Climb to the lookout deck of Yokahú Tower (La Torre Yokahú) to experience a feeling of being on top of the world, high above the Luquillo Mountains. Look out over the cloud-covered peaks, forested mountain slopes and sweeping valleys. The U.S. Forestry Service constructed the 75-foot-tall (23-meter) Yokahú Tower in 1962 to give tourists the chance to appreciate the beauty of El Yunque National Forest.
Walk up the tower’s 98 steps to its panoramic viewing platform. Windows set at different levels in the tower’s outer wall offer glimpses of the views that await you at the top. Gaze in awe as the mountains roll down into valleys and as the picturesque countryside stretches to Puerto Rico Island’s northeast coastline.
Set around the tower are interpretive signs, which provide information about the national forest and point out major landmarks. Spot the peaks of El Yunque and Los Picachos. On clear and sunny days you can see as far as Fajardo Lighthouse, Luquillo Beach and Seven Seas Beach.
El Yunque National Forest is home to over 200 species of trees and other plants. Have fun trying to recognize examples such as impatiens, tabonuco and yagrumo. Watch as broad-winged hawks and colorful birds fly overhead. Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of the rarely seen Puerto Rican parrot, whose bright green plumage provides camouflage in the rain forest.
The tower is located just off the main road that cuts through the heart of the forest. The towns of Luquillo and Río Grande are each about a 30-minute drive away. El Portal Visitor Center is 10 minutes by car to the north and Palo Colorado Information Center is 5 minutes to the south. Use the free parking available a short walk from the entrance to the tower.
Yokahú Tower is open daily and admission is free. Pick a day promising clear weather to avoid having views blocked by clouds. Arrive early in the morning if you wish to dodge the large tourist crowds. Otherwise, visit in the afternoon and linger for long enough to witness the sun beginning to set.