Whether you are staying at the Wyndham Rio Mar, the Gran Meliá in Rio Grande or any of the other area hotels, there are wonderful day trips available for you to venture out to. Today we are going to talk about El Yunque and Luquillo Beach.
Day 1: El Yunque National Rainforest and Luquillo Beach
The Rainforest is open daily from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. If you want to catch Luquillo Beach after your trip to the rainforest we recommend that you wake up early! Instead of eating breakfast at your hotel, stop at one of the local Panaderia’s in the area. They offer affordable full breakfasts, a wide range of pastries and sandwiches to choose from. One of our favorites is the pastelito de guayaba, a flaky pastry covered with powdered sugar and filled with guava.
After breakfast you may want to order a cubano sandwich to go with some drinks to take up to the rainforest for when hunger strikes! There are picnic areas and also a concession stand in the park.
El Portal Tropical Forest Center (Park Entrance), is located on PR191 Km 4.3. Call (787)888-1880 or visit El Yunque National Forest Official Site for more information.
Here are some of the ferns that you will find in the forest. They grow up to thirty feet high!
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes so that you can hike. Keep your bathing suit close as you may want to get into the Coca Falls to cool off!
If you listen carefully you will hear the coqui´ singing in the forest. It is the most popular frog on the island as it sings, “coqui´ coqui´ coqui´”!
After a few to several hours in the rainforest you will be ready to relax on Luquillo Beach aka Balneario de Luquillo. Travel back down PR191 and go west on Interstate PR3 until you see the signs to Luquillo Beach. There is a minimal parking fee, bathrooms and food to enjoy.
Luquillo Beach is one of the main beaches that the locals visit. So expect it to be more crowded during the summer months and local holidays. If you are visiting on Christmas or a major holiday the beach may be closed. However, you can still park behind the Kiosks of Luquillo off of Hwy 3. They are a string of “shacks or stalls” that sell the native foods and desserts.
Ice cream vendors will be pushing their carts on the beach. Don’t be shy, make sure you order the helado de coco, it’s a delicious coconut sorbet. Relax under the palm trees and enjoy your afternoon in the clear blue green water.
We hope you enjoy this week’s A Day Trip in Puerto Rico. If you visit let us know about your trip!