El Yunque NF
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  • Planning a Field Trip to El Yunque

    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. We can provide programs for school groups of 30 or less at El Portal Visitor Center with prior reservations on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday when staff is available.
    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 the Forest. Sign off on Contacto Verde forms and access into the forest during heavy visitation cannot be guaranteed without prior reservation and may be limited for visitor safety due to parking availability and ongoing road construction projects.

    Making your Required Reservation:

    1. Once the reservation application is submitted under the appropriate time, the Forest staff 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 visit:

    • 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 of 30 people per group.

    Transportation: Maximum of 40’ size of School Bus. Vehicles with commercial plates won't be admitted without prior approval. Due to parking capacity limitations and road construction, access to the main Rd 191 corridor may not be authorized for school buses. *Arranging transportation is your responsibility*

    Entrance Fee: Fees are currently waived for school/educational groups at El Portal. Fees for other groups apply at El Portal Visitor Center and reservations are required in Recreation.gov to access the Rd 191 corridor

    Parking: School buses may only park in designated parking areas.

    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.

    For non-educational groups, entrance fees at El Portal will apply and advanced reservations is Recreation.gov are needed to access the main recreation area along Rd 191.

    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: Forest Staff at El Portal Visitor Center are able to stamp forms for Contacto Verde hours.


    Educational Talks at El Portal: Forest Rangers can speak briefly to your students on a variety of topics at El Portal Visitor Center. This must be arranged with the Forest Service in advance to ensure availability. This must be arranged with the Forest Service in advance to ensure availability. Plan for 20 minutes - 1 hour for this activity.

    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