from all the other U.S. National Forests because of its year-round tropical climate and immense biodiversity.

The rugged Luquillo Mountains that rise to 3,533 ft. above sea level comprise most of the forest land. Their steep slopes can sometimes receive rainfall of over 200 inches (508 centimeters) per year at higher elevations. Caressed by gentle easterly winds the forest has an average temperature of 73° F (21° C), and seasonal changes are almost imperceptible. It is the ideal climate for exuberant tropical vegetation. The rain forest is noted for its biodiversity; it is “home” to thousands of native plants including 150 fern species, 240 tree species (88 of these are endemic or rare and 23 are exclusively found in this forest). The El Yunque National Forest has no large wildlife species, but hundreds of smaller animals abound in this gentle forest, many of which exist nowhere else on the planet.

Each year we welcome about 600,000 visitors from all over the world who come to sample the rain-forest’s eco-tourism pleasures while developing a greater understanding of its ecological importance by walking our many beautiful trails.

HOW TO GET HERE

If using a GPS device on your vehicle here is a description to access the main entrance along Rd 191 in Rio Grande:

El Portal Visitor Center

PR 191

Rio Grande, PR 00745

Coordinates for some specific locations are:

El Portal Visitor Center -

N18° 20' 21.3"
W065° 45' 36.5"

Forest Headquarters -

N18° 20' 17.4"
W065° 45' 40.7"

Palo Colorado Interpretive Site -

N18° 18' 04.7"
W065° 47' 04.9"

(Note that the locations can be used for GPS and directional purposes, but currently all areas are temporarily closed due to hurricane recovery efforts)

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW

The El Yunque National Forest is Organized into five separate operating entities called Management Teams: Ecosystems Management & Forest Planning Team, Property Management & Administration Team, Customer Service Team, Communications and Law Enforcement Team. All team managers report directly to the Forest Supervisor. more

HISTORY

 

Revered as a holy place for over a thousand years by the prehistoric Taino inhabitants, the El Yunque National Forest has been a continually managed reserve for well over 100 years. more



https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/elyunque/about-forest