15638
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s Reefs, Rainforests and Reserves: Hikes, Kayaking and Snorkeling
From dry forests to rainforests, from preserves to over 270-miles of beaches, explore the diverse habitats of Puerto Rico through hikes, kayak excursions and snorkeling adventures.
Program No. 15638RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,899
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8 days
7 nights
18 meals
7 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrive, Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
San Juan
D
Hampton Inn by Hilton

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: At 5:00 p.m., we will gather in our reserved room at the hotel and the Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. All transportation will be provided via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Scheduled free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel 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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant a short walk from the hotel, enjoy a plated meal plus soft drinks.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
To Parguera, Caguas Botanical Garden Hike/ Ponce City
La Parguera
B,L,D
Parador Villa Parguera

Activity note: Driving distance is approximately 21 miles to the Botanical Gardens and 92 miles to La Parguera. Hiking up to 1 mile on uneven terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet featuring a wide variety of options including eggs, pancakes, waffles, bread, toast, cereal, and breakfast meats, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: Check out of the hotel and board the motorcoach for our transfer to La Parguera. En route, we will stop at the Caguas Botanical Garden and Cultural Center for an easy-to-moderate hike with a local expert. Taking advantage of Puerto Rico’s pristine climate, the 60 acre gardens use nature and agriculture to tell the island’s history and culture. This unique park will be open exclusively for our group.

Lunch: In the botanical gardens, enjoy a picnic lunch including a fresh salad and/or a sandwich, plus juice, iced tea.

Afternoon: Continuing our transfer to La Parguera, we will travel via the Luis A. Ferre Highway over La Cordillera Central – the island's main mountain range , on our way we will short stop in Ponce.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a buffet, plus coffee, tea, soft drinks.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Salt Flats,Light House,Beach Stop,Bio-luminescent Swim
La Parguera
B,L,D
Parador Villa Parguera

Activity note: Hike up to 1 mile over rubbly terrain; bring walking shoes with good ankle support. Bring swimwear and a towel for the beach following our hike. Evening boat trip lasts for approximately 1-1/2 hours; swimming for up to 30 minutes.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet featuring a wide variety of options including eggs, pancakes, waffles, bread, toast, cereal, and breakfast meats, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: On our way to visit Los Morrillos Lighthouse, we will stop at the salt flats in Rojo Cabo, located in the far southwest of the island. Take in the beautiful scenery as the sun sparkles and reflects off the dry salt and learn how the salt collects on the flats with a local docent. At the tip of the small peninsula sit Los Morrillos Lighthouse, constructed in 1882 by the Spanish to help guide ships from the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse sits atop 200 foot cliffs and is surrounded by salty lagoons and marshes. From the top of the hill, enjoy impressive vistas of the beautiful crescent shape bay beach with calm, clear blue waters. The area is also a local birding spot allowing for the chance to see a variety of herons and egrets, sandpipers and plovers and some of the island's indigenous birds.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch depending on the weather.

Afternoon: Stop at local beach for relaxation before continuing our way to the hotel. Meeting at the pool for snorkeling practice, the Group Leader will provide basic instruction and training on how to snorkel as well as other useful tips to fully enjoy your snorkeling experience in Puerto Rico.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a plated meal, plus coffee, soft drinks.

Evening: We will take a nighttime boat trip with our Group Leader to see the marine light show produced by dinoflagellates when they sense a disturbance in the water in the lit up waters. Once there, we will be able to swim for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The Bioluminescent Bay in La Parguera is among the most famous in the world.

DAY
4
Snorkeling, Free Time, Dinner
La Parguera
B,L,D
Parador Villa Parguera

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will embark on a boat to sail to the coral heads, approximately 1 mile offshore. There, we will snorkel in La Parguera Reed, which protects a wide variety of marine life found in La Parguera Nature Reserve by providing them with shelter and food. The reef averages between 3 to 10 feet in depth with great visibility.

Lunch: Local Cafe

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Spend the afternoon by the pool or take the time to explore La Parguera. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Local Restaurant

DAY
5
Camuy Caves, San Juan,Dinner
San Juan
B,L,D
Hampton Inn by Hilton

Activity note: Driving distance is approximately 63 miles from La Parguera to Las Cuevas. Wear solid walking shoes with ankle support.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we will begin our journey back to San Juan making several stops along the way. FIELD TRIP: Board our motor coach and depart for Camuy River Cave Park. This is one of Puerto Rico’s most popular natural wonders, a lush 268-acre park containing the world’s third-largest cave system, formed over the course of a million years by the action of the Camuy River.Your experience begins with a trolley ride down the steep rolling mountainside. As you go down the rolling side of the mountain you’ll enjoy the lush tropical foliage covering the grounds and towering above. At Cueva Clara which is about 170 feet in height. You’ll walk through marvelous stalagmites and stalactites, and gorgeous works of art formed over thousands of years by Rio Camuy. During your exploration, you’ll feel the heat of hundreds of sleeping bats and enjoy sights and sounds of an underground river at a sinkhole of about 150 feet deep.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch

Afternoon: As we make our way to the capital city, we will stop along the way for restroom stops. Upon our arrival in San Juan, we will check into the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant a short walk from the hotel, enjoy a plated meal plus coffee, soft drinks.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Kayak in Fajardo, Hiking El Yunque Rain Forest, Free Time
San Juan
B,L
Hampton Inn by Hilton

Activity note: Hiking up to 1-1/2 miles over hilly terrain and high humidity.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet featuring a wide variety of options including eggs, pancakes, waffles, bread, toast, cereal, and breakfast meats, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: From the hotel, we will head to the eastern shore of Puerto Rico at Fajardo. With a local expert, we will kayak along the pristine coastline of “Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve” and enjoy the spectacular views of El Yunque Rainforest mountains and Fajardo's 130 year old Spanish lighthouse.

Lunch: At a local sandwich restaurant, plus soft drinks.

Afternoon: We will head to El Yunque Rain Forest. At the visitors center, we will pick up our local naturalist and expert before receiving a brief orientation about the forest followed by a short video presentation. Following our orientation, we will set out on our hike the trails along the El Mina Falls and Big Tree Trails. These trails take us past rushing streams and cascading waterfalls through the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Forest System. One of the oldest reserves in the Western Hemisphere, set aside by King Alfonso III of Spain in 1876, the park is home for over 200 species of trees and plants, 23 of which are endemic to the region. At the end of our hikes, we will return to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own after our return to the hotel, for you to enjoy one of San Juan's many restaurants.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Old San Juan, Free Time, Farewell Dinner
San Juan
B,D
Hampton Inn by Hilton

Activity note: Walking up to 1-3/4 miles on uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: From the hotel, we transfer to San Juan and explore the old city on a walking field trip with a local expert and visit iconic sites such as the San Felipe de Morro Fort and La Muralla while learning about the city’s history. Enjoy the rest of the time on your own to see and do what interests you most in Old San Juan. Walk 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: On your own to enjoy what you like or sample the local fare.

Afternoon: Continue to enjoy your free time in Old San Juan before meeting the Group Leader at 3:00 p.m. at a designated location to return to the hotel.

Dinner: This evening we'll venture to a local restaurant for our plated farewell dinner, plus coffee, soft drinks.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
San Juan
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!