Are you an avid hiker in the middle of planning a trip to Puerto Rico? Perhaps you’re just stopping through and looking to catch some great views of El Yunque. Either way there’s something for people of all ages and athletic abilities! Check out some of my recommended hikes below.

El Yunque Trail

Distance: 5.4 miles
Total Ascent: 1,748 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Length of Time: 3 hours
Trailhead: 1/4 East of the information center
Parking: Palo Colorado Information Center

The pinnacle of rainforest hiking. You can’t visit El Yunque Rainforest and not hike El Yunque Trail! The trailhead is a bit hidden and it took me a bit of walking around to find it. I ended up walking about 1/4 mile East of the Palo Colorado Information Center where I parked and the trailhead was somewhat obvious but unmarked. I used AllTrails to find the GPS location which helped me confirm I was on the right trail.

The trail started off a tad muddy with a mixture of leaves and rocks providing traction. The entire climb to the top is very gradual with hardly any steep sections. Take it slow so you can enjoy all that this trail has to offer.

Naguabo Infinity Pool

Distance: 3.7 miles
Total Ascent: 744 feet
Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Length of Time: 3-4 hours
Trailhead: Near Sabana River Recreational Area
Parking: Roadside of El Yunque gate

This trail has everything: a rope climb, bridge crossing, ladder climbing and rock scrambling. What more could you ask for in El Yunque!? One of the other reviewers covered this trail pretty well and it was great for setting expectations. I’m not going to rehash what has already been said but I do want to point out some very important things.

Firstly, do not, I repeat, do not hike this trail in the rain or after heavy rain. There are sections of this trail that take you literally to the edge of the hillside… in mud… on a trail that is a foot wide. This is not hyperbole. If you slip in one of these sections you will most likely die.

Secondly, when you climb the ladder just before you reach the pool it can be confusing where to go. This is the rock scrambling part. Keep to the left and follow the blue marked trees as stated in another review. However, after you get through the last rope climb (really more like cord than rope) a little further up the trail splits. It is easy to miss the break to the right and you may be tempted to keep climbing. If you’re looking for the infinity pool take the right trail and you’re about 50 feet away. If you keep climbing up you will end at section with deeper water that is more suitable for swimming but that area is not the “infinity” pool.

Thirdly, appropriate footwear is recommended most of the trail is covered in mud in some cases ankle high mud. I wore Altra trail runners and was fine but I wouldn’t recommend flip flops or sandals.

Lastly, enjoy yourself, this is a phenomenal hike and one of the best in El Yunque (even if it is technically off limits to public).

Mount Britton Tower Trail

Distance: 1.6 miles
Total Ascent: 649 feet
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Length of Time: 1 hour
Trailhead: Mount Britton Trail Head
Parking: Torre Mount Britton Parking

For those who might be limited on time but want to experience the rainforest and awesome views, Britton Tower offers a great compromise. One of the easier climbs in El Yunque but a very steep. The path is mostly paved until the last climb up to the tower. Make sure to bring decent shoes, trying to walk this in sandals or flip flops is just asking for blisters. I would recommend this trail for large groups or families with kids of varying ages.

Once you climb what feels like 10,000 steps you’ll be rewarded with some amazing views of the rainforest.

El Toro Trail

Distance: 4.9 miles
Total Ascent: 1,325 feet
Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Length of Time: 3 hours
Trailhead: Across the street from parking
Parking: Roadside dirt lot

If you’re looking for an adventurous less hiked trail look no further than El Toro Trail. The trailhead is a bit of a drive from the other trails in El Yunque. Make time to stop and enjoy some of the views along the way but make sure to leave enough time to finish the hike before dark.

Be prepared for one of the muddiest hikes you’ve ever experienced. In some cases you’ll be trekking through mud up to a foot deep, it’s part of the experience! Wear long sleeves, pants and good pair of boots. I also recommend bringing a spare change of clothes and shoes for after you finish. A good portion of the travel is shaded by canopy except for the final ascent to the summit which is where the stone steps take you to some of the best views in El Yunque.

If you’re looking to see what else El Yunque has to offer on these trails, check out my Youtube video: Hiking Alone in El Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico.

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