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Old September 15th, 2000, 01:21 PM
FrankM
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Default RE: San Juan - What to do

A good tour available, if you have time following your cruise, is the bus trip to the rain forest, El Yunque, a few miles east of San Juan. My ship docked at about 8 AM and my return flight didn't take off until 4PM so I had plenty of time for this tour. I bought the tour on the ship, the Norwegian Dream, so we were one of the first to disembark the ship directly to the tour buses waiting at the dock.

The tour first took us through Old San Juan for some sightseeing and then to one of the downtown forts for about a 45 min. stop. Then we headed east to the mountain range where the National Park, El Yunque, is located. On the way we stopped at a road-side gift shop for a beverage and shopping stop and then to the rain forest.

The rain forest exhibited quite a bit of damage from the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico the year before, but the flowers were all in bloom and the water falls were at their best. The bus stopped to let those of us off that wanted to take a short hike through the forest and we met the bus a few hundred yards down the mountain for our return trip. The final stop in the rain forest was at a stone observation tower that you can climb for a fantastic view east, to the end of the island and the sea. And right on cue, it started to rain, in the rain fores,t as we departed.

The tour bus took us directly to the airport for our flight out. The tour was about 4 or 5 hours in length. We arrived at the airport at 3 PM, one hour before departure. All our luggage went directly to the airport from the ship so we didn't have to worry about it.

Anyone with a late departure form San Juan might want to inquire of their cruise line if they have for sale, this or a similar tour, on board their ship. In my case, my flight arrangements were made through Norwegian and my flight out was a Delta charter flight to Atlanta. There was a whole plane load of people needing something to do between 8AM and 4PM. A number of buses made up the tour of these waiting passengers. My trip was in Jan. '99 on the Norwegian Dream, a great ship!
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