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Waterfall in El Yunque Rain Forest; credit Puerto Rico Tourism Company



El Yunque Tropical Rain Forest

The Caribbean National Forest, better known as El Yunque, is the only tropical rainforest managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and well-known for its dozens of trails, observation towers and waterfalls. Named after the benevolent Indian spirit Yuquiyu, the forest is home to some 240 different species of trees, 50 species of orchids, 150 kinds of ferns and 68 bird species, plus miles of marked hiking trails that allow you to explore some of the forest’s crags and La Coca waterfalls

from San Juan take Road 26 towards Carolina until you reach Road 3. Take Road 3 towards Fajardo for about 20 minutes until you get to Rio Grande. Take Road 191 to El Yunque


Isla Verde Beach
Called "Hobby Beach" by the locals, Isla Verde Beach is actually a series of beaches that stretch for miles in front of luxury resorts and posh high-rise residential apartments, restaurants and private clubs, guesthouses and private homes, and parks. This is the beach "to see and be seen." In addition to the usual beach activities—sunbathing, volleyball, picnicking, etc.--the more adventurous go parasailing, bodysurfing, water skiing, jet skiing, kite sailing (a combination of windsurfing and skiing), or participate in many of the other water sports offered by the numerous beachfront hotels and seaside shops

From San Juan take Road 26, then a right on 187, then a left on Road 37

Luquillo Beach
When most Puerto Ricans and experienced visitors think of a day at the beach, most likely it is Luquillo Beach. For generations families have made the trek from San Juan and all over the eastern region for a day at the sea. A vacation in Puerto Rico was considered incomplete without a visit to Luquillo. Today Luquillo remains one of the island's most popular beaches – and with good reason. Offshore reefs keep the waters calm. Families can relax knowing that lifeguards are on duty and the rough surf and deep waters are far, far away. Ample parking, changing and rest rooms, and souvenir and food stands are nearby. Boat access, rentals, windsurfing and camping areas are available. Among its facilities is a "Sea Without Barriers" program, staffed by professionals who help visitors in wheelchairs join their family and friends for a dip in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the charm of Luquillo is its proximity to El Yunque Tropical Rainforest. The view from the sea is spectacular: an internationally famous long gold crescent of sand lined by countless coconut palms with the misty mountains of the rainforest towering overhead

from San Juan take Road 26. Then get off on Road 3, which will take you straight to Luquillo Beach

Piñones Forest
One of Puerto Rico’s natural treasures is a mangrove-lover’s paradise and it's just 20 minutes from San Juan. On your way you’ll pass a long stretch of public beach, a small marina and a clutter of seafood shacks and coconut stands at Boca de Cangrejos. You will probably see surfers riding the waves at Aviones, a beach named for the stream of aircraft heading in and out of nearby Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Piñones means pines, and you will see plenty of these, too. You will quickly reach the Piñones Natural Reserve with its boardwalk through the forest, wild stretches of beach with fine views of the San Juan skyline, a maze of mangroves, a small bioluminescent bay, dramatic sand dunes and exotic wildlife. If you continue east you will reach Valcia Talega Beach and its strange landscape of twisted rocks dotted with palm trees, the perfect place to end your Piñones adventure

From San Juan take Road 26 towards Carolina, then take Road 187 which will lead directly to Piñones Natural Reserve

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