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Ten Terrific Tours in Puerto Rico

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Thinking about what to do while you're in Puerto Rico? These ten tours bring you the best of the island's cultural, natural, culinary and adventurous attractions. These aren't in any particular order, as they depend entirely on where your interests lie; but they all offer something special.

1. Night Tales of San Juan

Cascada invertida con niños  Tomada en San Juan, Puerto Rico
tecnorrante/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

One of the first tours I took in Puerto Rico remains one of my favorites. Debbie Molina runs an entertaining, informative tour to and through the old city at night, giving you insider access to some of the historic buildings in Old San Juan. With her knowledge of Puerto Rican history and the magic of the walled city and its cobblestone streets, it all makes for a wonderful experience.

Night Tales is just one of numerous tours run by Legends of Puerto Rico, which include walking tours of the city during the day, Thanksgiving culinary excursions into the countryside, and nature tours.

2. Flavors of San Juan

Photo © Zain Deane

Speaking of tours at night in the old city, Leslie Padró combines history, cuisine, and a walk in Old San Juan at night. The tour takes you several great restaurants and landmarks, and Leslie's jounralistic skills ensure you'll learn at least a few new things about the local culture.

3. Erin Go Bragh

Photo © Zain Deane

Feel like going sailing? Then I heartily recommend Erin Go Bragh, an old-school sail on a 50-foot Ketch from Fajardo to tiny islands and snorkeling spots on Puerto Rico's east coast. Captain Bill and Ingrid are wonderful hosts, and they might even let you play your own soundtrack during the trip.

4. Team Spirit

Photo © Clay Humphrey

Combine the picturesque natural beauty of Puerto Rico's subtropical rainforst, El Yunque, and the chance to go hang gliding in near-perfect conditions, and you can't beat what Team Spirit offers you. And if hang gliding seems like an unnecessarily risky ting to do, my advie is, try it! I found it to be far more serene and relaxing than scary.

5. Hacienda Carabli

Photo © Zain Deane

Four-track, mountain bike or horse? That's all you need to ask yourself before you head out to Hacienda Carabalí, a tour company nestled in the foothills of the El Yunque rainforest. Choose your ride, and take off on a fun, relaxing, or invigorating romp through the forst to an idyllic spot where you can swim in a river.

6. Biobay Tours

Photo © Zain Deane

There are three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, but not all bays are the same. Mosquito Bay in Vieques is the by far the most incredible of the bunch, and there are two guides I know who run excellent trips to this awesome natural wonder: Ab'e Snorkeling & Bio-Bay Tours and  Island Adventures.

If you can't make it out to Vieques Island but still feel like glowing in the dark, head to Fajardo, where Yokahu Kayaks runs a great tour.   

7. Camuy and Arecibo

Photo © Puerto Rico Tourism Company

A tour of two totally different destinations, many companies operate an excursion to the spectacular Camuy Cave system and the Arecibo Telescope, the largest single dish radio telesope in the world. They rank among Puerto Rico's best attractions.

Among the companies that offer this tour are:

8. El Yunque for Thrill-Seekers

Photo © Aventuras Tierra Adentro

If caving, rappelling, canyoning, zip lines and free jumps sound like your idea of a perfect day out, you're going to love heading out with companies like Acampa and Aventuras Tierra Adentro, both of which will introduce you to the more daring side of the El Yunque rainforest.

9. Culebra Divers

There are many dive companies in Puerto Rico, but I'm partial to Culebra Divers. Walter was my guide for my first-ever dive, and I couldn't have asked for a better instructor. The waters off Culebra's Cayo Norte weren't too shabby either, giving me a chance to see some of Puerto Rico's underwater residents.

10. Casa Bacardi

Photo © Zain Deane

The only free tour on this list (actually, you even get a free sample of Bacardi rum at the end of it), Casa Bacardi's guided tour of their distillery in Cataño, near San Juan, was a lot more interesting than I expected. From the history of the founding family of rum's most recognizable brand to the story behind the bat logo, the experience is worth it for anyone who wants to know more about the rum, and the island, behind the Piña Colada.

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