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Walking Tour of Old San Juan
"9am - Meet guide in front of Senor Frogs 102 Calle Marina San Juan 00901 Puerto Rico First visit La Fortaleza (Governors house) The gate of San Juan
From $65.00
 
Old San Juan Deluxe Walking Tour
"There is a magical feeling to the area of Old San Juan and your first thought may be that you are not in the United States. There seems to be nothing that looks as old or has the history on the mainland as you will see in Old San Juan. Founded in 1521 this part of the city of San Juan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a US Historic Zone. Your walk begins at the water's edge and follows the city wall where the view is spectacular and the past comes alive. There are over 400 well-preserved buildings in the old city that date back to its inception. The architecture is incredible and you will feel as if you are in Europe with cobblestone streets and buildings sitting side by side. Most of the old city will remind you of its history as a military stronghold but much of this area has now been modified to house attractions for tourism. Cafes small shops great gardens and courtyards abound. The former barracks now house the Museo de Las Americas and has a collection of Latin American Folk Art. Some of the religious structures spread throughout the area such as the San Juan Cathedral seem to be both Gothi San Juan Cathedral and many more historical places. And you will learn where to find other points of interest that you can return to and explore in greater detail.Some sights you'll see include San Juan Gate
From $66.00
 
San Juan Bay Day Sail
"Departing from San Juan Bay Marina in the heart of San Juan your captain will take you on the best sail you will experience. Start off with your first complimentary drink as we exit the dock and set sail. Take in the sights along the way as the boat crew point out interesting facts and landmarks of San Juan. where you will see the adjacent towns and harbor. Sail along the historic wall of El Morro Fort for a perfect photo opportunity. If weather permits we will sail out to the open ocean to catch a glimpse of the north coast of Puerto Rico for an exciting sa"""Discover San Juan Puerto Rico aboard a sailboat. Take in the panoramic views on this pleasure sightseeing tour of San Juan Bay and adjacent waters. Relax on a romantic sail with your loved one or have a fun getaway with a group of friends. Take a break from the city and stitle=Highlights&1=Choice+of+morning+or+afternoon+departure&2=Family+friendly&3=Get+inside+tips+from+a+local&4=Romantic+experience%2C+perfect+for+couples&5=Small+group+ensures+personal+service&6=Free+drinks+included&7=Informative%2C+friendly+and+professio
From $70.00

El Yungue Rainforest Tips (14)

Go hiking in the El Yunque rainforest

The El Yunque rainforest is located about 1h east of San Juan, near the town of Rio Grande, and it therefore makes for a great day-trip destination. It's also very easy to book a guided tour from San Juan, which is what we did. Our guide Antonio picked us up at our hotel (there were 5 people in our group) and during the 1h drive to El Yunque, he entertained us with many interesting facts about the history and culture of Puerto Rico. Our first stop at El Yunque was at the Yokahu Tower where we were treated to a wonderful view of the tropical forest. We then went hiking around the Baño Grande area, where we got to learn a lot about the creation of the El Yunque National Forest and the different species of flora and fauna that are present in the park, all thanks to our wonderful guide. Antonio had a great sense of humor and a vast knowledge of the area, and he was very respectful of the environment (unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all the guides we met in the park - some will not hesitate to harm trees just to impress visitors...).

Our next stop was at the beautiful La Mina waterfalls. To get there, we hiked down the Big Tree trail - you had to watch your step, but it was a really nice trail along a small river. Once we got to the bottom of the falls, we went for a swim in its cool, pristine waters - it was so much fun! And quite refreshing! We then made a brief stop at La Coca falls, which are nice but not as impressive as La Mina, and stopped for a late lunch at "La Muralla", a small restaurant located on the side of the road. Their tacos were really good, and we also got to sample some papas rellenas (mashed potatoes stuffed with meat) and sorullos (fried corn sticks). All in all, it was a great experience and a fantastic way to spend a day in Puerto Rico!

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Jefie
Feb 20, 2010

Mount Britton Tower - El Yunque Rainforest

As previously mentioned, when we first visited San Juan in the 1980's, we took an excursion which included visiting a beach and El Yunque Rainforest. I remember walking trails through the rainforest where it was not only very damp and humid but hot. We came across a few structures in the forest such the Mount Britton Tower.

For a fair prospect of the surrounding forests and mountains, climb the circular staircase of the Mount Britton Tower on Mt. Britton of course -- the observation tower is made of stone and is quite interesting. On clear days, the 3,075 ft. elevation may offer views of the Atlantic Ocean! Unfortunately I cannot find any of my original photos of the tower and has to resort to using a borrowed image as noted.

I've yet to find when and who built this beautiful stone tower, so if any one knows, I'd be glad to have the information!

Several years ago we found ourselves in the midst of what I thought was a local parade -- well, it was sort of.

Next tip: Solidarity.

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starship
Jan 21, 2016

HIKING IN EL YUNQUE

One of the reasons I decided to go to Puerto Rico was because I had read an article about El Yunque and the Coqui frogs. Needless to say, I didn't see a single coqui frog other than the stuffed ones sold in the gift shops, but I sure did here them all over the place. The nice thing about hiking in El Yunque is also the thing I disliked the most. Seems the rainforest is so popular that they have manmade trails laid out all over. I feel that it takes away from much of the beauty El Yunque has to offer, but at the same time, it makes for nice hiking. I hiked the La Mina trail, I believe its the most popular one, because it leads to the Las Minas falls. When we reached the falls we did as most tourists do and went into the basin just to say we swam there. I did manage to get right up under the falls. The water was freezing to say the very least. I highly suggest people bring a variety of clothing when hiking this particular or any of the trails in El Yunque. When we were there it rained on and off for about an hour. Definately wear sneakers for this hike, I saw many, many a person tripping over their sandles and flip flops and sliding on the wet rocks. The hiking is free, but if you want to stop off at the visitor center its gonna cost ya a few bucks a person.

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moiraistyx
Oct 15, 2007

El Yunque - Carribean National Forest

El Yunque is the only tropical forest in the United States. Located approximately, 40 km southeast of San Juan, is is said to be the rainiest of all national forests. It took an hour by car from the downtown San Juan area.

There are over 200 different varieties of trees and plants. In addition to the wide variety of foliage, you will also see and hear birds. Much of the wildlife found in the forest is very rare and includes the Puerto Rican Parrot. Fortunately, no hunting is allowed in the forest. There are many hiking trails. The trails maybe difficult to manage with small children. Camping (by permit) is allowed.

The forest is open daily from 7:30 AM until 6:00 PM

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SmileyLeSa
Nov 09, 2005
 
 
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El Yungue Rainforest

The rainforest was definitely worth the drive. Be prepared for a pretty long trek down slippery paths. You come out at a beautiful waterfall where you can swim but it might as well be Disneyland because it is jammed with people with their kids. The walk back seems shorter but still a pretty good haul. Wear sneakers.

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webula
Nov 26, 2009

El Yunque - La Mina Trail

La Mina trail is one of the most popular trails in the forest because it leads to La Mina Falls. The trail is approximately 1 mile long. Although it is not very difficult, there are many narrow concrete steps and the climb back is very steep. It took us about 1 1/2 hours round-trip, which included a 10-15 stop at the falls.

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SmileyLeSa
Apr 27, 2005

El Yunque - La Mina Falls

After the nice 30-40 minute hike down the trail we reached the faills. There were many people bathing in the water or simply sitting beneath the waterfall itself. The waterall drops about 35 feet. La Mina Falls is certainly no Yosemite, but its a nice visual once you have completed the trail

SmileyLeSa's Profile Photo
SmileyLeSa
Apr 27, 2005

El Yunque Rainforest

Visiting the rainforest is a perfect change of scenery from the beach scene. With its lush green ambience and the winding roads that wrap around the rising mountain of the jungle, El Yunque is like taking a trip into a different time and place. Its a part of San Juan that makes you feel as though your not in San Juan. I felt like I was in Jurassic Park! The weather is always changing and a sunny day can quickly dissipate into a violent, though refreshing rainstorm and then back into a sunny day all within a half hour. Enjoy the views and the many different waterfalls. There is no entrance to drive through the rainforest and to hike the trails, but make sure to get there early as the park closes at six. To not visit El Yunque when your in San Juan would be like visiting Cairo and not visiting the Pyramids. Don't make that mistake!

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wilocrek
May 15, 2008

Top 5 San Juan Writers

Jefie's Profile Photo

Jefie

"La Ciudad del Encanto"
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moiraistyx's Profile Photo

moiraistyx

"BLUE WATERS, WHITE SAND AND TONS OF HISTORY,"
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starship's Profile Photo

starship

"San Juan, Puerto Rico"
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Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

Jim_Eliason

"San Juan"
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jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

jumpingnorman

"Jumping Around San Juan, Puerto Rico!"
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El Yunque

We took an organized tour to the rain forest. El Yunque covers 28,000 acres and is the only tropical rain forest in the US National Forest System. Our driver, "Papa Lion" was very knowledgeable and informative. After an overview of the area, he delivered us to the start of one of the trails. We were able to then go at our own pace, and hike to the nearby waterfall. The brave opted to take a quick dip in the chilly water. It was approximately 35 minutes each way, had over 200 steps, and a fairly steep incline to the finish. We didn't see any animals, but it was very beautiful.

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jag17
Jun 03, 2005

El Yunque Rainforest: La Mina Falls

Cascada La Mina (La Mina Falls), is an exquisite waterfall that drops over 35 feet through a jumble of huge rocks into a lovely pool where hikers can choose to swim in the cool refreshing water or merely rest and enjoy the view. Its located at the end of a trail that takes you through the rainforest and the waterfall is the reward for the effort! Besides lounging on the cool rocks or swimming in the pool, you can also choose to climb up into the falls which is a refreshing, exhilarating experience that you won't forget, its also very cold! Located in the El Yunque Rainforest, La Mina Falls is the primary reason that many people visit.

wilocrek's Profile Photo
wilocrek
May 15, 2008

El Yunque... yeye yeke ye

El Yunque is probably the only compulsory day trip in Puerto Rico.

Just 35 miles from San Juan, but taking longer to drive than you would expect. Signs for Puerto Ricos numero uno tourist attraction are conveniently handwritten on a few boards sellotaped to lamp posts.

When you do eventually find it, it’s worth stopping at the visitors centre on the main road up into the forest. Pretty impressive information centre and even if you don’t learn anything the toilets come in handy.

By this point you've probably realised it's more Last of The Summer Wine than Indiana Jones.

First stop to give a taster to come is La Coca Falls on the main road (little lay-by to park in). Further up the road, a small lookout tower gives good views of the forest, mountains and coastline.

If you’re feeling more adventurous and fancy a swim, La Mina falls can be reached by a short walk through the jungle. Try to avoid setting off just after large parties, as the path is only wide enough for one person and you’ll be forever stopping as someone in front takes a photo of a leaf. This got too infuriating even for my usually reserved English manners and we barged past in the end.

Note as well that if you decide to continue on the "jungle" trail after the falls, you will still come out on the main road - but about 1/2 mile downhill from where you set off. And it's a steep climb. We hitched a ride back up in a New Yorker's 4x4, but you might not be so lucky.

tomhoward's Profile Photo
tomhoward
Jul 11, 2006

El Yunque - Only Tropical Rain Forest in the U.S.

El Yunque is the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. Comprised of some 240 different species of trees, it is actually a series of forests, each one determined by its altitude.

More than 100 billion gallons of precipitation fall each year which creates the jungle-like ambience of lush foliage, sparkling leaves, shining wet rocks, and shadowy paths occasionally pierced by sunlight.

Spectacular waterfalls rush alongside its well-maintained (but slippery) trails.

It is here where you will hear the the noisy, ubiquitous tree frog, el coqu?. No one really knows how many species there are. This little tree frog is very elusive, but you'll hear them here for sure. This is also home to the endangered Puerto Rican parrot.

The best way to see the forest is on foot. You can also appreciate it during a slow drive up and down the mountain. Exploring can be done on your own or take a guided tour.

I love my visits to the rain forest, walking along the many hiking paths and enjoying the cold waterfalls is a nice way to spend a hot day.

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Gypsystravels
Jul 27, 2015

Things to Do Near San Juan

Things to Do

Old San Juan

Sandwiched between La Perla Barrio and San Cristobal this cemetery is considered one of the most picturesque of burial grounds anywhere. The cemetery is particularly noteworthy for its elaborate...
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Things to Do

Alcaldia - City Hall

The City hall sits on the Plaza de Armas next to Puerto Rico's version of the state department. The Alcalde dates from the 17th century with it taking its current shape in 1789. Numerous other...
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Things to Do

La Fortaleza

This is the Governor's Palace and is also known as the La Fortaleza. it was built in 1533 and is the oldest executive mansion in the world. It still serves as the governor's residence today. It sits...
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Things to Do

Plaza De Armas

The Plaza de Armas is one of Old San Juan's main plazas or squares where people gather or relax in during various times of the day. The "Topuertorico.org" website states that "It was carefully planned...
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Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral, or formally the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, is the final resting place of Ponce De Leon. admission is $1. The original cathedral was built in 1521, the current structure...
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Capilla Del Cristo

This old church was built centuries ago. The legend behind it is that a young man on horseback plunged over the cliff that this church is located on. During his descent he prayed to one of the...
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