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Old 02-01-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
jennyjuops
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San Juan excursions

We are sailing on the Fantasy on 2/9. I booked the El Yunque Rainforest for when we get to San Juan. I want to know how hard the hike is and is it worth it. We are torn because our kids are 8 & 6 and I don't want them to be exhausted the rest of the day. We also heard great things about Old San Juan. Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
Douvres Family
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Originally Posted by jennyjuops View Post
We are sailing on the Fantasy on 2/9. I booked the El Yunque Rainforest for when we get to San Juan. I want to know how hard the hike is and is it worth it. We are torn because our kids are 8 & 6 and I don't want them to be exhausted the rest of the day. We also heard great things about Old San Juan. Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!
That is a hard decision to make...I lived in PR as a child. We visited Old San Juan every Sunday after church. There are a lot of great sights...parks, historical landmarks, restaurants...beautiful sights to see.

I went to the rainforest when I was 17...it was in the middle of summer...very hot, humid, and sticky...we went as far as the first waterfall and bathed in it (we were wearing our bathing suits underneath). Of course, it will not be as hot and humid when you go...but it may be a little tiring. However, it is absolutely gorgeous!!!

It is a personal preference...but I go to Old San Juan.

If you decide to go to Old San Juan...go to Parque de las Palomas (the Park of the Doves/Pigeons). Its a quaint little old plaza that is filled with doves/pigeons. If you don't like the idea of getting close to a lot of birds, this is not for you.
Most kids will love it. You can buy corn from one of the vendors, place some on the palm of each one of your hands and extend your arms. The birds will stand on your shoulders and walk down your arms and eat out of your hands. (Kodak moment) If you are worried about bird "poop"...it never happened to me...that's not to say it wont happen. It's at the end of Calle del Cristo.

Mom & I used to go there every Sunday after mass...and then lunch at Siglo XX (20th Century). It's an old style spanish restaurant...cuisine Spanish and Puerto Rican.

Old San Juan is filled with so much beautiful history going back to the 1500s...

Have fun!!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
jenpink
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My 10 year old daughter and I did the rainforest hike at el Junque two weeks ago. There is not actually a lot of hiking involved. I don't think it will wear out your kids. We enjoyed our time there but more time is spent sitting on the bus
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
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My 10 year old daughter and I did the rainforest hike at el Junque two weeks ago. There is not actually a lot of hiking involved. I don't think it will wear out your kids. We enjoyed our time there but more time is spent sitting on the bus
El Yunque may have different trails...I recall hiking for about an hour and we werent halfway done...we decided to turn back after the 1st waterfall...my aunt did tell me they closed some trails to the public.


Jenpink...did you enjoy it? What were some of the highlights? Very curious about other ppl's feedback...
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #5
jennyjuops
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Thanks for the info. I figured it would be fun to see a real life rain forest since they are learning about it in school.
JenPink, do you think we should bother with the rain forest tour or go to see the forts?? I'm really torn. I figured the rain forest would be a fun outdoor activity.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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Not sure if it matters to you, but it was something to came to my mind.
We were looking at the Rainforest one originally, then we realized that San Juan is the day after Pirate Night. I KNOW the kids will be up very late the night before, after also having spent a full day in St Thomas as well.
I am thinking any lengthy excursion on San Juan day will be pushing our luck on the happiness meter. LOL

So we decided just to do Old San Juan, so much to see and do there on its own. So we can sleep in and do a leisurely day instead of having to be somewhere bright and early, long bus ride, etc. (when I checked the excursion met at 7:30 am)
Then if we return to Puerto Rico at another time venture out to other things.

May not be a factor for you guys depending on what you'll do pirate night, what you're doing in St Thomas, etc.... but thought I'd throw the thought out there just in case.

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Old 02-01-2013, 04:28 PM   #7
jennyjuops
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FabFivePA, that is totally true!! Wow, didn't even think about that. They will be exhausted! I think I am going to do the same thing. I just showed them the pictures of the forts and Old San Juan and they wanted to go there. I'm not thrilled that we are on the bus for an hour each way.

Thank you Thank you!!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
FabFivePA
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I know San Cristobal has a new children's discovery center. We're gonna check that out.

Have a fantastic cruise!! Definitely come back and let us know what you ended up doing!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:48 PM   #9
jenpink
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We had a really good time in El Yunque but I think it was because of our tour guide. It rained all day but it was warm. Our tour guide gave us the option of either doing a 20 minutes walk on a paved trail that was scheduled with our tour or a shorter steep hike up an unmarked trail to a beautiful waterfall. Our group chose the steeper hike to the waterfall and it was well worth it. It felt more like we were in the rainforest. It was a great experience. Afterward, he told us he would take us on a city tour of Old San Juan if we wanted and everyone said "yes'. He parked at El Morrow and gave us time to take pictures. All this for the price of the Rainforest tour. This was the tour booked through Disney cruise.
My daughter was not looking forward to this tour, I almost had to drag her to it, but she had a great time and admitted to it Whether it is worth it? It was to us, but it may depend on your expectations and your tour guide. There is a long ride on the bus that is not always very scenic. The rainforest is beautiful even when you are on the bus. The bus makes several stops which we enjoyed, especially the tower and the waterfalls. Hope this helps
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:56 PM   #10
poison ivy
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another vote for Old San Juan.

We cancelled our disney excursion and walked off the ship at our leisure to the free tram stop. there is one right near the ship if you bear left on the sidewalk when you reach the end of the pier. There are tram stop numbered signs. Ours was at the end of the row of taxis. We decided to ride to the Fort since it was an uphill climb in that direction and we were unfamiliar with the area. Very simple and convenient to do.

This tram stops at both forts. We got off at San Cristobal. It was 3 dollars per adult entrance fee. It was more than enough to do for the day so we never made it over to El Morro. When we left, we walked to the ship. There were a few other families doing the same thing. It is only a couple of blocks and the ship was clearly visible from the fort. It was downhill and through a very tourist active area of Old San Juan right near the ship. Many seemed to be from our cruise.

We saw many families and the children all seemed to be having a great time.
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