San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of the Eastern Caribbean's most diverse and exciting ports of call. This capital city of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, offers a unique blend of so many factors: old and new; American and Taino/European cultures; art and adventure. Cruisers can stroll down San Juan’s bustling cobblestone streets filled with inviting shops or spend the day lounging on one of the island's golden beaches.
While the city of San Juan offers many attractions, a host of adventures are waiting nearby. Here are five exhilarating experiences that cruise guests can enjoy during their visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico:
1. Get Out on the Water. Catamaran sail and snorkel excursions are popular with families in San Juan. For an inexpensive and less touristy adventure, head over to the COPI Cultural Center and go kayaking on the lovely Torecilla Lagoon. This peaceful lagoon is filled with mangrove channels and the bird watching here is fantastic. Kayak up the lagoon to the end of the San Juan airport runway, where you can watch the big birds take off overhead. It's definitely an exhilarating experience. After your kayaking excursion, rent some bikes and head up to Piñones beach or grab lunch at one of the nearby roadside stands.
2. Glow In The Dark. Cruise passengers whose ships remain in San Juan until late at night have a unique opportunity to tour one of Puerto Rico's bioluminescent lagoons. Only a few of these exist throughout the world. Participants can kayak in small groups along a trail to Fajardo's Laguna Grande filled with glow-in-the-dark plankton. Touching the water with your hands will cause the little dinoflagellates to light up like fire flies. It's an amazing experience and best on a moonless night.
3. Fly through the Canopy. Love excitement? Then sail from tree to tree on a zipline tour during your stay in Puerto Rico. There are multiple zipline courses in Puerto Rico, some located closer to the San Juan cruise pier than others. One zipline adventure, for example, consists of eight traverses across 10 platforms using a network of cables and pulleys. Extensive walking, hiking and climbing may be involved as part of zipline tours. There are always age, weight and health requirements involved in taking zipline shore excursions, so make sure to check out all the details before booking.
4. Take a Hike. Nature-loving families should visit El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest within the U.S. National Forest system. This 28,000-acre rain forest's waterfalls, natural pools, colorful wildflowers and tiny tree frogs (coqui) are favorites with visitors. El Yunque shore excursions allow guests to learn about the history, geography, importance, and fragile nature of rainforests today. Seeking more natural wonders? Take a stroll through the Rio Camuy Cave Park, the third largest cave system on the planet with illuminated caverns stretching up to 170-feet high. The kids will be thrilled to know that parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie were filmed in these caves.
5. Ride the Trails. Cruisers seeking an adrenaline rush can get their fill on an exhilarating ATV adventure tour at a 600-acre hacienda located in Puerto Rico’s eastern countryside. On this exciting shore excursion, guests will cross creeks and drive on trails that wind through the region’s beautiful scenery. If the weather permits, the guides will stop by a river and participants can take a dip to cool off in the clear waters. Each ATV can hold one driver and one rider. This tour is open to cruisers who are at least 12 years old. Drivers must be 18 years of age or older, under 260 pounds, in good health, and must show a valid driver’s license. For those who prefer to ride on horseback, the Hacienda also offers leisurely trail rides meandering through the grounds and along the banks of a river. Participants must be at least 10 years of age, at least 48” tall, weigh no more than 250 pounds, and be in good physical condition to participate in this tour.
Other popular active adventures in Puerto Rico include scuba diving, catamaran cruises, and surfing excursions. To find more information on what to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico, visit http://www.seepuertorico.com.