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Old September 21st, 2006, 10:35 PM
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Default Shore excursion in Puerto Rico

Hi there!

I'm on the Explorer of the Seas on Dec. 10. I am considering booking a shore excursion in San Juan to the El Yunque Rainforest. (Has anyone done it?) The excursion is 4.5 hours and we are only scheduled to be in San Juan for 6 hours. Will I have time to walk around Old San Juan?

Thanks!
Jackie
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:56 AM
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Hi Jacadelic,

The Mrs. and I took the El Yungue shore excursion 2 years ago. Depending on traffic conditions in and around San Juan, it will take between 1.5 to 2 hours each way to get to and from El Yungue. The actual tour makes a few stops in the rainforest. So it may take you as much as 5 hours round trip. You will most likely have very little time to see any of Old San Juan before Explorer sets sail. We got back just in time for dinner, and we sailed away about 2 hours later. So, you will have to make a choice, as you will not have time both to see Old San Juan and El Yungue Rainforest during a 6-hour port call.

If you really like nature, choose the El Yungue tour. If you really like history and architecture, choose to tour Old San Juan. Either way, you'll have a great time!

Jeff
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 10:37 AM
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I totally agree with Jeff. You really won't have time to do both. The rainforest is amazing, and Old San Juan is very intersting, you have to choose which you would prefer to do.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 03:27 PM
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The rain forest is BEAUTIFUL! A guide will take you on a hike through the forest. It is great also. The thing i enjoyed about the forest the most is that well it rained the whole time(duh). but it was very comfortable about 80 degrees. Which ever you do enjoy it to the max.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Default rainforest kit

Hello We have booked the rain forest excurision, what should we take to wear and are macs provided? Do we need insect repellent in bucket fulls? Is the track jungley or boarded? We are up for as jungley an experience as possible!! Love to hear what to expect.

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Amanda
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Default Hard time deciding

Thanks for all the feedback so far. I'm really having a hard time deciding. Could anyone who has done the El Yunque excursion give me a little more of a review:

-What was the scenery like on the bus ride?
-What was the hike like in the rainforest?
-Did you see any animals in the rainforest?
-Would you say the excursion is well priced?
-What kind of vehicle did you go in?

I really do appreciate all the feedback. Vice versa, if anyone has any indication what I'd be missing in Old San Juan, that would be great too.

Thanks!
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 11:59 AM
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We went on the old fortresses walking tour in August 06 and it was great. We went to two fortresses, went through town and heard so much about the history, current issues and life there in general. Our guide was just excellent. He would talk aobut anything we wanted to know. Beware though that there is A LOT of walking - about 4 miles total and lots of stairs in the fortresses.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 11:05 PM
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Didn't you ask this awhile ago? But go with the Old San Juan. It is very interesting. You will not have time to do both.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
-What was the scenery like on the bus ride?
-What was the hike like in the rainforest?
-Did you see any animals in the rainforest?
-Would you say the excursion is well priced?
-What kind of vehicle did you go in?
To answer your first question, the scenery will remind you a lot of suburban America with all of its materialistic trappings until you get near the entrance to the Caribbean National Forest where El Yunque is located. Then the scenery changes to a dense tropical forest. The roads are very narrow there, and at times, the dense brush will swipe the side of the bus.
One of the stops in the forest is a tower where you get spectacular views from the top. There is also a waterfall once believed to be the fountain of youth!

Question #2 - I did not go on any of the hikes. But several in our tour did. Most where about a half-hour. I don't think they were really extensive tours, just wasn't enough time.

Question #3 - The animals I saw were limited to frogs and lizards and a very large snail that I took a picture of.

Question #4 - I think the price was fair. I think I paid about $30 per person. It may have been less. Check the shore excursion section of rccl.com for current pricing.

Question #5 - The tour vehicle was a late model bus. It was by no means a luxury motorcoach, but, it was comfortable enough. I don't recall anyone complaining about it.

Check out these El Yunque links for more infomation:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/caribbean/

http://www.topuertorico.org/reference/yunque.shtml

http://www.elyunque.com/about.html

I wish you the best as you make your decision!

Jeff
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