El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest,is a forest located in northeastern Puerto Rico. It is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System.The forest is commonly known as El Yunque, which may be attributed to either a Spanish approximation of the aboriginal Taíno word yu-ke which means “white lands”, or the word “anvil,” which is yunque in Spanish. The second-tallest mountain within El Yunque is also named El Yunque. El Yunque National Rainforest is located on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo mountains, encompassing 28,000 acres (43.753 mi2or 113.32 km2) of land, making it the largest block of public land in Puerto Rico. El Toro, the highest mountain peak in the forest rises 1,065 metres (3,494 ft) above sea level. Ample rainfall (over 20 inches a year in some areas) creates a jungle-like setting — lush foliage, crags, waterfalls, and rivers are a prevalent sight. The forest has a number of trails from which the jungle-like territory’s flora and fauna can be appreciated. El Yunque is also renowned for its unique Taíno petroglyphs.
An executive order signed by President George W. Bush on 2 April 2007 changed the name of the Caribbean National Forest to El Yunque National Forest, better reflecting the cultural and historical feelings of the Puerto Rican people.
El Yunque is composed of four different forest vegetation areas: Tabonuco Forest, Palo Colorado Forest, Sierra Palm Forest, and Dwarf Forest. The following image shows the green wilderness of El Yunque from one of its peaks; Pico El Yunque.
Approximately 16 species of common coqui, members of the diverse neotropical frog genus Eleutherodactylus, are known on Puerto Rico. Of these 16, 13 have been found in El Yunque National Forest. This small frog earned its Puerto Rican common name due to the call of the most common coquí species on Puerto Rico, Eleutherodactylus coqui, which begins as the sun sets and ends in early dawn. This has made it an animal of great endearment to Puerto Ricans.
Although the coquí is an amphibian, it possesses some features that are unusual in frogs. These differences are seen mainly in its morphology, reproduction, and developmental stages. In terms of morphology, the coquí does not have webbing between its toes because it is a tree dweller in moist environments. Another significant difference is that it does not have a definite larval stage, and the eggs laid by the female are terrestrial instead of aquatic.This means that a miniature frog-let, rather than a tadpole, arises from the incubation period.
Hours of Operation
Monday: 7:30am – 6pm
Tuesday: 7:30am – 6pm
Wednesday: 7:30am – 6pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 6pm
Friday: 7:30am – 6pm
Saturday: 7:30am – 6pm
Sunday: 7:30am – 6pm