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Puerto Rico

Snorkeling & Wildlife: Puerto Rico With Your Grandchild

Program No. 21500RJ
Explore the coral reefs and ecosystems of Puerto Rico with your grandchild as you snorkel through the underwater world, hike a nature reserve and zipline through a rainforest!

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At a Glance

Experience the fascinating ecosystems of Puerto Rico from above and below as you zipline and snorkel your way through it with your grandchild! Dive into coral reef biology and conservation as you snorkel through crystal-clear waters with professional divers. Hike rainforest trails and zip past the treetop wildlife in El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the national forest system. Plus, learn about the colonial history of Puerto Rico in Old San Juan, and discover old Spanish forts and castles!
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walking over varied terrain. Open-water swimming/snorkeling up to 1.5 hours a day (must be able to swim). Zip lining, getting in/out of boats. Elevations up to 4,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Snorkel among the coral reefs of Caracoles Key and Culebra or Icacos Island (depending on weather), some of the most beautiful eco-destinations in the Caribbean.
  • Embark on a nighttime boat trip to see a bio-luminescent bay in Parguera.
  • Experience the beauty and excitement of the rainforest on an expert-led ziplining adventure in a Rainforest Adventure Eco-Park.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 9-14. Snorkeling is subject to weather conditions.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
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Andrea Torres
Andrea was born and raised in Puerto Rico and studied at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She has been an active travel educator for over four years, leading trips through the only tropical rainforest in the United States, El Yunque, where she met her first Road Scholar group. “Being outdoors and leading travelers is my way of life,” she says. “It brings me joy to share my passion with others and to educate individuals on some of the amazing wonders of the world.”

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Andrea Torres
Andrea Torres View biography
Andrea was born and raised in Puerto Rico and studied at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She has been an active travel educator for over four years, leading trips through the only tropical rainforest in the United States, El Yunque, where she met her first Road Scholar group. “Being outdoors and leading travelers is my way of life,” she says. “It brings me joy to share my passion with others and to educate individuals on some of the amazing wonders of the world.”
Profile Image of Alberto J Melendez
Alberto J Melendez View biography
Alberto Melendez is a certified educational excursion, a certified Advance Open Water Scuba Diver and a Florida master naturalist. He has been leading kayak and snorkeling explorations in the Orlando area for over eight years. A 'tree-hugger' since the term became popular, he enjoys introducing folks to the inside story of the critters, salt marsh and history of the area.
Profile Image of Howell Geib
Howell Geib View biography
Originally from New England, Howell Geib is trained as an architect, having graduated from Tulane University, and works to pursue his passion for the intersection of the natural world and the built environment. He continued his education in sustainable development and international relations, pursuing development programs in Africa, the Caribbean, and Western Europe. Throughout his career, he has lived in France, Hawaii, and Haiti. When not introducing Road Scholars to the natural world, Howie practices water sports like paddling.
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While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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7 days
6 nights
16 meals
6 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
San Juan - Isla Verde
D
Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived.

Dinner: At a restaurant in walking distance of the hotel.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar intergenerational program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised. Minors must be accompanied by an adult family member on all outdoor activities. Everyone taking part in water field trips must be able to swim. Because our days will be full, we are not scheduling many evening activities. We will also have some “down” time to absorb what each day offers. This is a great time for families to spend time together sharing what these experiences mean to you. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, stroll along the boardwalk, or just relax, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
2
Zip-lining, El Yunque Rain Forest Hike
San Juan - Isla Verde
B,L,D
Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 24 miles, approximately 1 hour riding time each way. Hiking about 2 miles throughout the day; hilly terrain, many steps up/down, humid conditions. Wear broken-in walking shoes/hiking boots with good ankle support. Be prepared for rain. Anyone who has had recent knee/hip surgery should carefully consider the physical demands involved.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board our motorcoach and ride to Bosque Nacional El Yunque — El Yunque National Forest — about 30 miles away and go zip-lining! A zip-line is a pulley suspended on a steel cable at an incline. We’ll have instruction on strapping into a harness and letting gravity carry us. Our zip-lining adventure will involve moving through a series of eight platforms anchored on rocks and trees. This state-of-the-art, carbon fiber zip-line system is more flexible and durable than traditional steel cord systems and unique in the Caribbean. Each of us will have one harness for the chest and one for the waist for stability and safety.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We'll hop back on our motorcoach for the ride to the El Yunque National Park where we’ll be joined by an expert local naturalist and explore the El Portal Visitors Center. Our naturalist will provide an introduction to the rainforest and we’ll watch a short video. After our introduction to the park, we’ll go hiking on one of the beautiful trails. El Yunque — also known as the Caribbean National Forest — is the only the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. national forest system. It was originally set aside as a reserve by the King of Spain in 1876 and became part of the U.S. forest system in 1903. Today it covers 28,000 acres with more than 240 species of trees and plants including 88 rare tree species, 50 native orchid species, and 150 types of ferns as well as abundant wildlife. More than 240 inches of rain fall here each year. That’s more than 100 billion gallons! One of the rarest species of wildlife here is the highly endangered Puerto Rican Parrot. There are very few of them left and their primary habitat is in the mountains, but be on the lookout for a bright green parrot about a foot long with red above its beak and blue wing feathers. You might get lucky!

Dinner: At local restaurant

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
3
To Guanica, Farm, La Parguera Boating, Bioluminescence
Guanica
B,L,D
Copamarina Beach resort

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 100 miles, approximately 2 hours riding time. Walking up to 1 mile; uneven terrain, paved. 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, change of dry clothes.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and hop aboard our motorcoach. On our way to Guanica, we’ll stop at Finca Don Manuel to visit a Puertorican Farm

Lunch: At the Farm

Afternoon: Arriving at our beach resort hotel, we will check in, change into bathing suits, and have snorkeling practice led by a snorkeling instructor. If you have already had experience snorkeling, this will be a refresher.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We will take the motorcoach to La Parguera Bay where we will embark on a nighttime study cruise by boat with our Group Leader. If everything is the way we hope, we’ll see a bioluminescent “light show” produced by microorganisms called dinoflagellates that shimmer when the water is disturbed. We will have some time to swim and play among the glowing plankton. This is one of the most famous bioluminescent bodies of water in the world and the only one in Puerto Rico where swimming is allowed. We’ll return to the hotel after our field trip.

DAY
4
Snorkeling Caracoles Key, Free Time, Dry Forest Night Walk
Guanica
B,L,D
Copamarina Beach resort

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 16 miles, approximately 30 minutes riding time. Getting in/out of a boat, into/out of the water. Bring water shoes or old sneakers. 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. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; uneven terrain, not paved.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will ride back to La Parguera Bay and board a boat with our Group Leader for a field trip to the coral reed, about a mile offshore. There, we will have a snorkeling field trip. The reef provides food and shelter for a wide variety of marine life found in La Parguera Nature Reserve. The reef averages between 3 to 10 feet in depth with great visibility. We’ll return to shore after our field trip and ride to lunch.

Lunch: At a local café. Afterwards, we’ll return to the hotel.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your 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. Please note that the period scheduled for free time is subject to change depending on local circumstances and opportunities for independent exploration.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We’ll set out on a walking field trip along the mangroves by the beach. With their intricate root systems, these mangrove forests encourage the deposition of sediment by slowing the flow of water; they also protect coastlines from erosion, storm surge, and tsunamis. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
Transfer to San Juan, Old City, Night Kayak
San Juan - Isla Verde
B,L
Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 100 miles, approximately 2 hours riding time. Getting in/out of a Kayak. Walking up to 1 mile; boardwalk.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and board the motorcoach to begin our transfer back to San Juan.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Walking through the old city and visit El Morro Fort then get back aboard the motorcoach and ride to Condado. Experience the thrill of paddling through the Condado Lagoon under the starry sky and the magical illuminated waters. Our expert guides will lead you through the protected mangrove forest, where you can discover the natural reserve's unique ecosystems and diverse flora and fauna.

Dinner: At your leisure.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Culebra Island Full Day Field Trip, Snorkeling, Beachcombing
San Juan - Isla Verde
B,L,D
Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 31 miles, approximately 1 hour riding time. Getting on/off a catamaran. Walking less than 1/2 mile; steep, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After taking the motorcoach to the Marina in Fajardo, we’ll board a catamaran and sail out to small, tranquil Culebra Island for a full-day field trip. Most of the island is a nature reserve. Culebra is situated between the main island of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of the Caribbean’s most pristine eco-destinations with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We’ll snorkel under expert guidance in breathtakingly beautiful and warm turquoise waters. With luck, we may see turtles, colorful fish, and other marine life.

Lunch: Aboard the catamaran.

Afternoon: Next, our Captain will select a beach with the best conditions where we will be able to continue swimming, snorkeling, and beach combing as we like in the company of our expert Group Leader. There are white and dark sand beaches, shallow and deep coral reefs, cays, and many rocky points.

Dinner: At a restaurant featuring local cuisine. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: Back at the hotel, we’ll have an informal wrap-up session to chat about our learning adventure on this magical island. Then prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
San Juan - Isla Verde
B

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

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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