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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:
6/7/2015 - 6/14/2015; 6/14/2015 - 6/21/2015; 7/5/2015 - 7/12/2015; 7/12/2015 - 7/19/2015; 8/2/2015 - 8/9/2015;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Price starting at: $2,249.00 - 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. We can not reserve 3 beds rooms for this program , availability is very limited.
  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:
The program commences on Day 1 with program registration following hotel check-in, available from 3:00 p.m. You will be staying at Hampton Inn by Hilton that night.
  End of Program:
The program concludes on Day 8 with breakfast. Hotel check-out is by 12:00 Noon. 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
(Sunday, June 7)
   
 Arrive To: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Independent transfers from the airport to the program hotel.
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00 p.m.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant within walking distance of the hotel, enjoy a plated meal featuring Latin cuisine.
 Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Note: Minors must be accompanied by an adult family member on all outdoor activities.

Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Scheduled free time is set aside for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.

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 full, we are not scheduling many evening activities. 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 family to spend time together sharing what these experiences mean to you.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn by Hilton
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Check Out of Hotel / El Yunque Rain Forest Field Trip / Transfer to Fajardo / Hotel Check-in
(Monday, June 8)

Note: Minors must be accompanied by an adult family member on all outdoor activities. Round-trip hike approximately 2 miles; hilly terrain with many steps up and down; humid weather. Wear broken-in walking shoes/hiking boots with good ankle support. Anyone who had recent knee/hip surgery should carefully consider the physical demands involved.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel, our breakfast buffet includes eggs, bacon or sausage, bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, orange and grapefruit juice, coffee, tea, water.
 Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we board our motorcoach for El Yunque National Forest (Bosque Nacional El Yunque). We are joined by an expert local naturalist. At the Visitors Center, our naturalist provides a brief introduction to the forest followed by a short video presentation.

After our orientation to the park, we set out on a hike in one of the beautiful trails of the park. El Yunque, more than a century old, the only the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. national forest system.
 Lunch: At one of the shelters in the park, enjoy a picnic lunch with fresh salad and/or sandwiches.
 Afternoon: We'll hop back on our bus for the ride to Fajardo, about 18 miles from El Yunque. After hotel check-in, the remainder of the afternoon is free for your personal independent exploration. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You might like to visit Fajardo’s authentic, antique-styled town square, its beautiful beaches.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a plated meal including soft drinks, iced tea, water.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fajardo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Beach Walk and Snorkeling Practice / Free Afternoon / Nocturnal Experience at Las Cabezas de San Juan
(Tuesday, June 9)

Note: All who wish to snorkel must be able to swim, regardless of age. Mask, snorkel, and fins provided, or you may use your own; bring bathing suit, towel, sunscreen, and change of dry clothes.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel, our breakfast buffet includes eggs, bacon or sausage, bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pancakes or waffles with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, orange and grapefruit juice, coffee, tea, water.
 Morning: We begin on the beach with snorkeling practice led by a snorkeling instructor. If you have already had experience snorkeling, this will be a refresher.
 Lunch: Picnic at the beach.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Dinner: At a restaurant, enjoy a plated meal featuring local favorites, plus soft drinks and water.
 Evening: We have a special nighttime outing this evening to the Cabezas de San Juan where a nature specialist will guide us to the top of the Fajardo Lighthouse. From there, you can see the effects of light pollution. Then, we go through the mangroves and wetlands of the lagoon on the boardwalk. 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: Nature Walk at Las Croabas Beach / Snorkeling at Icacos Island
(Wednesday, June 10)

Note: Bring water shoes or old sneakers.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We’ll take the motorcoach to Las Croabas Beach with our Group Leader for a walk along the beach to discover what lives at the waters edge. We’ll wade this shallow ecosystem with collection nets to learn about the small creatures that live within the sea grass beds. After this field trip, we board the boat for Icacos Island off Fajardo.
 Lunch: During our cruise on the boat, a buffet lunch includes sliced meats and cheeses, breads, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, several different salads, fruit, chips, cookies, juices, soft drinks, iced tea, water
 Afternoon: Arriving at Iacos Island, we get into the water from the boat and swim to shore. Then, led by an expert naturalist, we’ll swim and snorkel to discover spectacular coral reef formations and experience the underwater world. We return to the hotel after our field trip.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Fajardo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Full Day Field Trip on Culebra Island
(Thursday, June 11)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: After a short motorcoach transfer to the Marina, we board a catamaran and head out to Culebra Island, where we’ll spend the day. One of the Caribbean’s most pristine eco-destinations, Culebra is located between the main Island of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. Under expert guidance, we’ll snorkel among in breathtakingly beautiful, warm turquoise waters. With luck, we may see turtles, colorful fish, and other marine life.
 Lunch: Buffet on the Catamaran.
 Afternoon: Next, our Captain will select a beach with the best conditions, where you will have free time to spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, snorkeling, and beach combing. The energy of this island paradise with its white-sand beaches, coral beaches, cays, shallow coral reefs, and many rocky points surrounding Culebra comes from the sea. We return to the hotel after the field trip.
 Dinner: At a restaurant in Fajardo.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Fajardo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Check Out of Hotel / Zip-lining and Rapelling in El Yunque / Return to San Juan
(Friday, June 12)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we board our coach and return to El Yunque. Led by a local expert, we take a short nature hike to learn more about the area, its natural history including plants and wildlife, the importance of conservation, getting back to basics, and the Forest Service’s plans for future.

Then it’s on to zip-lining and rappelling! A zip-line is a pulley suspended on a steel cable at an incline. You 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. There will be instruction for both.

The state-of-the-art carbon fiber Zip-Line system we’ll be “riding” is more flexible and durable than traditional “steel cord” systems and unique in the Caribbean. Each participant will have one harness for the chest and one for the waist for better stability and safety.

Our rappelling adventure involves moving through a series of 8 platforms anchored on rocks and trees using a double-rope system, including a 30-foot “free fall” decline.
 Lunch: Picnic at the beach.
 Afternoon: We’ll stop at a great river swimming spot with a deep pool and rope swing. Reminder: Kids must be accompanied by an adult for all outdoor activities. After our swim, we’ll hop on our bus for the ride to San Juan, where we’ll check into our hotel for the next two nights.
 Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn by Hilton
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Old San Juan / Kite Flying at El Morro Park
(Saturday, June 13)

Note: San Juan is built on a hill; comfortable walking shoes and a reasonable level of fitness are a must.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: With a local expert, we’ll explore Old San Juan — “San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico” as named by Christopher Columbus — visiting famed sites sich as the San Felipe de Morro Fort and La Muralla, the 16th Century city walls the Spanish built to protect this jewel of their American colonies.

The remainder of the morning is free for your personal independent exploration in Old San Juan at your own pace. Walk the cobblestone streets rich in architectural delights, with tree-shaded squares more reminiscent of Europe than North America.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Next we take the motorcoach to El Morro Park. With open spaces close to the Caribbean and its breezes, El Morro is perfect for launching kites (chiringas). We will supply the kites so you can join the locals in this traditional activity. Keep an eye on your own kite, but be sure to check out the other kites of all shapes and sizes, flown by people young and old all around you.
 Dinner: For our farewell dinner at a local restaurant, enjoy local cuisine.
 Evening: Back at the hotel, we’ll have an informal wrap-up session to share our favorite memories from the experiences we’ve shared together on this magical island. Say farewell to new Road Scholar friends and prepare for departure in the morning.
   
Accommodations: Hampton Inn by Hilton
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Program Concludes / Independent Departures
(Sunday, June 14)

Note: Hotel check-out is by 12:00 Noon.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.
 Morning: We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for 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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