A Journey to The US’s Only Rainforest

HELLO, friends! Writing now with what little energy I have, after a CRAZY second day on the east coast of the island.

This morning was calm — the first thing Bobby and I did was head up to breakfast, which was simple but quite good.

We then took a minute to tend to the wild animals. And by wild animals, I mean this ferocious beast, named Caspar.

After breakfast, we took a walk around the property that the inn was on — and we came across a banana plant, which I decided to grab a banana from. It was delicious.

After that lazy start to the day, we hopped back in the car and headed towards our major activity for the day: EL YUNQUE, the only rainforest located in the United States. I’d never been to a rainforest, so I had very little sense of what to expect.

When we drove in, we stopped at the visitor’s center to get acclimated. And right away, it was clear: the air was THICKER here than elsewhere.

Once we had settled on our trail for the day (La Mina Trail), we made our way up the mountain and began.

IT WAS AMAZING. We took a well-worn path through the heart of the forest, which hugged the creek for several kilometers, until it dropped and turned into a beautiful waterfall with a swimming hole beneath. I jumped right in — and BRRRRR, it was chilly.

Because the trail was steep, I didn’t take any pictures on my phone. (I did, however, focus on my real camera for this hike!) Once I’m back to a place with more consistent internet, I’ll add in some visuals.

The whole venture out and back took us a few hours, so when we got back, we decided we’d have a few drinks at a roadside stand. But before we did that, we strolled up to this overlook to catch a few more glimpses of the mountains.

The view from the top of the tower:

Phew! All that walking was enough to make anyone thirsty for some cold coconut water.

Thoroughly spent, we drank our weight in coconuts and then hit the trail back towards the inn.


We stayed poolside for a few hours until it got dark. Then, we grabbed a few things and headed out for dinner!

Bobby had heard of this great food truck near where we had gone on the bioluminescent bay tour last night, so we made that our #1 goal. And the joint, called Bistro Del Mar, did NOT disappoint.

Bobby’s dish, a chicken stuffed avocado with coconut rice.

My meal, a classic Puerto Rican food called mofongo. (That’s mashed plantains.)

I am still SO FULL and SO HAPPY.

It’s been a good day today. Tomorrow, we head back to San Juan, and perhaps spend some more time on the beach or touring Old San Juan. Later this week, we’ll be visiting the Bacardí rum factory. 

Hard life, you know.

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