The author Vanessa Ramos posing for a photo in El Yunque with a waterfall on her background

11 Best El Yunque Tours in 2023 (By a Local)

Taking one of the fabulous El Yunque tours will guarantee that you don’t miss out on this natural wonder while visiting Puerto Rico. Whether you’re planning a big deep-dive trip around the island, or want to stop by while you’re cruise ship is docked, there is a perfect El Yunque tour for you.

I’m a Puerto Rico local who has been to El Yunque tons of times. In fact, I’ve written an entire El Yunque visitors guide because I love it so much.

With my first-hand knowledge, I’ve put together this list of the best tours to take to El Yunque. Let’s dive in!

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

11 Best Tours in/to El Yunque 

Price (select all that apply):


🚢 Note for Cruise Ship Passengers: If you want to take an El Yunque cruise excursion from San Juan during a port call, then double check if the pick-up and drop-off times work with your schedule. Many of the tours listed below leave from very close to the San Juan port, but El Yunque is an hour’s drive away and you may need some wiggle room.

Day Tour in El Yunque Rain Forest with Transportation

Bathe in a mineral pool in the heart of El Yunque 

A woman holding tight on a rope swing in El Yunque
(Photo courtesy Viator / Casa Venturas)
  • Length: 6 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, rope swinging, cliff diving, natural water slide 
  • ✅ Includes: Life jackets, hotel pickup, local guide
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

There are many reasons why El Yunque is one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico, and mineral pools are one of them. Leaving from San Juan, this tour gets you from your hotel to the hidden gems on the east side of the El Yunque Rainforest with roundtrip transportation.

The tour starts by walking through trails until you reach one of the beautiful natural swimming pools of El Yunque. From there, you’ll hike more to another natural pool where you can dive in the water with a rope swing or slide over a waterfall.

On this tour, you’ll learn about El Yunque, its biodiversity, and why the only tropical rainforest in the United States forest system plays a vital role in Puerto Rico’s geography. 

El Yunque Rainforest & Waterfalls Half-Day Tour

Swing over swimming holes and slide through natural waterslides with this tour 

View from the natural swimming pool in El Yunque Rainforest
  • Length: 4 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, rope jumping, waterfalls, waterslides 
  • ✅ Includes: Pictures, local guide, fruit refreshments, lifeguard
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

El Yunque National Forest is one of the top places to visit in Puerto Rico regardless of what type of traveler you are. 

But outdoor enthusiasts will specifically love this guided tour – it takes you through the heart of the rainforest and gives you in-depth knowledge of the flora and fauna. Plus, kids and thrill-seekers will enjoy sliding through the natural water slides and bathing in the waterfalls.

This is a great way to enjoy the natural landscape while eating fresh local fruit and snacking on some refreshments provided by your tour guide.

👉 Pro Tip: For this tour, you need a rental car to reach the meeting point in Luquillo. You can use Discover Cars to find a rental car that fits your needs for a cheap fare.

El Yunque Natural Waterslide & Rainforest Hiking

Spend your day cliff jumping and swimming in the mountains of the rainforest

A man jumping on a cliff into the water in El Yunque
(Photo courtesy Viator / Spotin Tours)
  • Length: 7 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 4.5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, swimming, waterslides, waterfalls 
  • ✅ Includes: Hotel pickup, snacks, tour guide
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience that’s still luxurious, then this tour is a great choice. Though you’ll be traveling in a comfortable van from San Juan, this tour takes you to the swimming pools hidden on the east side of El Yunque.

Wear your swimsuit so you can cliff jump in the swimming pool, and bring hiking shoes to explore the muddy trails. The knowledgeable guide will explain everything about the rainforest while you adventure around.

After spending a few hours in El Yunque, you will visit a local restaurant to finish your day with a dish of Puerto Rican food.

El Yunque Rainforest Experience

See and explore the main highlights of El Yunque

A man sitting on a cliff near a falls in El Yunque Rainforest
(Photo courtesy Viator / Rico Sun Tours)
  • Length: 6 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 4.5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: Angelito Trail, Yokahu Tower, hiking 
  • ✅ Includes: Hotel pickup, entrance to El Yunque’s PR 191
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

Most of the El Yunque tours visit sites in Naguabo or Luquillo,  but this tour takes you to the popular highlights of the rain forest in Rio Grande.

You will go from San Juan to PR 191 in El Yunque, where nature enthusiasts can visit La Coca Waterfall, the Yokahu Tower, and the Juan Diego Waterfall. 

Families will love visiting El Angelito Trail, where it’s possible to swim in the Mameyes River. Just make sure to pack your hiking boots too, as the hiking trails are slippery and muddy. 

👉 Need Water Shoes? Exploring El Yunque will require shoes that have a grip and can get wet. The Columbia hiking boots are waterproof, breathable, and lightweight enough to explore the only tropical rainforest in the United States.

Puerto Rico Guided Adventure in El Yunque Rainforest

A 4-hour tour that’s perfect if you’re short on time, yet long enough to still immerse yourself in the natural world of El Yunque 

A girl sliding on the natural waterslide in El Yunque Rainforest
(Photo courtesy Viator / Spotin Tours)
  • Length: 4 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 4.5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, natural waterslides, hiking
  • ✅ Includes: Guided tour
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

If you’re short on time, then you’ll love this 4-hour trip to El Yunque. You’ll enjoy natural water slides, waterfalls, and natural pools in a single trip.  

Your tour guides will explain the natural wonders of El Yunque National Forest during an interpretive hike to the waterfalls. You’ll learn about the beautiful flora and fauna in the rainforest while experiencing them firsthand. 

👉 Pro Tip: Make sure your tennis shoes have a good grip and avoid flip-flops. You’ll be walking on muddy trails and climbing large rocks to get to the main attractions. A basic physical fitness level is also recommended.

Multi-Stop San Juan and El Yunque Tours

Visit Puerto Rico’s main attractions including El Morro, Piñones, and El Yunque

Water running into a rocky river in El Yunque
  • Length: 6-7 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: San Juan, El Morro, Piñones, El Yunque Rainforest
  • ✅ Includes: Hotel pickup, local guide, transportation between attractions
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

For families looking to explore multiple Puerto Rico landmarks at once, including El Yunque National Forest, then this tour is a must-do.

This multi-stop San Juan and El Yunque Rainforest tour is a complete day trip that starts out in El Morro, continues in Piñones, and heads out to El Yunque.

Once in El Yunque, you’ll visit one of the easiest hiking trails in the forest that leads to the river, where you won’t resist taking a dip.

El Yunque Rainforest and Bio Bay Combo Tour

This 2-in-1 tour takes you to the top highlights of the east coast – El Yunque and a bioluminescent bay

Glowing water at the Laguna Grande Bio Bay at night
Laguna Grande Bio Bay in Fajardo
  • Length: 12 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, Laguna Grande Bio Bay, swimming, hiking 
  • ✅ Includes: Hotel pickup, snacks, rainforest entry fee
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

If you’re an adventurer who loves pretty sites, then you will love this El Yunque tour combined with a bio bay tour. You’ll start your day at a hidden gem found in El Yunque Rainforest. During your visit, you’ll get to do river wading, hiking, and light climbing.

Make sure to pack your bathing suit to free dive in a natural pool with the help of a rope swing.

If diving isn’t your thing, then you can choose to relax while looking at the beautiful scenery while your tour guides explain the wonders of El Yunque. 

At night, you’ll head to Laguna Grande in Fajardo for a bio bay tour, one of the three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico. Kids will enjoy kayaking through the red mangrove forest before reaching the bay where the glowing water will amaze everyone in the family.

👉 Local Tip: Before heading out on day trips to El Yunque Rainforest, have a solid and good breakfast and plan ahead for your next meal. Hiking in the tropical rainforest is physically demanding so it’s best to carry snacks with you.

El Yunque Twilight Rainforest Tour

See the rainforest come to life as the sun sets behind the horizon

A rocky river at the end of the Angelito Trail
River at the end of Angelito Trail
  • Length: 2.5 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, Angelito trail, hiking, swimming 
  • ✅ Includes: Snacks, towels, bottled water, local guide
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

El Yunque Rainforest is completely different at night, and this tour is a great way to witness how the rainforest comes alive after the sun sets. From the traditional coqui to bats, El Yunque is home to hundreds of nocturnal species you’ll see and hear during this tour.

The hike takes you through natural trails lined with flora and fauna until you reach the Mameyes River, where you can bathe in the cold mineral waters of the forest.

👉 Local Tip: When visiting the rivers and waterfalls of El Yunque Rainforest, always pay attention to possible flash flooding. Due to the frequent rains in Rio Grande, even if it isn’t raining in your area, the river can grow rapidly. Always be attentive to your guide’s instructions.

El Yunque Rainforest, Waterslide, Beach, Dine, and Shop

Scratch a few of Puerto Rico’s popular activities off your list on this day trip

View from the Luquillo Beach at sunset
You’ll also visit Luquillo Beach
  • Length: 6-8 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 4.5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, Las Paylas, Luquillo Beach, Food kiosks 
  • ✅ Includes: Hotel pickup, transportation, local guide
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

This tour is a great way to save time and see a bunch of sites if you’re on a short trip. Not only will you get to visit El Yunque National Forest in Rio Grande, but you’ll also visit other popular attractions in the nearby cities.

Adventurers will love sliding down the natural waterslides in Las Paylas in Luquillo, a breathtaking segment of the forest.

But, after enjoying nature, you’ll head to the famous Luquillo food kiosks, where you can enjoy some of the best Puerto Rico drinks. Shopaholics can hop between the local shops and buy crafts and souvenirs.

You will also enjoy Luquillo Beach, known for its turquoise waters, golden sand, and watersports. Best of all, the tour provider offers transportation from all major hotels in San Juan.

El Yunque Rainforest ATV Ride Experience

Live the thrill of riding an ATV in the foothills of a rainforest

A man riding an ATV on a muddy road in Puerto Rico
  • Length: 1-2 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 4.5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: El Yunque, ATV, rainforest, river 
  • ✅ Includes: Hotel pickup, safety equipment, local guide
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

If hiking is too boring for you, then explore the only tropical rainforest in the United States on an ATV.

This tour takes you to Hacienda Carabali, one of the most popular things to do in Rio Grande. Visitors can choose to take a 1 or 2-hour tour through the foothills of the mountains while crossing muddy paths, rivers, and green fields.

Groups are small, so through this excursion, you will make friends with an entire group of adventurers like yourself.

If you’re interested in a slower-paced adventure, try their horseback riding tour that takes you off the beaten path to the rainforest.

Rainforest Zipline, Luquillo Beach & Natural Springs

Fly over El Yunque trees and slide down its natural waterslides

A woman enjoying her rainforest zipline experience
  • Length: 8 Hours
  • 🌟 Guest Reviews: 4.5/5 Stars
  • 🗺️ Highlights: Zipline, Luquillo Beach, waterslides, natural pool 
  • ✅ Includes: Hotel pickup, zipline equipment, local guide
  • 👉 Check prices & availability here

Another unique way to see El Yunque Rainforest is from above. This combo tour allows adventure fans to fly over the green scenery of El Yunque with a bird’s point of view of the forest.

You’ll also get to visit Las Paylas, an off-the-beaten-path waterfall of El Yunque, and one of the top Luquillo attractions.

While this is overall a family-friendly tour, it’s physically demanding, so it’s best to opt out if you don’t usually have an active lifestyle. The tour operator also establishes a maximum weight limit of 250 pounds.

FAQs About El Yunque Tours

Do I Need to Book a Tour for El Yunque?

Travelers don’t necessarily need to book a tour to visit El Yunque. Most of the places in El Yunque are easy to access and it is possible to drive yourself there from San Juan. However, visiting El Yunque with tours is helpful if you don’t want to drive yourself. Helpful guides can also help you find hidden gems in El Yunque like waterfalls, natural pools, infinity pools, and waterslides that only locals know about. 

How Much Time do You Need in El Yunque?

Visitors could spend anywhere between two and seven days exploring the main sites of El Yunque. Just the main attractions at PR 191, the principal route of El Yunque, can occupy a few days of an itinerary. 

Can You Self Tour El Yunque?

Tourists can self-tour El Yunque if they wish to. Although access to PR 191 after La Mina Recreation Area requires a previous booking, visitors are free to explore on their own. Other popular attractions in El Yunque like Las Paylas waterfall, Puente Roto, and Rio Mameyes are open to the public and visitors can self-tour them. 

How Long is an El Yunque Tour?

Most El Yunque tours take between 4 and 8 hours. Some tours are half-day tours and others are full-day tours and how long they are will depend on the areas covered in the tour. 

Also, some El Yunque tours mix stops in El Yunque National Forest with other popular destinations such as Luquillo Beach and the Fajardo bioluminescent lagoon. Those that include transportation services with pick up and drop off tend to be a little longer.

***

Thanks for reading my guide to the best El Yunque tours and excursions! El Yunque is one of the best outdoorsy things to see in Puerto Rico, and fun is guaranteed. If you’re looking for more fun excursions, check out the top excursions to do in Puerto Rico

Have fun on your El Yunque tour!

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2 Comments

  1. We are going to PR this year. Thanks for the info.
    I need to take an easy hike/ tour through y the rain forest as I am 81 years old.
    Please recommend.
    Thanks

    1. Janet – I am also looking for an easy tour through the rain forest. No slides or swings for me! Did you find one yet? Thanks, Dineen

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