Birdwatching in El Yunque National Forest and Loquillo Beach

Spring has certainly sprung over in our little corner of Coastal Connecticut! For me, that means spring cleaning every nook and cranny, yard work, and enjoying the heck outta the outdoors. But! I can’t let one more day go by without sharing the final full day we spent in Puerto Rico–it’s been a week and a half since we were there.

The visitor center at El Yunque National Forest was great- all outdoors, but well covered. There were many exhibits on the wildlife, Rainforest preservation, and we caught an English version of the documentary that shared all of this information in a way that our seven year old could bear.

El Yunque is the only forest in the United States National Park system that is a tropical Rainforest. With my obsession with National Parks (Remember, I eloped in one?), it’s suitable that we showed up to el unique El Yunque during the National Park Service Centennial.

Visitors Center for El Yunque National Forest in Puerto RicoThe guide at the front of the visitor’s center directed us to the road in which we could make a few pit stops for photo opps before taking a family-friendly hike to La Mina Falls. But, we saw a small trail on the way out, and couldn’t wait  to start hiking. Father son hiking in El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto RicoFather and son birdwatching in El Yunque National Forest Rainforest in Puerto RicoJungle in the Rainforest of El Yunque National Forest in Puerto RicoI was in full #crazybirdlady mode, and crossing my fingers I’d see some of the colorful birds I had learned about in the visitor center. In the mean time, I was taking photos of the flora when this quick little guy flew in. Flora and Fauna in El Yunque Rainforest National Forest in Puerto RicoFlora and Fauna in El Yunque Rainforest National Forest in Puerto Rico (6)You can’t tell, but that above is a subspecies of the goldfinch that can only be found in Puerto Rico. On the other side of its wings are the brightest shades of royal blue and turquoise. But, no picture of that for me. I was sure I’d see more on our next hike, so I wasn’t upset, but that moment is what I had been practicing for.Flora and Fauna in El Yunque Rainforest National Forest in Puerto Rico (5)Flora and Fauna in El Yunque Rainforest National Forest in Puerto Rico (4)Flora and Fauna in El Yunque Rainforest National Forest in Puerto Rico (3)Flora and Fauna in El Yunque Rainforest National Forest in Puerto Rico (2)The Jungles of the Rainforest at El Yunque National Forest in Puerto RicoWe got on the road toward where the guide suggested we go, and it immediately started to downpour. When the rain let up a bit, we got out of the car to check out La Coca Falls.No hike to Coca Falls Waterfall in El Yunque National Forest, Rainforest in Puerto RicoThe next pit stop was for Yokahu Observation Tower. What a view. From the top, you could see above all of the vegetation and hills of the Rainforest, all the way to the nearby beach. It glowed with color, even on the cloudy day.View from Yokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque Rainforst National ForestYokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque Rainforst National ForestYokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque Rainforst National Forest view from windowsWindow view from Yokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque Rainforst National ForestBirwatching in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto RicoSee it?

But, right as we reached the top, the rain intensified. We rushed to the car, and drove toward the hike we intended on taking. There was not a single spot in the lot–clearly it wasn’t going to be much of an intimate-with-nature hike. We circled back, then found a spot–people were rushing out to their cars with the intensity of the rain–but we only walked a few steps before we were drenched and decided this wasn’t the best thing to do with a young child.

I know I’m a better outdoorswoman than one that would let a little hell of a lot of rain get in the way of a hike, but I’m always a mother before anything else. Thankfully, we already had a brief hike.

Loquillo Beach

After getting rained out of the Rainforest, we headed over to Loquillo Beach. Our Puerto Rican friend recommended the kiosks as some of the best places to eat on the island, so we couldn’t miss out, whether we had beach weather or not. We ended up getting killer grilled rabbit, so it was definitely worth it.

The rain let up just long enough for me to chase a few of the birds and take a few  pictures, but then it resumed. Tobias wasn’t so upset about missing out on the Puerto Rican  beach, because he ended up doing a little shopping at the retail kiosks.

more brdwatching at loquillo beach in Puerto RicoLoquillo Beach in Puerto Rico Birdsloquilllo beach in puerto ricoloquillo beach in Puerto RicoLoquilo Beach in Puerto RicoLoquillo Beach in Puerto Rico rainy daykid exploring loquillo beach on s rainy day in Puerto Rico

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3 thoughts on “Birdwatching in El Yunque National Forest and Loquillo Beach

  1. I have never gone bird watching, I can identify maybe 6 birds total, maybe. But the last few months it seems like birding is EVERYWHERE in my view…that probably means something.

    Gorgeous photos!
    xox

  2. Great pics! My sis was just sitting here with me as I’m looking at your post and she was just reminiscing about her visit to El Yunque. She too said it was colorful and stunning!

    You did good not having your son hike in the pouring rain. 😉

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