Here's a stunning aerial view of El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service.

Coquí in the Rainforest

In Puerto Rico's tropical rainforest, El Yunque, it is easy to have an encounter with our beloved little tree frog, the coquí, as it is a perfect habitat for this species.

The coquí, an endemic amphibian on the Island, enchants the forest at night with its peculiar song that sounds the same as its name ("co-kee.") In this episode, we invite you on an adventure to explore the forest alongside the forest's Heritage Program Manager and archeologist, Raymond Feliciano — and learn more about this tiny singing creature. You'll also learn some Taíno phrases and words that we still use today. The Taínos were Puerto Rico's first inhabitants, and they venerated El Yunque, as they believed the mountains of the rainforest were sacred and served as a home for gods and spirits. 

Visit El Yunque National Forest

In Puerto Rico's tropical rainforest, El Yunque, it is easy to have an encounter with our beloved little tree frog, the coquí, as it is a perfect habitat for this species.

A coquí frog.

In El Yunque it is easy to have encounters with our beloved little frog, the coquí.

Adopt a Coquí

Puerto Rico is full of natural beauty and unique habitats like mangroves, rainforests, coral reefs, salt flats, bioluminescent bays, and caves from the coast to the mountains.

The heart and soul of the Caribbean has 36 nature reserves, with El Yunque being the most important. The only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System is home to the coquí, our beloved tiny frog.

In good time, you'll plan a future visit to our forest to enjoy their serenade in person. But, in the meantime, you can virtually adopt a coquí and support on-Island sustainability and conservation programs.


Fun facts

The amphibian's common name derives from the co-kee sound produced by males to attract females.

Although the female coquí doesn't sing, it emits a sound when it feels threatened.

Studies show that the first "co" part of a call deters other males, while the "quí" part attracts the females.

There are 17 endemic species of coquí in Puerto Rico— 13 of which can be found in El Yunque.

The coquí is considered the loudest known amphibian; its call has been recorded at peaks of a hundred decibels from three feet away.

Exploring El Yunque Hiking Trails

More about El Yunque

Its name derives from the Taíno word Yuque or Yuké, which means White Earth (Tierra Blanca in Spanish). The Taínos gave it this name because of the white clouds that covered the mountains.

According to various historians, the Taínos believed that their benevolent god Yocahu (also found as Yúcahu, Yocajú, Yukiyú) lived at the top of the mountains of El Yunque and protected them from the god of disorder responsible for hurricanes, Juracán (also known as Huricán.)

The English word hurricane comes from the Taíno word hurakán

The observation tower at El Yunque is named after the god Yokahu.

From there, you can observe two landslides that occurred during hurricanes Irma and María. Park rangers refer to them as Yocahu's battle scars, as El Yunque protected the Island once again from Huricán.

Although it expands for 28,000 acres, El Yunque is one of the smallest forests in the world.

El Yunque has the largest concentration of biodiversity in Puerto Rico. Besides the abundance of coquí, the forest is home to nearly 70 kinds of birds, over 200 types of trees, over 10 species of bats, and multiple lizards.

Before being acquired by the United States Forest Service System, El Yunque was declared a protected territory by the King of Spain in 1876.

During World War II, the US Army placed a radar on the second highest peak to detect German aircraft and submarines. 

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