Las Cabezas Observation Point – El Yunque

Las Cabezas Observation Point – El Yunque

Las Cabezas Observation Point is the very first point of interest you will come across after the El Portal Tropical Forest Center. It is located on the east, left side of PR 191 in a right hand turn as you ascend the mountain. It is just a hop skip and a jump before La Coca Waterfall and Parking Area.

The parking area for Las Cabezas Observation Point is limited to a handful of cars. You could pass this point and come back to it on your way back down PR 191, but you may regret that decision. The reason is that it offers you the first point to get some great scenic pictures and if the weather is clear TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. The weather in El Yunque National Forest can change quickly so don’t hesitate on a good opportunity for pictures.

*A note from the National Forest Website is that you should close windows, lock doors, and place valuables in your trunk.

GPS Coordinates : 18.319673, -65.76924

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La Coca Trail – El Yunque

La Coca Trail – El Yunque

La Coca Trail is located a fraction of a kilometer up the mountain from La Coca Waterfall. The La Coca Trailhead is located on the east side of PR 191 and has limited parking so there is a chance that you will need to park at the Yokahu Tower Parking Lot or the La Coca Waterfall Parking Lot.

If you are interested in hiking La Coca Trail you will want to check and make sure that the trail is open. The next thing you will want to do is make sure you are prepared for one of the more difficult hikes in the El Yunque National Forest Trail System. They have this trail rated as challenging and post an elevation change of 656 feet.

*A note from the National Forest Website is that you should close windows, lock doors, and place valuables in your trunk.

GPS Coordinates : 18.315451, -65.77093

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La Coca Waterfall – El Yunque

La Coca Waterfall – El Yunque

La Coca Waterfall is the first major point of interest that you will come across in El Yunque National Forest. It can be seen on our map below, but you will see it on the west, right, side of PR 191 as you head up the mountain. La Coca Waterfall is at kilometer 8.1, but the only way you will miss it is if you are driving with your eyes closed.

La Coca is the most easily accessed large waterfall in all of El Yunque National Forest. For that reason it is also a very popular destination and thus has two designated parking areas. The north and south parking areas can be seen both on our map and in the pictures below.

As for the waterfall itself, it is breathtaking due to it’s size and how smooth the rock formation appears. There will be plenty of people there taking pictures and enjoying the view, especially on weekends. This is probably the best place to start off your El Yunque adventure.

From La Coca Waterfall you will head up the mountain to a number of great destinations, but none of them will offer a view like this with such little effort with the exception of Yokahu Tower.

*A note from the National Forest Website is that you should close windows, lock doors, and place valuables in your trunk.

 

GPS Coordinates : 18.318769, -65.771252

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Juan Diego Waterfall – El Yunque

Juan Diego Waterfall – El Yunque

Juan Diego Waterfall is actually a pair of small waterfalls. It is located just a short distance (less than a km) up the mountain from Yokahu Tower. You will see these waterfalls on the west side, right side, of PR 191 as you are ascending towards Big Tree Trail. They are located on the apex of a blind turn.

Along with the fact that Juan Diego Waterfall is located on a blind turn, there’s also no designated parking area so you should be careful. You can see from our pictures below that people just park off the side of the road.

The pair of waterfalls that make up Juan Diego Waterfall are not nearly as large as La Mina Waterfall or La Coca Waterfall, but still make for a great picture opportunity.

Please feel free to use the map below to get a better idea of the exact location of Juan Diego Waterfall in reference to other points of interest.

*A note from the National Forest Website is that you should close windows, lock doors, and place valuables in your trunk.

GPS Coordinates : 18.311874, -65.776952
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El Portal Tropical Forest Center – El Yunque

El Portal Tropical Forest Center – El Yunque

As you enter El Yunque National Forest on PR 191 you will see El Portal Tropical Forest Center on your right hand side. Stopping there is not mandatory, but will offer you a good insight to El Yunque National Forest from all aspects of wildlife and plants. It will also give you a good layout of the National Forest.

The El Portal Tropical Forest Center acts as the complete learning and information center for the Rain Forest. You will also find a learning theatre, gift shop, and food area at the Center. This learning facility is run by the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

It is important to know that the El Portal Tropical Forest Center does have an entrance fee. The fee is $4 for adults and $2 for seniors over 65 years old. There is NO fee for children under 15 years of age, or for educational groups. The Center is open every day except for Christmas. It’s hours of operation are 9 AM until 4:30 PM.

GPS Coordinates : 18.339485, -65.761998

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