North America may be the last place anyone may think about when it comes to rainforests. However, the United States (U.S.) is home to a few rainforests.
Most rainforests in the U.S. are temperate rainforests except for one.
The rainforest located in Puerto Rico is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. The rainforest is called the El Yunque National Forest or the Caribbean National Forest.
The El Yunque National Forest is located in northeastern Puerto Rico on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo mountains. It encompasses more than 28,000 acres and is the largest block of public land in Puerto Rico.
It is also one of the smallest rainforests in the country but is also considered to be the most diverse. The rainforest resembles a jungle with foliage, waterfalls, and rivers. The forest records over 200 inches of rain annually and is characterized to have a tropical rainforest climate.
The forest is also home to several archaeological sites related to the indigenous Tainos people.
As early as the 18th century, the forest was exploited for its timber, and areas of the forest were also cut down for agricultural use. Efforts have been made by the government for reforestation and the conservation of critically endangered species.
The El Yunque National Forest currently serves as a tourist attraction. There are options for visitors to hike, explore the scenery and enjoy the waterfalls and greenery.