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Snorkeling, Zip-Lines, Hiking and More: Intergenerational Adventures on Puerto Rico’s Coral Reef

Program Number: 21500RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/28/2014 - 8/4/2014;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Price starting at: $1,589.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Water Sports
Intergenerational
Meals: 19; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 9 - 13 years of age.

The coral reefs of Puerto Rico are some of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world. Thousands of species rely on reefs for survival, just as thousands of communities all over the world also depend on them for food, protection and jobs. Come with your grandchild to Puerto Rico and snorkel the waters around this beautiful island to learn firsthand about the biology of coral reefs and the efforts being made to conserve and protect them even as they are threatened. Visit waterfalls , hike and zip-line rainforest trails, go for a night hike in a nature reserve and try both snorkeling and swimming in crystal-clear waters with help from professional divers.




Highlights

• At Culebra Island, one of the most spectacular eco-destinations in the Caribbean, go snorkeling among turtles, stingrays and coral reefs in the company of certified professionals.
• Go hiking at night in Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve with a local naturalist who leads you to the top of the Fajardo Lighthouse.
• Experience the beauty and excitement of the rainforest on an expert-led zip-lining adventure in a Rainforest Adventure Eco- Park.



Activity Particulars

Open-water swimming, snorkeling up to 1.5 hours a day. Walking on irregular terrain under varying weather conditions. Zip lining, getting in/out of boats. Participants must be able to swim. Program not recommended for those with mobility limitations.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival San Juan, 1 night; coach to Fajardo, 4 nights; coach to San Juan, 2 nights; departure.




San Juan

A major Caribbean port and resort destination, San Juan was the early 16th-century point of departure for Spanish expeditions to charter or settle unknown parts of the New World. Today it is the oldest city under the U.S flag and is well-known for the cobblestones and colorful facades of its original walled Colonial center, Old San Juan.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotels in both San Juan and Fajardo.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hampton Inn by Hilton
  San Juan - Isla Verde 1 night
   Fajardo Inn
  Fajardo 4 nights
   Hampton Inn by Hilton
  San Juan - Isla Verde 2 nights
 Hampton Inn by Hilton
Type: Inn
  Description: At the Hampton Inn & Suites® hotel in San Juan, they want to make your stay perfect. So if you want to surf the web on your laptop, do so with our free high speed internet access. Run a few miles in our exercise room, or swim some laps in the pool. You'll even find a convenience store at our 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 at our San Juan hotel 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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 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
  Additional nights after: 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 out time: 11:00 AM

 Fajardo Inn
Type: Resort
  Description: The Fajardo Inn, are the lush gardens and creative landscaping. The hotel was voted "Green Hotel of 1996" because of its reforestation and conservation programs. Not only do they have an abundance of magnificent tropical plants, but they also have an extensive vegetable and fruit garden. Almost all of the greens you will enjoy at their on-site restaurant are picked daily from our gardens and all of the flowers you will see throughout the hotel are from their own grounds.
  Contact info: 52 Parcelas Beltran
Fajardo, PR 00740 Puerto Rico
phone: +7878606000
web: www.fajardoinn.com/
  Room amenities: Spacious room, very tastefully decorated, comes with one or two queen size beds, air conditioning, cable TV, telephone and private bathroom.
  Facility amenities: Bamboo Pool with: - Semi-Olympic Lanes - Whirlpool - Slide, Coco Putt-Putt (Miniature Golf) , Coco's House (Information and Souvenir Shop), Tropical Gardens, Tennis Courts (Clay Court Shoes Required), ½ Basketball Court, Palmetto's Pool, Jaggery Fitness Center (Daily Fee) Juice Bar (located inside Jaggery, sells smoothies and shakes) Javana Beauty Salon,Internet Room Coin Laundry
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5 PM: Orientation at the Hampton Inn (please check with the front desk for meeting room location) You will be staying at Hampton Inn by Hilton that night.
  End of Program:
Program concludes after breakfast. Hotel check-out by 12 PM. You will be staying at Hampton Inn by Hilton the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Puerto Rico is considered US Territory so no specific documents are necessary but we recommend taking a proof of citizenship or at least government photo identification. World Events LLC and its sub-contractors may also require liability waivers for certain activities and participation on the program.
  Parking availability:
Please advise coordinator in advance, if a rental or personal car is being used during this program. Participants are responsible for parking charges.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  San Juan - Isla Verde
  Nearest city or town:  San Juan
  Nearest highway: Not applicable.
  Nearest airport:  Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  From End of Program
  Location: San Juan - Isla Verde
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

San Juan International

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15 - 20 plus bag fee also 15 % tip is customary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

under 15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Taxis are controlled by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. 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. Pay the driver at the end of the journey.

 

San Juan International

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15 - 20 plus bag fee also 15 % tip is customary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

under 15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

For early morning flights it is recommended that you reserve a taxi the night before.

 
Driving Directions
  Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) Exit to your right, Rt. 26 towards San Juan to the first exit Hwy. #187. Turn right on Hwy. #187 to second traffic light Rt. #37 (Isla Verde Ave). Turn left and the hotel is the 3rd building to your left.
Elevation Note: On Field trips to El Yunque Rain Forest up to 4,000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Snorkel, Mask, Fins and Flotation vest are provided free of charge. Sorry no prescription masks available if this is critical participant should bring their own.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals, Program Registration & Orientation, Welcome Dinner
(Monday, July 28)
   
 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 depending 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.
 Evening: The remainder of the evening is yours to continue getting to know your fellow participants, stroll along the boardwalk, or just relax and get ready for tomorrow. Because your days will be filled with adventures and activities, we are not scheduling evening programs every day. You will see and learn a lot and will need "down" time to be ready for what each day offers. This is also a great time for "grands" to spend time together sharing what these experiences mean to you.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn by Hilton
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Hike in La Mina Waterfall at El Yunque Rain Forest/ Travel to Fajardo
(Tuesday, July 29)
   
 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: Departure for El Yunque Rain Forest. On our way to our first stop at El Portal Visitors Center, we'll pick up our local naturalist and guide. At the Visitors Center, our guide will provide a brief orientation about the forest followed by a short video presentation.

After our orientation to the park, we'll set out on our La Mina Waterfall hike . The total distance covered will be approximately 2 miles, over well-tended, shaded pathways. Please note however that our hike will involve numerous changes in elevation and the weather in the park is always humid, which may make the hike seem much longer than 2 miles.

The hilly terrain requires good walking shoes/hiking boots with adequate ankle support. We ask those who have had recent knee/hip surgeries to please seriously consider their physical capabilities in undertaking this hike. Note: Bring your towel and dry clothes if planning to swim in the beautiful waterfall.

 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at Palo Colorao Picnic Shelter or similar location in the park.
 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll Transit to Fajardo located approximately 30 minutes from El Yunque.

HOTEL CHECK IN: We'll arrive at Fajardo Inn around 2:30 PM for check-in.

 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel Restaurant
 Evening: The evening is free time to talk over the day's experiences or enjoy what the resort has to offer. Get a good night's sleep for tomorrow's busy day
   
Accommodations: Fajardo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Snorkeling Practice at the Beach /Visit to Las Cabezas de San Juan Reserve/Nocturnal Experience at Laguna Grande
(Wednesday, July 30)
   
 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: One of the best ways to experience the reefs we will be visiting is by snorkel and we will begin with a “how to snorkel” class on the beach. If you have already had experience snorkel, this will be a refresher. Note: Everyone, regardless of age, who wishes to snorkel must be able to swim.

When we actually go snorkel, we will provide a mask, snorkel, and fins, or you may use your own. Also bring a bathing suit, towel, sunscreen, and maybe a change of dry clothes.

 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at one of beautiful beaches of Fajardo.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we'll venture to Las Cabezas de San Juan in 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: Dinner at Local Restaurant
 Evening: FIELD TRIP: Visit the Cabezas de San Juan at night to join a nature specialist who will guide you to the top of the Fajardo Lighthouse. From there, you’ll see the effects of light pollution, before taking a boardwalk through mangroves and wetlands and into the lagoon. Thanks to the conservation efforts of the Puerto Rico Shines Naturally initiative, you’ll be able to experience bio luminescence first hand, under darker skies. It’s a natural spectacle unlike any other in the world.
   
Accommodations: Fajardo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Beach Walk and Snorkeling in Las Croabas/ Snorkeling in Icacos Island
(Thursday, July 31)
   
 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: Visit Las Croabas Beach for our group leader led walk along the beach to discover what lives at the waters edge. We will wade the shallow near shore ecosystem with collection nets and learn about the small creatures that live within the sea grass beds. Please wear water shoes or old sneakers; we will get our feet wet
 Lunch: At the boat in our route to Icacos.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Explore the reefs of Icaco Island. Icacos is a small island off of Fajardo. We will spend the afternoon under the sun and in the water as you snorkel and swim in the Icacos Island area . In Icacos you will discover spectacular coral reef formations, swim among colorful tropical fish, and learn about the underwater world, while snorkel with your professional naturalist guide.
 Dinner: Dinner at Local Restaurant
   
Accommodations: Fajardo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Snorkeling in Culebra Island
(Friday, August 1)
   
 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: Depart to Marina to take the Catamaran for our whole day trip to Culebra, one of the Caribbean most pristine Eco destinations. Culebra is located between the main Island of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The population is about 1,700 and the island is approximately seven by four miles. The beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. Experience snorkel among turtles, sting rays, coral reefs and colorful fish while being guided by certified professional tour guides in breathtakingly beautiful and warm turquoise waters
 Lunch: Buffet Style Lunch at the Boat. Fresh Fruits, fresh bread, sliced meats (turkey,ham and pastrami or salami), 3 cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, gourmet pasta salad, seafood or chicken salad, coleslaw or bean salad, chips, cookies. Pina Colada, sodas, iced tea and juices.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Beach Stop in Culebra. Our Captain will decide which beach will have the best conditions for that day, usually Flamenco or Culebrita. We will spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, snorkel and beach combing. The energy of this island is derived from the sea. Exploring the coastline and the water are a very special way to discover the true energy of paradise. You will find white-sand beaches, coral beaches, cays, shallow and deep coral reefs and many rocky points surrounding Culebra.
 Dinner: Dinner at Local Restaurant
 Evening: Our days are full of wonder, learning, and fun. Share your experiences with one another and with new friends or relax and look forward to tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Fajardo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Zip lining in the Rain Forest Park/Return to San Juan
(Saturday, August 2)

Note: If you've never been zip lining or rappelling, Puerto Rico is a terrific place to try it. And if you've never heard of either activity, here's a quick description. A zip line is a pulley suspended on a steel cable at an incline. You simple strap into a harness and let gravity carry you across to the other side. Rappelling, on the other hand, involves a controlled descent, typically down a rock face, using ropes and pulleys.



   
 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: Hotel Check-Out .

FIELD TRIP: Depart to El Yunque for a Zip Lining guided experience. We will start with a short nature tour ( 20-25 mins) given by a local guide. Our guide will tell us about the area, the history of the property, and the plans for the future (with educating people about the importance of conservation and getting back to basics). He will discuss the river, and the plants and wildlife around it.

Zip-Lining seven lines and one Rappel . Each participant will have one harness for the chest and one for the waist for better stability and safety. Their zip line is an state of the art system unique in the Caribbean.

 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at one of beautiful beaches of Fajardo
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP:Swim at one of the great river spots with a nice deep pool and rope swing.

Depart to San Juan

 Dinner: At Leisure
 Evening: Another set of great memories to add to your collection. Spend time with your "grands" and new friends, and get some rest for the last full day of the program tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn by Hilton
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Old San Juan/ Kite Flying at El Morro Park.
(Sunday, August 3)
   
 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 at Local Restaurant
 Afternoon: Because the area is so open and close to the sea, the breeze is perfect for launching chiringas (kites). We will supply the kites so you can join the local in this traditional activity in the Old San Juan. You will see kites of all shapes and sizes and flown by people young and old.
 Dinner: Our final dinner of the program will be out at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a last evening on the program with your "grands" and new friends at the hotel.

WRAP-UP SESSION: We will have an informal wrap-up session to share what you thought was most interesting, exciting, and enjoyable. This will conclude the program.

   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn by Hilton
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Individual departures
(Monday, August 4)
   
 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: 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: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Explore Puerto Rico


Author: Harry Pariser


Description: Harry Pariser gives you detailed information on little-known towns, parks, reserves and offshore islands. His ecologically-aware perspective provides a refreshing look at archaeological sites, preserves and rugged rain forest environments. Old San Juan, El Yunque and the Caribbean National Forest, Palmas del Mar, Ponce, Guanica, Mayaguez, Mona Island, Vieques, Culebra, Arecibo, Camuy, Barranquitas and San German are but a few of the chapters in this book. Each region is covered extensively, with details on where to stay and eat, sailing, chartering and deep-sea adventures, snorkeling and diving, and the best bird watching and hiking spots. Practical travel tips abound, and the introductory sections on the island's culture, history, geography, religion and customs will stand you in good stead for your next trip. Color photos and maps round out the picture.



From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity


Author: Juan Flores


Description: Neither immigrants nor ethnics, neither foreign nor "hyphenated Americans" in the usual sense of that term, Puerto Ricans in New York have created a distinct identity both on the island of Puerto Rico and in the cultural landscape of the United States. Juan Flores considers the uniqueness of Puerto Rican culture and identity in relation to that of other Latino groups in the United States -- as well as to other minority groups, especially African Americans. Architecture and urban space, literary traditions, musical styles, and cultural movements provide some of the sites and moments of a cultural world defined by the interplay of continuity and transformation, heritage and innovation, roots and fusion. Exploring this wide range of cultural expression -- both in the diaspora and in Puerto Rico -- Flores highlights the rich complexities and fertile contradictions of Latino identity.



Insight Guide Puerto Rico


Author: Barbara Balletto (Editor)


Description: Insight Guide Puerto Rico includes a section detailing Puerto Rico's history, 8 features covering the island's life and culture, ranging from its exuberant festivals to its carved religious figures, a region by region visitor's guide to the sights, and a comprehensive Travel Tips section packed with essential contact addresses and numbers. Plus 15 maps and many amazing photographs.



Puerto Rico - Island in the Sun


Author: Roger LaBrucherie


Description: Puerto Rico, Island in the Sun is a compact, hardcover pictorial book in the coffee-table book format (measuring 10 x 9 inches) with color photographs and English-language text. The photographs and accompanying captions present the scenery, beaches, architecture, geography, culture, and history of Puerto Rico, with a special emphasis on aerial photographs and Viejo (Old) San Juan. This is the fourth book on Puerto Rico from author-photographer Roger LaBrucherie, whose books on Barbados, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, and Hawaii have made him a leading photographer of tropical islands. His previous three titles on Puerto Rico have been best-sellers on the island for more than two decades. In addition to his stunning, award-winning photography, Mr. LaBrucherie brings to his work the perspective on the Caribbean gained from his training and service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, as well as his years spent living throughout the Caribbean.



Stories from Puerto Rico


Author: Robert L Muckley and Adela Martinez- Santiago


Description: The book will fill you in on how the natives discovered the Spaniards weren’t Gods, and other local legends.





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