I never thought I’d have such an epic adventure in the Puerto Rico, until I discovered the el Yunque Jungle Bed and Breakfast that has it all.
Want to know a little secret about how I plan my adventures? I zoom in on maps and look for big patches of green, tiny islands, or interesting names, then I look them up to see what they look like. That’s how I planned my jungle adventure in Puerto Rico. Try it! Google “Puerto Rico”, zoom in on the biggest green patch, and click where it says El Yunque National Forest. From there, you can click the website it suggests to see the official National Park page, or you can follow another little secret I have to find a place to stay in the jungle.
While still zoomed in on the area of interest and with the name of it still in the search bar, type “hotels near” in front of El Yunque and voila! You can see all of the hotel options and their information. The one I clicked was obviously the one that was furthest in the jungle called Casa Flamboyant, and when I clicked on it on the map I was instantly sold.
It’s main photo is of a freaking infinity pool going out over the freaking El Yunque jungle. Enough said. I booked two nights at Casa Flamboyant, thinking I’d plan to just go hike in the National Park, but after speaking with Ricky, one of the awesome owners, I started to realize that just staying at this jungle bed and breakfast was going to be an all-in-one adventure on its own.
Brace yourselves for awesomeness, because this place is freaking unreal.
1. Stay 1500 Feet Up in the Jungle
It’s like a tree house…except way more luxurious
When Ricky first “warned” me that Casa Flamboyant is a little hard to find with GPS because it’s 1500 feet up in the rainforest, my reaction of course was, “Hell yeah!” The exotic bed and breakfast is on the south side of El Yunque, which is way less touristy and populated than the north side. When I finally got up there, Ricky gave me a tour of what is probably the most epic accommodation I’ve ever stayed at in my life, which includes a 180 degree birds eye view of the rainforest, and even the island of Vieques in the distance.
Yeah…this was on the patio in front of my room.
Of course, what better thing to do when you have that view than bask in its visual glory while laying in a hammock, right? They have them set up all throughout the property, so you can swing and relax while watching the waterfalls in the distance.
2. Swim in an Infinity Pool of Rainforest Water
Don’t mind me, just going to swim around in rainforest water while watching a waterfall.
That jungle infinity pool you see in the pictures online…is 8,000 times awesomer in real life. Not only does it have that money shot view of the El Yunque jungle, and a waterfall directly in front of it…but it’s filled with fresh rainforest water, which I hear is capable of turning you into a unicorn. In fact, Ricky explained to me that all of the water on the property comes from the rainforest, which means it’s all super pure and fresh and magical.
3. Hike Through On-Property Jungle Paths
That is definitely the jungle.
Here’s what got me really amped up to stay at Casa Flamboyant; when Ricky told me that they have two on-property jungle hiking paths that are only accessible if you stay on the property. That means no tourists, no people staring at me for using a selfie stick, and seeing something that most people have never seen before in their lives. Sign me up.
Check out my tour guide, isn’t he cute?
It was like everything I always dreamt a jungle hike would be. Giant green leaves and exotic flowers reaching out at me over the damp dirt path, vines hanging from trees begging to be swung from, and the natural background music of birds chirping and frogs “Coqui“-ing. If you’re lucky, the dog that lives at Casa Flamboyant named Obie will be your tour guide through the jungle, and will show you to his favorite hang out spots…
4. Secret Waterfalls and Swimming Holes
Nothing like a back massage by a waterfall
I will hike, climb, swim or paddle through just about anything if it involves a waterfall at the end of it. That’s exactly what the two private jungle hikes led to from Casa Flamboyant. Throw in the fact that these waterfalls are also secret and you’ve got one eager little adventurer hiking through the jungle! It was so cool to experience a hidden waterfall in the El Yunque rainforest that you could just play in without anyone else around. That’s because you literally cannot get to it unless you’re staying at Casa Flamboyant!
The waterfall at the end of the path on the left is a lot taller and wider, and has a few boulders at the base of it that you can sit on and get massaged by the tumbling water. The waterfall at the end of the path to the right is more narrow, and kind of looks like it would make a good water slide, except when I attempted to do that I got pummeled under water by the under tow. Still fun though.
I decided it was safer to just swim in the little pools…
I liked the waterfall on the left better, but the swimming hole on the right more, because it had a ton of little shallow pools you can swim in and the water isn’t as cold. I also suck at swimming and being cold, so the shallow pools definitely won me over.
5. Authentic Puerto Rican Experience
Yeah…that came from their yard.
You may feel like you’re in some far away exotic island when you’re hiking through the El Yunque jungle, but you’ll definitely also get an authentic Puerto Rican experience when you stay at Casa Flamboyant. Each morning, you’ll be served a delicious breakfast that the other owner, Florin, prepares using all organic ingredients that are either grown on the property or sourced locally. Since Florin is really freaking good at cooking, the meal is more of a gourmet spin on Puerto Rican food, with a few twists that make for something you’ve probably never tasted before.
For dinner, both owners recommended a local place down the street called Nuela’s, which Ricky made sure to note is more like a dive than a typical restaurant. That’s because it’s not an actual restaurant. Nuela herself pretty much just runs the place for fun, and only comes up on weekends to cook, or if Ricky calls in advance to say he has guests that would like to go. The menu consists of pretty much whatever is in her refrigerator, and is prepared in authentic Puerto Rican style.
Was about to leave but Nuela stopped me and had me play the maracas!
I’m not entirely sure what kind of random fish she served me with my mofongo, but it was pretty freaking good for being mystery meat. Before I could leave, Nuela stopped me and started playing music from her juke box, then proceeded to keep handing me different types of instruments to play along with her. It was definitely a very awesome and very authentic experience!
6. SEE the Coquis
Little frog…big sound.
Coqui frogs are the staple animal of Puerto Rico. They’re called Coqui’s because the noise they make at night sounds like a high-pitched “Coqui!” So imagine hundreds of them and you can probably picture what a nice little natural rainforest sound track you’ll hear at night. That is…unless one gets in your room…then it’s a very loud rainforest sound track.
You’ll definitely HEAR the Coqui frogs in many parts of Puerto Rico, but they’re very small, and only come out at night, so they aren’t as easy to see. But, as you can imagine, there are tons of them that like to hang out at the jungle bungalow, so you’ll definitely be able to spot them at night at Casa Flamboyant.
If you stay at Casa Flamboyant, be sure to give Ricky and Florin a big hug for me!
Alyssa is a self-made, full time travel blogger who loves adventure and typically travels the world solo. She's been to 53 countries and 6 continents so far, and believes she has mastered the art of chasing waterfalls, traveling solo, wine drinking, and making budget-traveling look good. Curious to know how she started this career? Check out the About section above!