Ok I couldn't think of a good title, but here is our pickle. ;-)
We are arriving in San Juan the day before our cruise so we can have a day to check out Puerto Rico since its not actually a stop on our cruise. We have to check out of our hotel at 11 on Saturday and can begin the boarding process at 12:30. Our boat does not disembark until 10PM. i am *dying* to go to El Yunque rainforest. We won't have a car and i am worried about getting to the rain forest and then back again. It's apparently about an hour away from San Juan and taking a cab would be super expensive. This leaves us with the option of finding a tour somewhere, but most of the tours seem to be about 4 hours. I'm assuming those 4 hours don't include the 2 hours of driving to and from. I realize this seemingly gives us still plenty of time to get back on the boat but i am paranoid about missing the boat. Since we've never cruised before I have no grasp on how things work and how easy it will be to find a tour there and back, etc.
We don't arrive in San Juan until about 2 on Friday so I don't think we can do it that day. ANd we leave too early on the last day to do it then.
Can anyone give me some good advice, point me in the right direction, or just flat out tell me whether this is feasible or not?
If the tour says 4 hours that USUALLY means travel time included. If you have already inquired about tours why not email them and ask what the itinerary is and whether the travel time is included and where/when you will be picked up and dropped off. A lot of tour operators who take cruise ship passengers know the limitations on time and so you should not have too much trouble with timing. Also, if your going to fret too much about not making the ship for sail away then it might be best to put off going to the forest altogether and do it another time, good excuse to go back!!
You should have plenty of time, i am sure that your hotel has plenty of information on tours to the rainforest or you can hire a driver for a few hours - negotiate the fare in advance. I am sure you can get an early tour, check out of your hotel early and catch a morning tour.
I agree, your hotel should be able to help you with an early morning private tour to El Yuneque. Friends stayed at El Convento and did this. There guide was wonderful and showed them much more than you can imagine. Call your hotel conceriege from home and ask about recommendations for a tour. Get the email address & phone number of local companies that are recommended and check it out. The hotel will hold your luggage so when you return, just get a taxi to the pier. Embarkation starts anytime after noon time, but you don't need to board until you are ready but at least a half hour before you leave port.
Re: Re: Re: El Yunque Forest and missing the boat....
If you are arriving the same day as the on/off the ship after lunch much before 2 PM. This is one hour later than East Coast departure time; Think Florida or NY it will be 1 PM. It will get dark about 5 PM leaving you a very short time to view the darkend Rain Forest. The original poster was arriving at SJ a day early. He can take the morning tour with no problem.
Re: Re: Re: Re: El Yunque Forest and missing the boat....
We cruised from San Juan and saw El Yunque after the cruise. We were on Dawn Princess and they had a great deal, where, after disembarking we boarded a bus that brought us to El Yunque and then to the airport.