Recipe: Start with a picturesque tropical island, sprinkle in perfect white sand beaches with turquoise water, add lush rainforest and bioluminescent bays, and stir in islets, rushing rivers, coral reefs and misty mountains. Let sit for millenia, then mix in indigenous cultures, Spanish explorers, salsa music, delicious pinchos, a buzzing metropolis, tranquil surf towns, world class museums, rum, baseball and a fascinating, yet complicated relationship with a super power neighbor. Serve with a short flight, no need for passport or foreign currency, and enjoy! Puerto Rico offers the perfect meal to any explorer hungry for an adventure in a tropical paradise and a chance to improve their Spanish with friendly, passionate neighbors. Welcome to La Isla del Encanto!
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Walking Tree Travel specializes in customized group travel. The itinerary below is from a recent program and is provided here as an example of just one of many experiences that are possible in this destination.
Today we will depart the US for San Juan, Puerto Rico! Upon arrival in San Juan, we will unpack at our comfortable hotel and have our arrival dinner and first orientation meeting ahead of our weeks adventure.
We will begin the day with a morning meeting with a Puerto Rican historian to learn more about Puerto Rico's unique relationship within the US. We will then take time to explore and visit more of San Juan's famous sites including San José Church, La Fortaleza, Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, Capitol Building, Paseo de la Princesa and El Morro, the oldest Spanish fortification in the Caribbean. During the afternoon, we will have a photographic scavenger hunt in Old San Juan getting to practice our Spanish skills as we interact with locals trying to cross photos off our lists.
Today we will head to El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the US National Forest System. We will hike through the amazing trail system and get in the swimming holes. In the afternoon, we will visit Balneario La Monserrate in Luquillo, a picturesque white sand beach with calm turquoise water. Once the sun goes down, we will visit Luquillo's famous snack street for dinner.
Today we will leave the capital city for Las Marias, a small community in the west mountains of Puerto Rico, which is approximately a four hour bus drive. We'll have lunch and enjoy a zip line and canopy tour on the way! Upon arrival to our cabins in Las Marias, we will settle in and have dinner and a brief introduction to our service work in the coming days.
This morning we will begin service work alongside an organization that was created in the wake of Hurricane Maria called CAMBU (Centro de Apoyo Mutuo Bucarabones Unidos). Bucarabones is a small barrio located in the municipality of Las Marias and is home to about 700 people. After the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the community of Bucarabones took recovery matters into their own hands and formed their own community center which has brought an incredible amount of positive change to the community. In addition to helping the community recover after the hurricane, CAMBU has brought a renewed sense of community to the barrio as well as a physical space for community members to participate in workshops. After our service project orientation in the morning, we will begin work on the project.
Today we will continue our service work with CAMBU in Bucarabones. In the afternoon we will get ice cream in the community and perhaps join locals on a baseball or soccer match.
Today we will continue our service work with CAMBU in Bucarabones. In the afternoon we will explore a nearby river for some relaxation and break from the heat.
This morning, after breakfast and saying farewell to our new friends, we're off to Mayagüez for a Latin dance class! In the afternoon, we will return to San Juan and have a quiet evening in Old San Juan.
This morning, we will do stand up paddle board in the famous Laguna de Condado. We will then head to Balneario de Carolina, an area of beautiful beaches just east of San Juan. In addition to enjoying the perfect beaches, we will dine on Puerto Rico's best pinchos and frituras before returning to our hotel. This evening, we're off to Bioluminescent Bay in Fajardo where we'll also enjoy our farewell dinner and reflect on our time in Puerto Rico before our departure for the USA tomorrow morning.
Fly home - hasta luego!
Dean of Students, Maryland
"Walking Tree did a great job of connecting us with local guides and organizations that fit our program goals. Having Antonio there with us was priceless as we navigated the island and worked alongside the great people of CAMBU and Plenitud."
All-Inclusive Program Tuition
$1,990 + Flight
Program Types in this Destination
Service AdventuresConservation ExpeditionsCultural Journeys
Don’t see your area of interest highlighted in the itinerary above?
Plan your own customized trip today!
Program Tuition Includes
Global Leadership Activities
Walking Tree Travel has developed tools that will help our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame the group’s experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively on our programs now and on their own into the future. Our activities also encourage students to take initiative as leaders in their local communities to make a difference at an immediate level, helping them to understand the impact they can have when they combine cultural understanding with personal and social responsibility.