Rainforest Nature Walk
Duration: 4 1/4 hours
Tour Code: sju-003
Explore the flora and fauna of Puerto Rico's idyllic rainforest during scenic visits to El Yunque and El Portal.
Depart from the pier for the transfer to the Caribbean National Forest, a 28,000-acre rainforest and bird sanctuary that comprises 75% of the virgin forests left in Puerto Rico, and is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. The region's substantial annual rainfall helps sustain 50 types of ferns, 20 varieties of wild orchids and 250 species of trees, some over 1,000 years old and 100 feet tall. El Yunque, named for its 3,500-foot anvil-shaped peak, is situated within the forest.
Upon arrival, you and your driver/guide will visit the beautiful El Portal Visitor's Center. This modern and airy 12,000-square-foot facility was constructed to blend into the natural surroundings, and features large, open plazas and patios overlooking the forest and Atlantic Ocean. During your visit, sounds of the nearby stream and jungle play over the audio system, and mood lighting appears on the foliage. Here, you'll learn about the needs, complexities, management and preservation of tropical forests. Inside El Portal, you'll see interactive exhibits and bilingual displays, and view a 12-minute film about the tropical forest. Before you leave, a brief stop will be made at El Portal's gift shop.
Next, you will discover El Yunque's diverse wildlife, including birds, lizards and other small creatures. A photo stop will be made at the beautiful La Coca Falls, and at the 69-foot Yokahu Lookout Tower for expansive views of the lush foliage, mountain peaks and distant ocean. You will then begin a low-impact, 25-minute nature walk on the Baño Grande Hiking Trail. You will begin at the Palo Colorado Information Center, pass the Baño Grande, a large man-made pool built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and enter the Palo Colorado Forest, one of four types of forests in the El Yunque rainforest. Along the way, you will get an up-close look at the various types of flora and fauna, see local birds and cross a picturesque stream.
At the conclusion of your tour, you will be served a complimentary beverage and snack before re-boarding your coach for the return drive to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves moderate walking on bumpy and uneven surfaces. This tour is only recommended for active guests in good physical condition. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or guests who utilize a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes, as the trails can be muddy at times. Guests are also advised to bring a poncho, light rain jacket or umbrella from the ship.