El Yunque is the 3500' peak within Puerto Rico's Caribbean National Forest. Currently a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature, this forest's name derives from the Indian word "Yuqui" meaning white land, but was changed by the Spanish to "Yunque" which means anvil. When the peak is viewed from the north, it actually resembles an anvil (the iron block on which metal pieces are hammered).
The rainforest, covering 28,000 acres, contains 75% of the virgin forests left in Puerto Rico. The entire area is a bird sanctuary and holds claim to being the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. Thanks to receiving 100 billion gallons of rain per year, the forest is able to sustain some 250 species of trees, 50 types of ferns and as many as 20 varieties of wild orchids. In addition to the flora and fauna, El Yunque is also home to an array of Puerto Rican wildlife.
Within the forest, there are many trees known to be over 1000 years old. There is the Tabonuco forest with trees reaching heights in excess of 100'. The Colorado forest contains the short, gnarled trees with hollowed trunks. Sierra Palms with their unusual yet distinctive root systems grow in abundance, as do the huge tropical ferns (some ferns grow over 40' tall). There are also giant hardwoods and bamboo groves in this "nature wonderland".
El Yunque is home to a variety of local Puerto Rican wildlife, but perhaps the most famous would be the Amazona Uttata and the CoquU (Ko-kee). The former is better known as the Puerto Rican Parrot. It is an endangered species, very near extinction, so to see this red, blue and green beauty is a rare treat. The latter, El CoquU, is not only the national mascot, but also a source of national pride. Growing to be only " to 1" in size, it gets his name from the cricket-like mating call that literally sings his name, Co-Qui-i-i-i! Exclusive to Puerto Rico, they can be found in great numbers throughout the island. However, even though the Puerto Rican tree frog can be easily heard, he can be difficult (though not impossible) to find!
Your rainforest visit includes a photo stop at La Coca Falls as well as another at the Yokahu Lookout Tower.
Explore the rainforest in-depth with an informative and educated hiking adventure guide. The low-impact 25-minute walk on the BaU±o Grande Hiking Trail will allow for a genuine hands-on experience that you will never forget. The hike begins at the Palo Colorado Information Center, a good spot to see hummingbirds and bananaquits. The trail then passes the BaU±o Grande, a large man-made pool built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. From there, the trail enters the Palo Colorado forest, one of four forest types in El Yunque Rainforest. Hikers will take a close look at the various types of flora and fauna here and hopefully see some of the local birds.
Stop in to visit El Portal. El Portal, which is Spanish for "gateway", is just that, a gateway to knowledge about tropical forests, in particular El Yunque. This center gives visitors a better understanding of the needs and complexities of tropical forests and the practices required for their sound management and preservation. Located within the entrance to El Yunque, the facility is modern and airy, as it was constructed to blend into the natural surroundings. Large, open plazas and patios overlook the forest and Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy listening to a nearby stream and jungle sounds played over the audio system, as well as the mood lighting on the foliage. All of these elements were considered in order to celebrate the bond between people and nature.
Inside the center, 12,000 square feet of exhibit space is devoted to explaining the importance of tropical forests in general. Three pavilions offer information through interactive exhibits and bilingual displays. Also, you will have the opportunity to view a 12-minute film narrated by Jimmy Smits, the actor, which discusses the history of the El Yunque, some of the species you will encounter with an emphasis on the Puerto Rican Parrot and the challenges the forest rangers face in preserving them. The staff of El Portal will also be on hand to provide further information on the center and the rainforest.
Guests should wear light weight clothing & comfortable, non slippery walking shoes. Please remember to bring your cameras.
A minimum participation is required to operate all Yachting Land Adventures and some have limited capacity. This program is booked onboard only so please make your reservations as soon as possible after boarding to avoid disappointment. All adventures and prices in the SeaDream Yachting Land Adventures program are
subject to change. Not all of the land adventures shown will be offered on all voyages and departure times are subject to change. Final pricing and departures times will be published onboard.
This Yachting Land Adventure is very exclusive and has the potential to sell out very quickly. Please book early to avoid disappointment.