El Yunque Trail
Why the rain forest pathways are surfaced

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El Yunque Hikes

Caribbean National Forest

There are 2 reasons why El Yunque's trails are surfaced with asphalt or concrete.

One, to combat erosion, is not surprising. Some sections of forest sidewalk have to be repaired and replaced almost every year because of the torrential runoffs.

The second reason for the hard-surfaced paths is wonderfully unique, even for the Caribbean.

As one Puerto Rican tourism official explained to me, "We don't like to walk.

"We are a 'car' people and we like to drive everywhere. We would drive to the bathroom if we could.

"The idea of walking through the forest on dirt paths where you might get your shoes dirty does not truly appeal to a lot of us."

And so a mini-road system (the width of a typical bicycle path) travels through the El Yunque wilderness to make the forest as accessible and as alluring as the Puerto Rican culture will allow.

With this kind of cultural perspective, it should be no surprise that at present there few people who specialize in hiking or wilderness guide service.   

Go To El Yunque Rain Forest Hikes

Go To El Yunque Visitor Center Information

Go To Puerto Rico Homepage