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El Yunque and the Northeast Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Rena Schild / Shutterstock

Plan Your El Yunque and the Northeast Vacation

Tree frogs, rare parrots, and wild horses only start the list of northeastern Puerto Rico's offerings. The backdrops for encounters with an array of flora and fauna include the 28,000-acre El Yunque tropical rain forest, the seven ecosystems in the Reserva Natural Las Cabezas de San Juan, and Laguna Grande, where tiny sea creatures appear to light up the waters.

As the ocean bends around

the northeastern coast, it laps onto beaches of soft sand and palm trees, crashes against high bluffs, and almost magically creates an amazing roster of ecosystems. Beautiful beaches at Luquillo are complemented by more rugged southeastern shores. Inland, green hills roll down toward plains that once held expanses of coconut trees, such as those still surrounding the town of Piñones, or sugarcane, as evidenced by a few surviving plantations near Naguabo and Humacao.

The natural beauty and varied terrain continue in the area's other towns as well: Río Grande, which once attracted immigrants from Austria, Spain, and Italy, and Naguabo, which overlooks what were once immense cane fields and Cayo Santiago, where the only residents are monkeys.

You can golf, ride horses, hike marked trails, and plunge into water sports throughout the region. In many places along the coast, green hills cascade down to the ocean. On the edge of the Atlantic, Fajardo serves as a jumping-off point for diving, fishing, and catamaran excursions. Luquillo is the site of a family beach so well equipped that there are even facilities enabling wheelchair users to enter the sea.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Take a hike Take in the spectacular waterfalls of El Yunque, the only rain forest within the U.S. National Forest system.
  2. Take a dip Relax at Luquillo Beach, one of the prettiest beaches in Puerto Rico and a family favorite.
  3. Take a seat Hang with locals at one of the dozens of outdoor seafood kiosks on the highway before you get to the Luquillo Beach. There are at least 60 to choose from.
  4. Hit the links Tee off on the tree-lined fairways of the area’s many excellent golf courses, especially those at the St. Regis Bahia Beach and Palmas del Mar resorts.

When To Go

When to Go

In general, the island's northeast coast—preferred by those seeking abandoned beaches and nature reserves rather than casinos and urban glitz...

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Travel Tips

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