Saturday, May 5, 2012

El Yunque National Park Rainforest

Salinas, Puerto Rico
As hurricane season approaches Sim and I have been in a complete quandary as to where to spend it.  Generally it is spent somewhere that gets no or little hurricane activity; the southern East Caribbean, the north coast of South America, parts of the Central America or North America.  Other possibilities are places that have hurricane holes – areas of water that are surrounded by land to protect the boat from huge surging seas.  Currently we are in Puerto Rico – right smack bang middle of hurricane central, we kinda like it here.  The Spanish, US and British Virgins with their sparkling waters and great cruising grounds are just to our east and mainland Puerto Rico, known as Isla Del Encanto (Island of Enchantment) has much to offer with rainforests, beaches and plenty of old world Spanish colonial history to explore.  They have one of the best hurricane holes in the north Caribbean and everything is available. So should we or shouldn’t we stay?  That’s the question we are asking ourselves.
Coco Falls El Yunque Rainforest
Mina Falls El Yunque Rainforest
Yokahu Lookout Tower, El Yunque

However as hurricane season hasn’t started yet (beginning of June) we have decided we will head back to the ubiquitous sun, sea, sand and well whatever else of the Virgin Islands for a bit of traditional Caribbean therapy.  If we feel like it we can head back down the east Caribbean chain or hang around here and make a mad dash for the hurricane hole should anything nasty come through.

In the mean time, last week we tried and failed to head east to the Spanish Virgins. So while we waited for the weather to ease we hired a car and went exploring again; this time to the El Yunque national rainforest in northern Puerto Rico. Although this is virgin rainforest it is not virgin territory. Concrete trails have been put in and barriers put up, notices and signs everywhere, visitors come in their masses to explore this easy to access tropical forest. But despite the fact that we didn’t feel like intrepid explorers it was wonderful to be walking under the cool shade of the rainforest canopy and visit the (overcrowded) waterfalls and lookout points. We visited the beaches at Liquillo – the sun capital, trying to find the meter long iguanas with no success and then took the long coastal road back to Salinas…..and yes we did stop and spends hours in Walmart on the way home.
Windward Beaches
Sim, El Yunque

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