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El Yunque Rain Forest

Full Day Tour

October 8, 2011

Cabezas de San Juan

Description:

  • Departure from Hotel Intercontinental at 7:30 AM in route to El Yunque Rain Forest. Stop at the Visitor Center for a short documentary followed by a hike to Mt. Britton to have an amazing Birds-Eye-View of Puerto Rico's Eastern region, including the Islands of Vieques and Culebra.
  • Lunch: Full puertorican lunch on the Palo Colorado Picnic Area, where some people might want to get their feet wet on one of its surrounding water streams.
  • Departure to Fajardo, at approximately 15 miles east of El Yunque, to visit Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve. Guided by a local interpreter, we will take a trolley to learn about the different ecosystems that exist in the Reserve, their ecological function, and the importance of conserving them. The tour stop at various stations along the way to visit a mangrove forest, the Laguna Grande bioluminescent bay, Playa Lirios (rocky beach) and,  the lighthouse and the permanent exhibit that showcase the main marine and coastal ecosystems. In clear days, the visitors can go up to the lighthouse Observation Deck and appreciate the impressive view of the islands and keys off the coast of Fajardo, such as Vieques, Culebra, Saint Thomas and Tortola.
  • About El Yunque Rainforest Forest: Designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976. 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 “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 forest consists of approximately 28,000 acres and the steep slopes (rising up to 3,533 ft.) can receive up to 200 inches (508 centimeters) of rain per year.  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!!
  • About The Mount Britton Trail: It is 0.8 miles (1.3 km) in length, rising from 2,493 feet ( 760 meters) to 3,087 feet (941 meters). Hiking time is 45 minutes each way, including interpretation stops. This trail is mostly cement and asphalt paved with some graveled sections. The level of difficulty ranges from easy at the beginning, to challenging near the peak.
  • About Las Cabezas de San Juan: In 1975, The Conservation Trust acquired Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, 321 acres of land on the northeastern tip of Puerto Rico. This jewel is one of the most comprehensive examples of the Island’s natural coastal communities. Over seven different ecological communities flourish in close proximity to one another, making it a unique nature reserve. The area is characterized by its amazing Laguna Grande - one of Puerto Rico’s water bodies with year-round bioluminescence (Yes, water glows in the dark!), produced by millions of micro-organisms called dinoflagelates. The Reserve also has an imposing historical lighthouse that has become one of the main attractions for visitors.

Tour Included:

  • Round Trip Transportation in modern, air-conditioned vehicles
  • Professional interpreter at all times
  • Two healthy snacks
  • Full puertorican lunch to be served at the Palo Colorado Picnic Area
  • Entrance fees to El Yunque Rain Forest and to Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve