El Yunque NF
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  • Planning a Field Trip to El Yunque

    *Note: Due to the COVID pandemic we are currently unable to provide programs for school groups at this time*

    Thank you for your interest in bringing an educational group to El Yunque! The forest continues to recuperate from Hurricane Maria and options are limited. The safety and quality of your experience is important to us, so please read the following carefully and follow these guidelines: 

    Minimum Visiting Requirements for all Educational Groups:

    1. Safety requirement: Due to safety regulations, visiting groups with grades K-12 must have a minimum of 1 group leader for every 10 students, while university groups must have at least 1 professor tending the group.
    2. Identification requirement: Students must come in uniforms or have visible identification.
    3. Reservation requirement: All school groups are required to make a reservation at least 2 weeks prior to visiting El Yunque National Forest. Sign off on Contacto Verde forms and access into the forest during heavy visitation cannot be guaranteed without prior reservation. All forms and supporting information can be found on the web HERE

    Making your Required Reservation: (Due to the COVID pandemic we are currently unable to provide programs for school groups at this time)

    1. Once the reservation application is submitted under the appropriate time, the forest’s Conservation Education Coordinator will process and schedule the visit, pending all information is complete. Forest staff may contact the group leader in case additional information is needed.
    2. A confirmation email will be sent to the soliciting group, with the Reservation Confirmation​ at least one week in advance to the requested date.
    3. The group leader must then print a copy of the Confirmation and have at hand for Forest staff the day of the visit.
    4. Please be aware that due to weather or emergency closures, the forest may close with little to no  advanced notice.

    Planning your Visit:

    Regulations: Before visiting, group leaders must ensure that all group members are aware of the forest regulations, and uphold to them during their visitation:

    • Please talk with classroom noise levels while visiting the forest so as not to alter the experience of other    visitors.
    • Pack it in, pack it out! Please dispose of trash by taking it with you out of the forest and disposing of properly.
    • If entering the Gift Stores, students must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
    • Do not feed or disturb any animals found in the forest.
    • Help preserve and protect this special forest by informing Forest staff if someone is writing or scratching building surfaces or the trees of the Forest. This can result in a citation and possible fines of $100.00 36CFR 261.9(a)
    • It is​ not permitted for buses to block the roads or the traffic flow.
    • For your safety, it is recommended that groups do not walk in the road.

    Group Capacity in All areas: Maximum 30 people per group (if you have more, then they should be divided into 2 groups with an itinerary switch or stagger of timing for the most enjoyable experience).

    Transportation: Maximum of 40’ size of School Bus. Vehicles with commercial plates won't be admitted without prior approval. Arranging this is your responsibility*

    Entrance Fee: Free (all fees are currently being waived as the forest and facilities recover)

    Parking: School buses may only park in the parking areas at Palo Colorado, Stone House, Upper Baño de Oro, and Palma Sierra. Forest Service staff can provide additional information on-site or view the MAP here.

    Restrictions: Groups greater than 75 require a special non-commercial permit (but still must split into groups of no greater than 30). Permits can be requested from Myrna Tirado by emailing myrna.tirado@usda.gov.

    What to bring: For greater enjoyment and safety during the visit, it is recommended that every group member brings water, snacks, a garbage bag, sunblock, rainwear, and comfortable shoes.

    Contacto Verde: Any Forest Staff is able to sign off on Contacto Verde hours . Stop in at Yokahu Tower or Palo Colorado specifically for stamping of forms for Contacto Verde hours.


    Planning your Itinerary:

    Use the MAP to determine what areas you will visit. Verify that the areas are currently open to the public. Mt. Britton trail is not recommended due to the difficulty of turning buses around on the Road 191/9938 loop. Locations recommended for school groups to visit are:

    • La Coca Falls
    • Yokahu Tower
    • Palma Sierra
    • Palo Colorado area
    • Angelito Trail

    Educational Talks in the Forest: (Due to the COVID pandemic we are currently unable to provide programs for school groups at this time) Forest Rangers can speak briefly to your students on a variety of topics. Plan for 20 minutes - 1 hour for this activity. This must be arranged with the Forest Service in advance to ensure availability.

    Some of the themes available:

    Biodiversity of El Yunque • The Coquis and Tree Frogs of Puerto Rico • The Importance of Water to El Yunque • Extinction in Puerto Rico: what we lost, what remains • The Wild and Scenic Rivers of El Yunque • Through the Years: the History of El Yunque • Climate Change: Potential Effects in El Yunque • The Importance of Trees • At-Risk Species 

    Solicitud de Reserva por Grupos Escolares
    Suggested Itineraries