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Puerto Rico Guided Tours

Discovering the Puerto Rican Culture

Overview

Experience the colorful culture and rich history of Puerto Rico.  From pre-Columbian days, journey this diverse island observing the strong influences of Spanish colonialism and present-day U.S. stewardship. Led by local certified guides and museum curators, field trips bring you to several towns and regions, highlighting their history and significance.  

In Ponce, there is the Museo de Arte’s world-class collection of European and Puerto Rican art to explore plus many other museums and architectural sites.  

Walking & Trolley Tour with Local Guide visiting the Ponce History Museum, The Delicias Square, and First Bank. 

In Tibes you’ll explore the Centro Ceremonial Indigena de Tibes for an insight into the pre-Columbian Paleo and Taino Indians.  Local agriculture is glimpsed on a historical coffee plantation at the Hacienda Buena Vista. 

On our way back to San Juan we will stop in Caguas to  Follow La Ruta del Corazon Criollo where we will visit museums and shops.

A full day is spent in Old San Juan exploring the city with an optional night walk to see the illuminated ramparts of La Fortaleza.  San Juan’s natural heritage is explored on a guided walk through the University of Puerto Rico Botanical Gardens followed by a visit to the world-famous Casa Bacardi rum distillery.

Our Program

We offer three opportunities to snorkel offshore in the John Pennekamp State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary plus one kayaking field trip. The reef is off-shore, about 3 to 6 miles out, therefore, snorkeling must be done off a boat instead of wading in from the beach. Snorkel depths on most of the reefs we visit range from about 4’ to 30’ and a one-way trip to the reefs is about 30-40 minutes.

The vessel used is a 46 foot Newton that is US Coast Guard certified for 52 passengers, has full safety facilities, and a marine head. While it may sound obvious you must be able to swim in order to participate in the snorkel sessions. Non-snorkeling companions are welcome on board to observe.

Small Group
Meals at restaurants will be plated and served dishes featuring regional specialties with soft drinks, coffee, tea and water included unless otherwise noted.

STARTING AT

$1,999.50

SINGLE: $2,889.50

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11 Expert-led field trips

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7 Nights of accommodations

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Meals at Local Restaurants

Itinerary

DAY 1: ORIENTATION

ARRIVAL:

Aeropuerto Internacional Luis Muñoz Marín—Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in Carolina, Puerto Rico, about 3 miles (5 km) from San Juan’s city center. Take a taxi or Uber to Hampton Inn Isla Verde , 2.2 miles from the airport.

ORIENTATION:

At Hotel Meeting Room at 5:00 pm. The group leader will provide all the detailed information and review the final itinerary. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather and other local circumstances.

DINNER:

At a local restaurant.

DAY 2: OLD SAN JUAN, SALSA CLASSES

BREAKFAST:

Continental breakfast at the hotel.

MORNING:

We will board our van for Old San Juan, where a local expert will provide a walking tour of the oldest settlement within Puerto Rico and the historic colonial section of the city of San Juan. The settlement is a National Historic Landmark District and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Walking on with our local expert, we’ll learn about the history and explore Fort San Cristóbal, also known as Castillo San Cristóbal, the largest colonial Spanish fortress in the Western Hemisphere. Construction began in 1634 and it was not completed until 1790. European powers fought for hundreds of years to control the island due to its strategic location. San Cristóbal guarded the land entrance to Old San Juan. It is a magnificent and impressive structure covering 27 acres, now part of the San Juan National Historic Site.

LUNCH:

At a local restaurant.

AFTERNOON:

After lunch you will have two hours of free time in the Old City for independent discoveries, shopping or art galleries visit. Our next activity will be a visit to a dance studio for some basic Salsa Classes.

DINNER:

At a local restaurant.

DAY 3: PONCE CITY TOUR, CHECK-IN

BREAKFAST:

At the hotel.

MORNING:

After check out we will drive to the south part of the island to the city of Ponce. We will do a walking tour of Ponce, visiting iconic places like the firefighter’s house, Ponce History Museum.

LUNCH:

At a local Restaurant.

AFTERNOON:

Free time to enjoy the downtown Ponce, continue our journey to our hotel in Ponce.

DINNER:

At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy an interactive dinner, learning about the foods we’re eating from one of the chefs and specialties such as Mofongo (pickled plantains) and other local fares.

DAY 4: COFFEE PLANTATION, PONCE ART MUSEUM

BREAKFAST:

At the hotel.

MORNING:

Our first field trip today will be to the Coffee Plantation, Coffee production on the island goes back centuries, and at one point, Puerto Rico was among the top 10 coffee producers worldwide, according to Sandra Farm Coffee. Currently, there is a shortage of labor in the coffee industry, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plantations, or haciendas, for visitors to experience. Learn about the haciendas, their delightful products, and a bit about Puerto Rico’s famous coffee.

LUNCH:

At a local restaurant.

AFTERNOON:

Our next stop will be the Ponce Art Museum. 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. Led by a museum docent, we will see much of the vast collection and learn about the relationships linking Latin American and European art.

DINNER:

At your leisure.

DAY 5: CAGUAS CITY TOUR, MUSEUM OF ART

BREAKFAST:

At the hotel.

MORNING:

We will check out of the hotel, and transfer to San Juan. On route to San Juan, we will be stopping in Caguas to take a walking tour with your group leader. Caguas is a wonderful small city, just 20 minutes south of San Juan, which offers many things to do for visitors. One of those things is La Ruta del Corazón Criollo(the Route to the Heart of Creole). It is a self-guided walking tour to 12 museums and places of interest, all within a few blocks around the town square. These museums provide visitors some insight into the history of Caguas and Creole (meaning the Puerto Rican people and their culture).

LUNCH:

At a local restaurant.

AFTERNOON:

Continue our trip to San Juan. In the city, we will visit the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR), the Museum of Art 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. Our museum guide will lead us through the exhibits of carefully selected artworks helping to give us insight into Puerto Rican art. As a popular museum, it also provides local artists with access to visual art from other parts of the world thereby encouraging artistic expansion. We’ll then go to the hotel for check-in.

DINNER:

At a local restaurant.

DAY 6: EL YUNQUE, PINONES VILLAGE

BREAKFAST:

At the hotel.

MORNING:

Our first stop in the morning will be El Yunque. El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service and its name is a reference to Yuke, which the Taino Indians defined as “white lands.” With an average rainfall of 120 inches a year, El Yunque has a very diverse ecosystem, hosting hundreds of unique plant and animal species, including the island’s famous coquí frog. At El Yunque, we will be hiking the  Angelito’s trail, Picture spot at La Coca Falls, and Yokahu Tower.

LUNCH:

At a local restaurant.

AFTERNOON:

Our next field trip will be to Pinones in the town of Loiza at the north of the island. Driving into Pinones you are instantly transported back in time to another era. It is the home to many modest families making a living selling typical local food from kiosks along the beach. Their traditions span back 400 years and beyond that to the time when the Spanish conquered the land and brought in the first roots of African people to the island.

LUNCH:

At your leisure.

DAY 7: HACIENDA LA ESPERANZA, SUNSET CELEBRATION

BREAKFAST:

At the hotel.

MORNING:

Board our van to drive to Manati. Visit Hacienda La Esperanza a the carefully rehabilitated historic site of what was one of the most prosperous sugar plantations in Puerto Rico during the 19th century. The hacienda, located in a 2,150-acre nature reserve, is also home to a sugar mill and its unique 1861 West Point Foundry steam engine. The site’s old manor house serves today as Para la Naturaleza’s regional headquarters and is complete with its own science lab.

LUNCH:

At a local restaurant.

 

AFTERNOON:

Return to San Juan for a Free time in the Old San Juan or Courtesy drop off to a local beach spot.

 

LATE AFTERNOON:

Sunset Celebration in the Old City. Float past hundreds of years of history and picturesque scenery during this 2-hour sunset sailing excursion in Old San Juan Harbor. Climb aboard the “Amazing Grace,” a topsail schooner fashioned in the style of 19th-century American sailing vessels, for an unforgettable ride past the wonders of this historic area. As you sail you’ll enjoy up-close views of Old San Juan sights like El Morro fortress, La Fortaleza, Paseo la Princesa, and more, all set aglow by the fading late afternoon light. A guide and complimentary beverages and snacks are all covered.

LATE DINNER:

At a local restaurant.

DAY 8: END OF TOUR

BREAKFAST:

At a local restaurant.

MORNING:

End of tour.

Lodging

HAMPTON INN & SUITES SAN JUAN

UNIQUE FEATURES

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.

FACILITY AMENITIES:

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Baggage Storage

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Coin Laundry

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Elevators

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Laundry/Valet Service

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Lounge

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Luggage Hold

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Multi-Lingual Staff

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On-Site Convenience Store

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Room Service

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Safety Deposit Box

ROOM AMENITIES:

Coffee Maker, Hairdryer, Complimentary Hot Breakfast, High Speed Internet-No Charge, Iron/Ironing Board, Lap Desk, Curved Shower Rod, Easy to Set Alarm Clock Radio, LCD Flat Panel TV and Waterpik(R) Shower-head.

HILTON PONCE GOLF & CASINO RESORT

UNIQUE FEATURES

The Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort is situated just 5 minutes from the downtown of the historic city of Ponce, Puerto Rico’s second largest town, also known as “The Pearl of the South”, or also “The Seigniorial City” (La Perla del Sur o La Ciudad Señorial), renowned for the rich cultural heritage represented in several National Museums and Galleries found in the City.  

A stylish yet relaxed architectural concept awarded a National Prize, built on a beachfront property and surrounded by more than 80 acres of landscaped areas, including a 27-hole Championship Golf Course; Hilton Ponce is better interpreted as the place where business and leisure meet.

FACILITY AMENITIES:

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Two outdoor swimming pools, with sun beds, shades, towels, chaise-lounges and umbrellas at the beach area

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Fitness center, four tennis courts (complimentary during daytime, with charge for night-time), basketball court, volleyball court, mini golf, table tennis, pool table, and children playground

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Complimentary Wired or Wireless HSIA in guest rooms., complimentary Wi-Fi access in public areas, such as Lobby, Restaurants, 24/7 Internet access at Internet Lobby Kiosk

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Free Internal Shuttle Minivan between the Hotel and the Golf Clubhouse

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A Championship 27-Hole Golf Course: located within hotel premises, offers 27 holes of championship golf and Puerto Rico’s first and only island green plus a spectacular beachfront Clubhouse

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Sauna & spa services, beach and pool club, and sushi bar, restaurant with beautiful ocean view and drive range available for night play

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Special green fees available for guests and include the golf cart with towel, bottle of water, divot repair tool and tees

What’s Included

7 Nights Accommodations

17 Meals (7B, 5L, 5D)

11 Expert-led field trips

1 Performance

An experienced group leader

An experienced tour director and customary gratuities

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