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What to see in El Yunque national forest in Puerto Rico without a reservation

Let me guess…you were about to go to La Mina, Juan Diego Falls, or Britton Tower, you get really close and saw that reservations are needed and that there are no more tickets available for today or the rest of the week,. realized that the park closes Mondays and Tuesdays, or they just shut the park down due to a storm and gave you no notice. Don’t worry at Tralei we have been there and we have already figured out multiple options to do in the park without a reservation. 

As the excerpt mentioned this is a post in case you couldn’t get into El Yunque National Forest. If you haven’t checked if you can still make a reservation for another day click here to go to the official reservation page, otherwise don’t worry, there is a lot more to do in el Yunque, apart from La Mina, Juan Diego Falls or Britton Tower so you can still enjoy your day!

You can click on every post location button and it will take you to the specific location in Google Maps so that you can navigate without a problem.

1. Puente Roto

Puente Roto is a swimming spot at River Mameyes which has very easy access, you can park on the side of the road and within 30 seconds you can get down to the river. It is a great place to relax and enjoy nature.

2. Angelito Trail

If you were coming with the mindset of going on a trail this is a short and beautiful one. It ends up at another part of the Mameyes river, the trail is only 650 meters (0.4 miles) and it is surrounded by vegetation, so a great way to be around nature. 

We haven’t found any other trails that lead anywhere and most of them are not taken care of since Hurricane Maria, but if you want to just walk around el Yunque here is another trailhead that is very close to the Angelito trailhead and that we couldn’t finish as it got muddier as we advanced and didn’t know if there was anything at the end of it.

Here is the location of the trailhead in case you want to try it yourself (Let us know in the comments if you finish it).

3. Las Paylas

Las Playas is a natural rock slide on the same road as the Angelito trail and Puente Roto. You will need to park on the street and walk down a steep hill. It only takes around 3 minutes from the parking to the waterfall.

If you attempt to go on the slide be careful as you may hurt yourself, bumping into the rocks.

4. Natural Reserve Ángel Well

This swimming hole is found at the entrance road of el Yunque. And the access is found in the middle of the road, so you will need to walk around 300 meters (1000 feet) from the closest spot where you can leave your car, which is not even parking. (Click here for the coordinates).

You can Climb the big rock and jump, or use the rope to swing yourself and Jump (although this one doesn’t look too safe), or get close to the current and let yourself float.

Natural Reserve Ángel Well is a nice stop before going to El Yunque’s main attractions.

5. (Extra) Los Pilones Waterfall (Outside of El Yunque)

This stop is outside el Yunque but still in a similar area, it may take a bit to get there as the trail is not taken care of and not very transited. We suggest not trying it if you don’t have adequate equipment (Trekking shoes to walk through mud and long sleeves to prevent spider bites). We were not prepared and got 50+ spiders bites.

If that wasn’t enough there is another issue, the trail is not indicated by any signs so it is hard to follow, it took us 45 min to get to the waterfall, as we had to stop to remove the spider webs in the middle of the trail and to make sure we were on the right track, but once we got there there was nobody else for the 2 hours that we were there, and it was worth it. Once we knew the trail, it only took us 15 min to get back to the car. The distance is 1 Km (0.6 miles)

As the trail was hard to complete we took pictures and created a document that you can download and take with you to make sure you are on the right path. It explains where to park and pictures of turns that you should make to not get lost.

6. (Extra) Go on the Ziplines

Finally, if none of these options fit you, or you’ve seen it all, and you are planning to stay for more than one day. There are 2 Ziplines, in el Yunque. Note That you will have to book at least one day in advance. At Tralei we haven’t tried any of these activities, so we can’t recommend either, we are just suggesting them for you to have a variety of options.

Rainforest Zipline

The longest zipline in the area – over 2300 ft! Zip through eight lines, between trees and over the canopy level of the trees, using double cable, witnessing the stunning rainforest scenery.

JungleQui Zipline Park

Park with hiking trails, 11 carbon fiber ziplines, and one rappel.

Thanks for reading! If you think I forgot to mention anything, don’t hesitate to write in the comment section!

We also have other articles about Puerto Rico, you can check them out here: Puerto Rico

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