El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Luquillo National Forest and the Caribbean National Forest, is a forest located in northeastern Puerto Rico.Even though there are other rainforests in the United States ,for example Alaska, It is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System.
La Coca Falls
At an elevation of 1, 476 feet above sea level, La Coca Falls is the first spectacular feature seen by the visitor traveling up to the Forest. The waters of La Coca Falls drop 85 feet onto a huge rock formation at the bottom of the falls. The falls are located next to the road and is an excellent spot to take photos.
It is a beautiful man made pool filled with the waters from an upper branch of La Mina River. This 18 feet deep pool is formed by a stone and masonry dam over which water cascade. Surrounded by a cobblestone path and arching stone and masonry bridge, the pool is bordered by an old bathhouse, built during the CCC era.
At a Glance
The forest region was initially set aside in 1876 by the King of Spain, and represents one of the oldest reserves in the Western Hemisphere. It was established as the Luquillo Forest Reserve on 17 January 1903, and became a National Forest in 1906. It was renamed Caribbean National Forest on 4 June 1935. It is home to over 200 species of trees and plants, 23 of which are found nowhere else.
On 2 April 2007 , President George W. Bush,by Executive Order changed the name of the Caribbean National Forest to El Yunque National Forest, better reflecting the cultural and historical feelings of the Puerto Rican people.
View from Yokahu Tower
The Yokahú Tower is one of the two observation towers located in the park. Constructed in 1963,It is widely considered the better of the two with regard to the view offered. The other tower, Mount Britton Tower, is situated at a higher altitude. Owing to this, the view from it is frequently obscured by cloud cover. When it comes to convenience, Yokahú Tower again has an advantage over the Mount Britton Tower. Yokahú Tower has a parking lot nearby whereas the Britton Tower is in the middle of the forest.
Rainforest Fauna in the El Portal Tropical Rainforest center
Opened in 1996, the El Portal Rain Forest Center gives visitors an introduction to the rain forest. A walkway set at 60 feet above the ground allows for a view of the tops of trees, while another walkway winds along tree bases. Exhibits at the center focus on the plants and animals of the rain forest, the importance of rain forests around the world, and threats to rain forests and efforts to conserve them.
Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!
He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.
For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com
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