Sometimes referred to as the Caribbean National Forest, the El Yunque National Rainforest, or simply El Yunque, this lush expanse is the only tropical forest in the U.S. National Forest System. It features 28,000 acres of lush, tropical vegetation and it is the rainiest of all the National Forests, raining on average of four times a day. Annually, the park can receive more than 200 inches of rainfall per year, especially at the highest elevations of the Luquillo Mountains. Dominating the landscape here, these beautiful peaks soar above the forest canopy to more than 3,500 feet above sea level.
The Caribbean National Forest, or El Yunque, was set aside as a reserve by the Spanish in 1876 making it one of the oldest protected forests in the northern hemisphere. The forest became part of the USDA system in 1903, and it remains the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The forest reserve contains more than 23 miles of well-maintained trails.
The rainforest features over 225 tree species, innumerable fern, epiphyte, and vine species, at least 16 amphibian species, 20 known reptile species, 11 native mammal species, 5 introduced (exotic) mammal species, and a combination of approximately 80 endemic, native, winter and summer migrant avian species.