Category Archives: El Yunque National Forest

Ziplining in Puerto Rico

Hang onto the metal clip. It’s your steering wheel as you fly across the treetops. It’s also your lifeline, connecting you to the cable above. Manage your speed and the adrenaline rush by either leaning way back with your feet forward (for maximum zip) or dangle your feet to be less aerodynamic. Your choice. Just remember to get a foot forward in time to land on the platform and avoid the tree. Especially the big one with the active bee hive nested just above. And for goodness sake, don’t yank on a vine and risk a rainfall of fire ants!

Ready? Here’s the video:

Ziplining in Puerto Rico:

Our morning with Yunke Zipline Adventure was one of the highlights of August 2010 trip to Puerto Rico and Vieques. Our rendezvous point was a covered basketball court at the side of a narrow road in Luquillo. “It’s the only one on the left,” Jaime assured me. From there we followed our guides to get our gear, be briefed on the adventure and start the hike up to our first zipline. Situated just outside of the El Yunque National Forest in the Luquillo Rainforest at the end of a winding dirt road on private land, one is unlikely to locate Yunke Zipline Adventure by accident. Calling or emailing a few days ahead of your proposed date is highly recommended. I highly recommend Yunke Zipline Adventure as well.

Family Vacation on raveable
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Treetop Views from Yokahu

Ninety-eight steps took us directly to treetop views of the El Yunque National Forest.  It seemed a pretty easy way to gain a panorama after our adrenaline-laced morning spent zip-lining, rappelling and hiking through the Luquillo Rainforest! The 360 degree perspective atop Yokahu Tower also included San Juan, Luquillo, Faro de Fajardo (from which we would eventually ferry to Isla de Vieques) and Playa Seven Seas.  Punctured periodically by arched windows, the silo-styled tower, erected in 1963, also afforded decent vistas during our climb to its observation deck.


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When it Really is a Jungle…

“It’s a jungle out there” has grown cliched to the point that the phrase almost always brings to mind a complex urban landscape. But sometimes…

It really is a jungle.

Our views from Yokahu Tower extended more than ten miles, out to Luquillo, Fajardo and San Juan and into the North Atlantic waters that border Puerto Rico’s northern shores.

 

To the west, Los Picachos and Pico de El Yunque rose from amongst the 240 known plant species native to El Yunque National Forest. Far to the east, beyond our sight but visible from El Yunque Peak on the clearest of days: the Virgin Islands.

 

As we breathed it all in I remembered swimming, years before, in the seas of St John and Virgin Gorda, only vaguely aware that Puerto Rico was just over there… to the west. Now I stood on Puerto Rico’s main island knowing that I’d once chased eagle rays through waters just over there… to the east. As my brain slowly arranged it all in geographical order, it struck me that whether surveying jungle, ocean or mountain, a little on-the-spot perspective is more effective than any map in connecting them all across one beautiful and ever intriguing planet.

 


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