Day 1 – Depart for San Juan, Puerto Rico
Today you'll start your Puerto Rico adventure, to make unforgettable memories with your group. Upon arrival, you'll be met at the airport by your Tour Manager and begin your adventures.
Day 2 – Explore Old San Juan
After breakfast, you will explore Old San Juan. Encompassing a seven-square-block area, Old San Juan is surrounded by 17th-Century walls and contains most of the island's historical treasures. Your guided tour today will take you to many of the most important landmarks, buildings and monuments. You will visit El Morro, a six-level fortress that was begun in 1539 and helped protect San Juan's coastline throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. You will take a guided tour of the fort, as well as visit the on-site museum exhibiting the history of this great monument. Your day will also include a visit to La Fortaleza, also known as the Santa Catalina Palace. La Fortaleza is the oldest governor's residence in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere. It was originally a fortress circa 1533; you will take a guided tour of the areas open to the public, including the magnificent gardens. You will have lunch in Old San Juan.
Another highlight of your day in Old San Juan will be a visit to San Juan Cathedral, a beautiful neo-classical church, which has been the home of Old San Juan's faithful for more than 475 years. Built in 1529, the cathedral is the final resting place of Juan Ponce de León, the first Governor of Puerto Rico, and the Gothic chapel is the oldest part of the building and features magnificent archways. This evening the group will have a delicious traditional dinner, and prepare for the exciting days to come!
Days 3-4 – Community Service Project
The community service project will be the heart of your
program—an excellent way to bond with the local community and your peers
through service. Today you will drive to
the work site and meet in the morning to and be briefed on the community
project by the local leaders who will be working with you.
Throughout the mornings, you will work together on your project. You will take a break for lunch and in the afternoon you will continue your project.
Your community service project is based on local needs and may include playing educational games with preschoolers and schoolchildren, painting or other maintenance of a preschool or community center, improving the infrastructure of a local library, building a playground or creating vegetable gardens.
Note: The service project and the logistics of it are subject to change to best match the final group size and local community needs. There also exists the potential to break the service work up over multiple days (e.g.: service in the morning, touring in the afternoon) or splitting the group into two and taking turns touring and doing service work.
Day 5 – Luquillo & El Yunque Rainforest
You'll have breakfast and begin the day with some time to swim at Luquillo Beach, one of the top beaches in Puerto Rico. You'll continue to El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The 28,000-acre preserve is home to four different types of forest, 20 types of orchid, and 50 varieties of fern. You will begin learning about the delicate ecosystem of rain forests from around the world at the El Portal Tropical Forest Center. Then you'll enjoy a walk in the rain forest, including a stop at La Coca Falls, for a picturesque view of the rainforest and a massive waterfall. Next you'll take a hike along one of the 13 trails that cover 23 miles of breathtaking terrain, and offer wonderful picnic sights. If you are lucky, you may even have the opportunity to swim in one of the many waterfalls.
Day 6 – Camuy Caves & Arecibo Observatory
Your day begins as you journey to the Rio de Camuy Caves Park as you descend into the depths of a million year old cave system. Rio Camuy Cave Park is one of the most massive cave networks in the Western Hemisphere, and a trolley car will take you down to the caves, where footpaths wind through stalactites and stalagmites in Cueva Clara. Your day continues with a visit to the Observatory of Arecibo, the largest radar/radio telescope on Earth. Here, scientists from all over the world use a joint 305 meter diameter dish to listen to the sounds in the universe, including famous research in looking for extraterrestrials.
This afternoon you will continue to the National Astronomy and Lonosphere Center operated by Cornell University; there you will visit the interactive Visitors Center, which offers information on the basics on astronomy and atmospheric science.
Day 7 – Tibes, Ponce & La Parguera
This morning, you will take a drive to the southern coast of Puerto Rico to visit Ponce, the island's second largest town known as the “Pearl of the South.” En route you will stop at the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center, where you will have the opportunity to explore a re-created Taino village. The center also contains a museum with artifacts discovered at the archaeological site, and the oldest cemetery in the Antilles dating back to 300 AD.
After learning about the lives, rituals, and
customs of the Taino people, you continue to Ponce. You will begin to explore the central plaza, Las Delicias, which is highlighted by
Indian laurel trees, fountains, and a unique Firehouse, "El Parque de Bombas." You will then visit a panoramic viewpoint
highlighting the beauty of the city from the top of the hill at "El Vigia Cross.” From here
you will stop for a visit to Serrallés Castle.
Situated on a hill overlooking Ponce, this palatial estate was once home
to the Serrallés family, one of the most powerful producers of rum in Puerto
Late afternoon, you will cool off in the waters of Parguera. First you will take a snorkel tour to explore some of the area’s best shallow reefs lead by PADI professionals. Next you will take a trip to the famous bioluminescent bay. Here you will swim in the waters as you watch the waters light up around you! Tonight you will gather as a group to reflect on your experience in Puerto Rico.
Day 8 – Departure
Today your Puerto Rico adventure comes to an end as you journey back home.
Every single tour that we operate is unique and tailored for your group.
We do not combine your tour group with others.
Take advantage of our innovative tools to make organizing your trip a breeze.
We offer a variety of online, scheduled and recurring payment options.
We focus on providing the best experience with the best value for your dollar.
Just tell us how many free places you need.
ETA includes up to $100,000 per person in medical coverage and insurance protection for travel delays.
This even includes a "cancel for any reason" option.
We have staff available 24/7 via phone for any emergency.
ETA's professional Tour Manager will be with you throughout your trip.
We include all transportation... to, from and during your trip.
Hotel, homestay and/or hostel options are customized according to your preferences, itinerary and budget.
If it is included in your itinerary, any fees and/or tickets are covered.
You choose which meals are included in your program.