An Engagement Session at El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico’s National Treasure
Today's Amanda and Enrique's wedding, so we're starting the celebrations early in the blog by revealing their engagement photo session at El Yunque Rainforest. Visiting El Yunque for adventure photo sessions, I never know which locations we'll use or how many photos we'll be able to do before it rains. One thing is guaranteed, though: we'll have a lot of fun!
El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico
El Yunque rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in eastern Puerto Rico's main island. It is home to over 200 species of birds and is also known for its lush vegetation and waterfalls.
El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest Service, has been called "the lungs of Puerto Rico" because of its ability to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
How to visit El Yunque Rainforest
To keep the parks safe and minimize the traffic impact on the natural sights, The National Forest Service requires reservations through the US Department of Recreation to visit El Yunque Rainforest. These can be booked a month in advance, and a last batch of tickets is released 24 hours in advance for last-minute travelers.
You need a car rental or a tour to get in at El Yunque Rainforest, as rideshares or taxis aren't allowed inside. El Yunque tickets cost $2 per vehicle, and the website will enable you to book two tickets per order.
Suppose you can't get tickets on time. In that case, you can still trek the Angelito Trail or stop by Rio Espíritu Santo to see parts of the rainforest without a reservation.
Amanda and Enrique's Adventure Engagement Photo Session
Our meeting point at La Coca Waterfalls was irregularly empty on the date of Amanda and Enrique's engagement photo session. Usually the most popular photo spot for tourists, we started our photo session there before driving up to more adventurous trails.
We then visited one of my all-time favorite waterfalls in Puerto Rico for portraits: Juan Diego Waterfalls. These series of falls are relatively safe to be in and easily accessible. If the day is drier, we can sometimes get to the final fall, which is enormous but requires climbing through muddy terrain.
That day the weather was perfect for an outdoor engagement session at El Yunque Rainforest. Of course, it is never really sunny in the rainforest, and it rains almost every day, but it was cool and dry enough.
It's important to remember that on rainy days you shouldn't get inside of a fall and should always be looking for signs of a flash flood, which are potentially fatal events.
This couple had a great time exploring the trails and taking pictures together. Although the pace at my rainforest portrait sessions is always slower than at other locations, we still built up a sweat by moving around. When I presented the option of finishing inside the water, Amanda and Enrique didn't think twice about walking into the cold, refreshing waters.
We had so much fun, and I'm so excited to meet again to celebrate your wedding day finally!