El Yunque National Forest is the United States only tropical rainforest located in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico. The biodiversity found in this rainforest is what makes it so special. El Yunque is composed of four different forest vegetation areas: “Tabonuco” Forest, “Palo Colorado” Forest, “Palma de Sierra” Forest, and “Enano” or Dwarf Forest. Inside these areas lay thousands of plants that are only found in Puerto Rico (many are only found in El Yunque) including 150 species of ferns, 240 species of trees, and 50 species of orchids.
The animals most commonly found in El Yunque are reptiles, birds, amphibians, and some fresh water fish and shrimp. The most famous animals are the “coquí” frog and the Puerto Rican parrot. The “coquí” is a tiny frog that got its name because of the powerful sound it makes that goes “ko-kee, ko-kee”. The little animal has become an emblem for Puerto Rico because at night, almost everywhere in the island, its singing is present. The other well-known animal found in El Yunque, the Puerto Rican parrot, is a beautiful type of bird that has vibrant colors and flies gracefully through the trees. It is currently an endangered species; so, the birds that are left are well taken care of in natural resources facilities.
El Yunque is a must visit place for tourists and for locals as well. The forest has a variety of attractions such as hiking the amazing mountains through trails, guided tours, picnics, camping, water activities or, simply, enjoying being “one with nature”. The coolest attraction is the water activities because there are streams that run through the whole forest that have cascades. These cascades have a pool like bottom so people go in the water and relax. Overall, El Yunque is an enjoyable, beautiful, and interesting site and it is, also, a scientists paradise.