Fantastic trip! Our tour guide Manuel was amazing. Thanks for great memories!!
I am sitting in my home where it is a gloomy, rainy 55 degrees and wishing I could be right back in beautiful Puerto Rico at this moment!
My husband and I enjoyed the wonderful El Yunque tour with Manuel as our guide. First and foremost, Manuel is an absolute gem. He was so very warm, friendly and engaging that we felt as though we'd known him our entire lives. In fact, I wish we had! Throughout the day, he gave us the perfect mix of information and conversation. We also did not expect such a tour!!! We so very much enjoyed seeing the countryside after a quick stop for a smoothie, then a pause at lovely Piñones beach. Once the enjoyable ride was complete, we arrived at El Yunque through what we felt was the back door! Oh my goodness--what a beautiful, refreshing and invigorating place it is!
The hike is moderate plan to stretch yourself a bit if youre not an experienced hiker like me not experiencedand Manuel was a patient and caring guide, never rushing always making sure I had solid footing. Wear good river shoes and bring along some dry clothes as youll be partaking in a cool dip in the river pool. And bring a good camerayoull want to capture the beauty around you. Manuel took some photos for us so we could both be in the shot, and he even caught images and video of my husband taking a plunge into the river from an outcropping of rock a little too high for me. After swimming for a bit, we enjoyed the freshest local fruits while standing on the rocks knee-deep in the water. We did not want to leave paradise, but it was time to go and make one last stop.
Our trip wound down at the kisocos on beautiful Luquillo, where we indulged in the local cuisine. It was the perfect ending to a charmed and surreal kind of day. This is no touristy kind of tour. It was truly a personalized and intimate experience. If you can handle a little vigorous hiking, you must not miss this opportunity!
I thought I did this already.
Jose and Rachel are the best. If you get them they will treat you like a family member and you are spending the day together rediscovering the beauty of the island. From discussion on Tiano and Carib ancestors, to morning chicken empanadas and the best smoothie fruit drinks I and my daughter engulfed our greedy little hearts with it was great. Our journey to the forest was scenic and it was evident to us that Jose and Rachel love to share the culture of the land with willing enthusiasm, private beach trail we took for breath taking photos was memorable. The tourist entrance to the rainforest which I refused to be apart was accepted and we went where the locals go for open hearted hospitality, food sharing, off the beaten path exploration of this marvelous forest. I cannot speak express how grateful I am to Jose and Rachel for such a great experience. It was Daddy/Daughter wknd get away and we had the best time of our lives. I will definitely be back...all I can say is by time you are done you will tip graciously...
I had such an amazing time on this trip. Not only was the tour guide informative he was also funny and kind. The waterfall and the river were absolutely beautiful and we were fortunate to go when it wasn and #39;t very crowded. I would recommend wearing river shoes instead of hiking boots/tennis shoes.
This tour was amazing! I couldn't recommend this more highly. You get a great background of the culture of different parts of the island on your drive in and a real feel for how locals experience the beauty of the rainforest. Leave everything you don't need in the car and be prepared for everything you bring to get submerged because it almost definitely will. If there's anything you want to bring phone, camera, etc. our guides were really awesome about keeping everything safe and dry and getting pictures and videos for us. They were so accommodating and flexible, there were always options and opportunities to opt out of things we didn't feel comfortable with but I was really glad we got to do the more adventurous parts of the hike. The natural waterslides were so much fun and eating the fruit we bought in the farmer's market that morning in the beautiful river was such an amazing experience. Sahid and Jose were the best both were so knowledgeable about the island and it's history and they even brought bags so that they could pick up trash that people had left in the forest on the way back. We did this as the last full day of our trip but I would suggest doing it right in the middle of a trip to San Juan, maybe with a lazy beach day after because it's quite a day. They had so many good recommendations and suggestions that I'll have to come back to PR just to use them.
The tour was great. The small group was just four of us in the guides car. We went to an area where I did not see another tourist, which was great. We were never pressured with any side trips to buy anything. Overall this tour is far superior to the big bus excursions.
The natural water slides and river were awesome and quite adventurous although the 25 foot jump off a cliff in to the river can be skipped if it is too much for you. We didn't realize that we would be fully submerged for much of the trek, so make sure to leave everything in the car before going on the hike. The hike is beautiful through the rain forest although a bit slippery.
It was okay. The name of the tour implies a full day in El Yunque but you must read the overview because it's really just a stop on the tour. The waterfall was beautiful but crowded. The restaurant stop was too long. Good but a little frustrating. Next time I'll try to locate a tour operator that actually spends more time in El Yunque.
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