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BEGINS IN: SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

Kaleidoscope of Cultures: Puerto Rico’s History and Heritage from Pre-history to Present-day

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Road Scholar
Program #15635RJ
8 Days | 7 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
On field trips max elevation 2,000 feet.

Equipment Requirements
Lightweight rain jacket, sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, binoculars, insect repellent.

Itinerary for Jan 11 — Jan 18, 2015

Expand all
Type: Inn

Description: At the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in San Juan, they want to make your stay perfect. If you want to surf the web on your laptop, do so with their free high speed internet access. Run a few miles in their exercise room, or swim some laps in the pool. You'll even find a convenience store at the hotel in San Juan. If you're looking for recommendations on what to do and where to eat in San Juan, just ask the staff and they'll be happy to help!

Contact info:
6530 Isla Verde Avenue
San Juan, PR 00979 Puerto Rico
phone: +7877918777
web: hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=SJUHHHX

Room amenities: Coffee Maker Complimentary Hot Breakfast High Speed Internet-No Charge Iron Iron/Ironing Board Lap Desk Curved Shower Rod Easy to Set Alarm Clock Radio LCD Flat Panel TV Waterpik(R) Showerhead

Facility amenities: Baggage Storage Coin Laundry Elevators Laundry/Valet Service Lounge Luggage Hold Multi-Lingual Staff On-Site Convenience Store Room Service Safety Deposit Box

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call the hotel for price
Please call the hotel in San Juan directly. It is very important to mention that you are from World Events/Road Scholar group. The telephone in San Juan is 1-787-791-8777.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, January 11 - Independent arrivals / Orientation / Welcome Dinn...
Arrive To: Luis Munoz Marin International Airport. You are responsible for taking a Taxi from the airport to the Hampton Inn Isla Verde. After picking up your baggage follow the ground transportation sign to the taxi kiosk outside the terminal building, get a slip and wait in line. The cost is around $15 to $20 dependending on gas prices. Taxis are regulated by the Port Authorities.

Afternoon: INDEPENDENT ARRIVALS.

HOTEL CHECK-IN: Hotel check-in will be available beginning at 3:00 PM.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION & ORIENTATION: We will gather at 5:00 PM in our reserved room at the hotel (please ask the front desk for the location) for introductions and an orientation to the program. We will provide an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather and other local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.

Lodging: Hampton Inn by Hilton

Meals Included: Dinner

Type: Hotel

Description: Built in a Classical European Spanish architectural style, the Hotel Melia has been family owned and operated for over 100 years. Located on corner of the central Plaza Las Delicias, opposite the Parque de Bombas museum and tourist information center, the hotel lies in the heart of Ponce, making it ideal for independent explorations.

Contact info:
75 Calle Cristina
Ponce, PR 00733 Puerto Rico
phone: +7878420260
web: www.hotelmeliapr.com

Room amenities: Air conditioned, cable TV, wireless internet and digital telephone.

Facility amenities: Pool, WIFI (sometimes slow), Business Center with Internet Access, 24 hr front desk,.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Two: Monday, January 12 - Travel to Ponce / Ponce City Tour / Museo de Arte...
Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice.

Morning: Transit via the Luis A. Ferre Highway over La Cordillera Central (the island's main mountain range) into the southern part of Puerto Rico.

FIELD TRIP: We will embark on a walking and trolley tour as we begin our exploration of the city of Ponce and its stunning architecture. Along the way you'll have an opportunity to see the beautiful and unique historic Ponce Firehouse and the Ponce Cathedral.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we'll visit the renovated Museo de Arte de Ponce. Closed while undergoing extensive renovations, the museum was reopened in November 2010 in time for the celebration of its 50th anniversary. The $30 million renovation included an expansion, which increased the size of the museum by over 40%. The Museo de Arte houses the most important collection of European art in Latin America. Among its collection are works from the 14th to the 20th century, including Italian Baroque, British Pre-Raphaelite, Spanish Golden Age and contemporary Latin-American pieces. Some of the artists whose paintings and works are exhibited at the museum include Peter Paul Rubens, Lucas Cranach, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Eugène Delacroix, and Sir Edward Burne-Jones, among others. The museum's masterpiece is the Flaming June, painted by Frederic Leighton.

HOTEL CHECK IN: Approximate check in to the hotel around 4:00 PM.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant within walking distance to the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Melia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Hotel

Description: Built in a Classical European Spanish architectural style, the Hotel Melia has been family owned and operated for over 100 years. Located on corner of the central Plaza Las Delicias, opposite the Parque de Bombas museum and tourist information center, the hotel lies in the heart of Ponce, making it ideal for independent explorations.

Contact info:
75 Calle Cristina
Ponce, PR 00733 Puerto Rico
phone: +7878420260
web: www.hotelmeliapr.com

Room amenities: Air conditioned, cable TV, wireless internet and digital telephone.

Facility amenities: Pool, WIFI (sometimes slow), Business Center with Internet Access, 24 hr front desk,.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Tuesday, January 13 - Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center / El Museo de la H...
Breakfast: Enjoy a continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs,sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pastries, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we'll venture to the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center. The Tibes Center is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Caribbean featuring a significant number of artifacts and structures of pre-Taino Indians dating back to 600 AD. Excavations began in 1975 when Tropical Storm Eloise's rainfall caused landslides, exposing the ancient site. Since then archaeologists have uncovered seven ball courts, two ceremonial plazas, burial grounds with at least 180 skeletons, as well as various pieces of pottery, tools and charms.

FIELD TRIP: Following our visit to the Tibes Indian Center, we'll depart for El Museo de la Historia de Ponce (History of Ponce Museum). The museum offers visitors a marvelous opportunity to explore Ponce's rich history. Located in the Casa Salazar, the museum (built in 1911) is an architectural wonder in and of itself, combining typical ponceño, Moorish and neoclassical elements of architecture. Officially opened in 1992, the museum's exhibits demonstrate the growth and change the city has undergone since the time of the Taíno Indians. Considered a large museum in relation to the size of Ponce, the Museo de la Historia de Ponce has ten galleries documenting the city's history regarding politics, culture, economy, ecology, education, medicine, architecture and daily life, with the majority of the artifacts donated by local citizens.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: LECTURE: Puerto Rican Music Heritage - An Interactive Music Experience. Learn how the music of Puerto Rico has evolved as a heterogeneous and dynamic product of diverse cultural resources.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own to explore the local cuisine. The hotel front desk and your coordinator can provide you with different options.

Lodging: Hotel Melia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Type: Hotel

Description: Built in a Classical European Spanish architectural style, the Hotel Melia has been family owned and operated for over 100 years. Located on corner of the central Plaza Las Delicias, opposite the Parque de Bombas museum and tourist information center, the hotel lies in the heart of Ponce, making it ideal for independent explorations.

Contact info:
75 Calle Cristina
Ponce, PR 00733 Puerto Rico
phone: +7878420260
web: www.hotelmeliapr.com

Room amenities: Air conditioned, cable TV, wireless internet and digital telephone.

Facility amenities: Pool, WIFI (sometimes slow), Business Center with Internet Access, 24 hr front desk,.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Wednesday, January 14 - Hacienda Buena Vista / El Museo de la Musica de P...
Hacienda Buena Vista / El Museo de la Musica de Puerto Rico / Armstrong-Poventud and Wiechers-Villaronga Residences / Salsa Class

Breakfast: Enjoy a continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs,sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pastries, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning's field trip will be to the Hacienda Buena Vista, a 19th century coffee plantation turned museum. Restored to its former glory by a team of Smithsonian specialists and island artisans, its location is indeed a buena vista (beautiful view), with just under 500 acres in the Rio Canas Valley. Enjoy watching hummingbirds as the Hacienda's trails take you past cascading waterfalls.

FIELD TRIP: After leaving La Hacienda Buena Vista, we'll stop at El Museo de la Musica de Puerto Rico (the Museum of Puerto Rican Music), which traces the rich musical history of the island through memorabilia of famous musicians and displays of Indian, Spanish and African musical instruments.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: After lunch we'll visit the Armstrong Poventud and Wiechers-Villaronga Residences. The Armstrong-Poventud Residence, also known as La Casa de las Cariatides or the Armstrong-Toro House, is one of the most popular buildings in Ponce. Built in 1899, it is part of the US National Register of Historic Places. This historic home is a two story masonry building, constructed for the town’s most distinguished family and designed by the most prominent architects of the time. The building commemorates the city's affluent period brought on by the prominence of the local sugar plantation.

FIELD TRIP: After exploring the Armstrong-Poventud home, we'll venture to the Casa Wiechers-Villaronga, a neo-classical style mansion constructed in the early twentieth century. Acquired and restored by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the house now operates as the Museum of Puerto Rican Architecture. Located in the Ponce Historic Zone, the Villaronga Residence is an outstanding example of the Classical Revival style used in Ponce designs in the early part of the 20th century, and one of only two remaining residences of a series of houses designed and built by Alfredo B. Wiechers that is still standing.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.

Evening: After dinner, we'll have a Salsa class for those interested in learning (or just watching) the popular Puerto Rican dance.

Lodging: Hotel Melia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Inn

Description: At the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in San Juan, they want to make your stay perfect. If you want to surf the web on your laptop, do so with their free high speed internet access. Run a few miles in their exercise room, or swim some laps in the pool. You'll even find a convenience store at the hotel in San Juan. If you're looking for recommendations on what to do and where to eat in San Juan, just ask the staff and they'll be happy to help!

Contact info:
6530 Isla Verde Avenue
San Juan, PR 00979 Puerto Rico
phone: +7877918777
web: hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=SJUHHHX

Room amenities: Coffee Maker Complimentary Hot Breakfast High Speed Internet-No Charge Iron Iron/Ironing Board Lap Desk Curved Shower Rod Easy to Set Alarm Clock Radio LCD Flat Panel TV Waterpik(R) Showerhead

Facility amenities: Baggage Storage Coin Laundry Elevators Laundry/Valet Service Lounge Luggage Hold Multi-Lingual Staff On-Site Convenience Store Room Service Safety Deposit Box

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call the hotel for price
Please call the hotel in San Juan directly. It is very important to mention that you are from World Events/Road Scholar group. The telephone in San Juan is 1-787-791-8777.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, January 15 - Visit to Serralles Castle / Return to San Juan / ...
Visit to Serralles Castle / Return to San Juan / Museum of Puerto Rico Art

Breakfast: Enjoy a continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs,sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pastries, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice..

Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we'll visit another well-known landmark atop the rolling hills of the municipality of Ponce -- the four-storied mansion known as the Castillo Serrallés, a true sight to behold. Originally the residence of the Serrallés family -- owners of the world famous rum distillery that produces Don Q Puerto Rican Rum -- the sprawling estate is now one of Ponce’s most visited sites. Erected during the 1930’s, the building was designed by Puerto Rican architect Pedro Adolfo De Castro with Spanish and Arabic flourishes, using the Spanish Colonial Revival Style popularized in the United States at the time. The Castillo – or castle – is now a museum dedicated to the history of rum production, the sugarcane industry and their socio-economic impact on the island.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant en route to San Juan

Afternoon: Return to San Juan in our motor coach or van, Transit via the Luis A. Ferre Highway over La Cordillera Central (the island's main mountain range).

FIELD TRIP: After returning to San Juan, we'll visit the Art Museum of Puerto Rico. Inaugurated in July 2000, the museum has managed to develop quite a large permanent collection of Puerto Rican art ranging from the 16th century to the present. The works are thoroughly researched and documented, with the exhibits often including an interpretation of the masterpieces on display. The carefully selected artworks help to give insight into Puerto Rican art and provide local artists with access to visual art from other parts of the world.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hampton Inn by Hilton

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Inn

Description: At the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in San Juan, they want to make your stay perfect. If you want to surf the web on your laptop, do so with their free high speed internet access. Run a few miles in their exercise room, or swim some laps in the pool. You'll even find a convenience store at the hotel in San Juan. If you're looking for recommendations on what to do and where to eat in San Juan, just ask the staff and they'll be happy to help!

Contact info:
6530 Isla Verde Avenue
San Juan, PR 00979 Puerto Rico
phone: +7877918777
web: hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=SJUHHHX

Room amenities: Coffee Maker Complimentary Hot Breakfast High Speed Internet-No Charge Iron Iron/Ironing Board Lap Desk Curved Shower Rod Easy to Set Alarm Clock Radio LCD Flat Panel TV Waterpik(R) Showerhead

Facility amenities: Baggage Storage Coin Laundry Elevators Laundry/Valet Service Lounge Luggage Hold Multi-Lingual Staff On-Site Convenience Store Room Service Safety Deposit Box

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call the hotel for price
Please call the hotel in San Juan directly. It is very important to mention that you are from World Events/Road Scholar group. The telephone in San Juan is 1-787-791-8777.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, January 16 - El Yunque Rain Forest / La Cabezas de San Juan (...
Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice

Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we'll venture to El Yunque, for a short hike guided by your program leader. This is the only tropical rain forest that is part of the US National Forest System. Located on the eastern end of the Island, El Yunque features a variety of unique plant and animal species as well as many well marked trails, making it easy to explore.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at the Palo Colorado Picnic Area or a similar location in the forest.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we'll venture to the northeastern tip of the island to visit Las Cabezas de San Juan en Fajardo, one of the most important natural areas in Puerto Rico. Las Cabezas, which means "headlands," refer to 3 promontories that extend into the Atlantic Ocean. Within its 316 acres/128 hectares, Las Cabezas offers an impressive representation of seven different ecological systems including coral reefs, beaches, lagoons, mangroves and dry forest. The preserve is home to many endangered species and features a 19th century lighthouse known as "El Faro de las Cabezas de San Juan." The lighthouse, which has been beautifully restored by the Conservation Trust, features an information center and observation deck, providing breathtaking views of El Yunque.

Dinner: This evening enjoy dinner on your own to explore the many restraunts available in San Juan.

Lodging: Hampton Inn by Hilton

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Inn

Description: At the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in San Juan, they want to make your stay perfect. If you want to surf the web on your laptop, do so with their free high speed internet access. Run a few miles in their exercise room, or swim some laps in the pool. You'll even find a convenience store at the hotel in San Juan. If you're looking for recommendations on what to do and where to eat in San Juan, just ask the staff and they'll be happy to help!

Contact info:
6530 Isla Verde Avenue
San Juan, PR 00979 Puerto Rico
phone: +7877918777
web: hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=SJUHHHX

Room amenities: Coffee Maker Complimentary Hot Breakfast High Speed Internet-No Charge Iron Iron/Ironing Board Lap Desk Curved Shower Rod Easy to Set Alarm Clock Radio LCD Flat Panel TV Waterpik(R) Showerhead

Facility amenities: Baggage Storage Coin Laundry Elevators Laundry/Valet Service Lounge Luggage Hold Multi-Lingual Staff On-Site Convenience Store Room Service Safety Deposit Box

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call the hotel for price
Please call the hotel in San Juan directly. It is very important to mention that you are from World Events/Road Scholar group. The telephone in San Juan is 1-787-791-8777.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Seven: Saturday, January 17 - Old San Juan / the Institute of Puerto Rico Cultu...
Breakfast: Continental Breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice

Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we'll explore Old San Juan, visiting such famed sites as the San Felipe de Morro Fort and La Muralla (city wall) with one of our expert guides.

FREE TIME: Then enjoy time to explore Old San Juan at your own pace, walking the cobblestone streets rich in architectural delights and tree shaded squares more reminiscent of Europe than America. The city is built on a hill so comfortable walking shoes and a reasonable level of fitness are a must to ensure you enjoy all of the diverse experiences the "Vieja Ciudad" has to offer.

Lunch: Lunch on your own to continue your exploration of Old San Juan and its many restaurants.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we'll venture to La Galeria Nacional del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, located inside El Cuartel de Ballajá on Norzagaray Street. The building houses several self guided exhibits culled from the most important and complete collection of Puerto Rican painting dating back from the 18th Century up until the 1960’s. The building served as barracks for the Spanish militia and their families during the late 19th century. Occupying over 7,700 square meters, it could accommodate over 1,000 citizens. The three-story structure was completed in 1864, making it the last and largest example of Spanish-built architecture in the New World.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at local restaurant.

Lodging: Hampton Inn by Hilton

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Eight: Sunday, January 18 - Individual departures
Breakfast: Continental Breakfast at the hotel including options such as eggs, sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice

Morning: Program concludes following breakfast. Hotel check out by 12 PM. Individual departures to the airport. Depending upon airline schedules individuals may wish to share a taxi or "publico" (approx cost $15-20).

We hope you have had a great time on your Road Scholar Puerto Rico adventure and will join us for other rewarding programs in the future. Best wishes on all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast


Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
11 Expert-led lectures
14 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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