Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fun facts about El Yunque

Our "Top Ten" list of things we learned during our visit to El Yunque rainforest:

10.  El Yunque National Forest is the only rainforest in the United States Forest System.  
9.  It comprises 28,000 acres in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico.
8.  There is no "wet" or "dry" season in El Yunque.  It has a constant temperature of 70-80 degrees and rains year round.

7.  There are over 240 species of plants in El Yunque. 
6.  The 200 inches of rainfall each year create a jungle-like setting with lush foliage, rivers, and waterfalls.   
5.  There are six rivers in El Yunque and it sometimes rains 4 times per day. 

    5.  El Yunque is home to some rare wildlife including the Puerto Rican parrot. It is one of the most endangered birds in the world.  We didn't see any since they live in remote areas of the forest.  You will know them by the white ring around their eyes and blue feathers on their wings. 
    3.  Bats are the only mammal that is native to  El Yunque. 
    2.  In addition to 11 species of bats, there are 50 species of birds, 8 species of lizards, and 13 species of coquis. 
    1.  A coqui is a tiny tree frog (about an inch long) that make a distinctive chirping sound in the morning, at night, and when it rains.  We heard them all the time but, unfortunately, didn't see any.
    One of the highlights of our rainforest trip was to visit La Mina waterfall.  
    We hiked a winding, mostly downhill trail to La Mina falls where the water rushes over a cliff and falls about 35 feet into cool pools that people swim in. It is a pretty popular place, as you can see from the photos.
    Grace and Kyle had water shoes on so they navigated the slippery rocks and went for a chilly dip in the water.  I only went up to my knees and chickened out from going further when I saw a woman wipe out and get an awful injury right next to me.

    Before eating lunch at a roadside stand where we got every kind of fried Puerto Rican food you can imagine, ...
    ...we climbed the 98 steps of the Yokahu Observation Tower.

    And we enjoyed a final 360 degree view of the rainforest and the surrounding area.

    Can you see the sleeping giant's face at the top of the mountain?

    1 comment:

    Nana said...

    Great job climbing the steps and eating the local food. You all look like "happy travelers"!
    Great facts and photos too.