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All reviews shore excursion booked this tour royal caribbean puerto rico the river would highly recommend this tour granola bars el yunque great hike backpack dan guide rainforest trail flora facts
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Reviewed 7 January 2016

We booked this trip as an excursion from our cruise ship (we had a onboard credit we needed to use up). We decided since we had been to PR several times, that we wanted to do something different on this trip and had always heard about the rainforest being a good option. Our first choice for this tour was supposedly at capacity so we choose to do the same tour, just a little longer and provided a backpack, water and snack for an additional $30.00. Our ship arrived about 1 pm to PR and we we given priority departure since we had booked the tour through the ship. When we arrived on the pier to find our group we were surprised to learn it was such a small group, even the guides mentioned that the tour normally had approximately 40 people normally. Our tour only had 10 so we had lots of attention from the guides. The hike was fairly easy with many stops. Once we reached the waterfall we had sufficient time to take photos and what not. The guides mentioned that the waterfall stop was uncrowded and that was unusual, but more to our benefit. The trip back to the vehicle was well paced with minimal stops. We understood that we were loosing daylight and that the park would be closing, but we did not ever feel rushed. We saw several creatures in the rainforest and even saw a rainforest scorpion which according to the guide was rare, since he had only seen 3 (well now 4) in his 15 years of doing the tour. We were a little surprised with the lack of birds in the rainforest, we could hear them along with the frogs, but we never saw a lot of birds. We had two brief rainshowers while on the tour and the company had provided umbrella in the backpack for us as well. Honestly, the umbrella seemed to be more of a hindrance than helpful, most of the rain was not reaching ground level it was stopped by the canopy of trees, so it was just mainly droplets falling. I guess you have to understand that you are in a rainforest and should expect rain. The guides were friendly and very attentive, not sure if this is because we were a small group or not, but they seemed to generally hope we were having a great adventure. They were very informative about the rainforest and even allowed us to eat some rainforest termite creatures. I did partake in this, and it didn't kill me so I assume it is safe (at least in moderation, LOL). Overall, we would recommend the tour. Our only negative critic (assuming the tour company itself has little control over this) is that the price on the ship seemed a little steep for the tour. Honestly, I would say that if we did not have the onboard shore excursion credit from the ship we would probably not have booked this tour solely on the listing price. I would assume like most excursions while cruising, you can get a better deal working directly with the tour companies, so maybe this would be a better option for someone that may be only visiting PR for a few hours while cruising.

Date of experience: December 2015
Thank smd604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2016

Initially we had called to book the night time kayak tour along the bay. However, it was booked out for the dates we were there and the woman answering the phone warned us that we probably wouldn't see a lot of phosphorescence and instead recommended this tour which they had just started. The tour group was extremely easy to work with even when we had to make a last minute change as no rental cars were available and sent excellent directions that were easy to follow from the hotel. They provided snacks, natural mosquito repellent, towels, and backpacks for the short hike as well as red lights to help see the trail in the evening. The tour guide, Mike, was extremely knowledgeable, and kept up a friendly banter the entire time. Listening to the forest transition from day to night was a really neat experience, as was looking at the biophosphorescence on the leaves and logs. Mike has a lot of really neat ideas for enhancing the experience of the tour such as an amplifier and laser pointer which I think will help. The tour is still getting the kinks worked out but I think in a year it will be even more popular than the kayak tours, particularly with such knowledgeable and helpful guides. In the mean time, there are still some minor flaws to work out. The hike down to the pool is nice but ultimately only 15 minutes and extremely easy (but you stop a lot to look at stuff) and you're pretty much limited to trees and flora with a few insects thrown in. No "eyes" as one of the members of the group remarked. However, I think I would have preferred to walk a little farther during daylight hours and then turn around and come back leaving the last bit of the trail for evening. The swimming hole is nice but if there are other trails with more to see during the daytime this could be a good option. Additionally, I also suggest that this tour be limited to ages 16 and older as who is on the group makes a difference and talkative or neglectful individuals can be disruptive to the entire group's experience.

Date of experience: January 2016
Thank MayaChi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2016 via mobile

This is the best nature walk I've ever been on. My guide was Michael. He is very into what he does and it makes going on his trip much more intriguing. His knowledge of the Rainforest is very high, according to him, he goes out all the time to study the things that go on. My trip was more at night than in the day and much more life is active at night than in the day. At the end of the trail there is the only river in all of Puerto Rico that hasn't been tapped into by people. We saw a tarantula that was ENORMOUS, so big in fact that Michael was concerned about why it was at that elevation and had to tell his official people about it. The absolute best part was something that at first was a disaster. I left my phone in a backpack they gave us to use and I was concerned that I was never going to get it back. I called Michael and told him what happened and he said "I'll be there in an hour" and hung up. An hour later, there he was right at the ship port where I was going to my cruise ship. He wouldn't even accept a tip. What a guy. The rest of my cruise I was thinking of that guy and the lifesaver he is. And Michael, if your reading this, thanks again. Highly highly highly recommend this trip.

Date of experience: December 2015
Thank Jack L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2015 via mobile

This was an absolute highlight of our visit to Puerto Rico. Mike is a fantastic host and guide. His knowledge is huge, his obvious love and passion for Puerto Rico and its natural splendour is even greater. The forest came alive as night fell, the range of sounds we heard, and diversity of animals we saw was incredible. We saw a hummingbird, a scissor tailed bird that preys on small lizards, the lizards themselves, bats, a tarantula, glowing beatles and of course Puerto Rico's crown jewel; the coqui frog. Many, many coquis! We also saw bioluminescent fungi. Puerto Rico is the most bioluminescent place on earth. Its forests were surely an inspiration for Avatar.

This tour is just fantastic and very suitable for young children with an interest in the natural world. Mike was great with our three kids.

The tour was billed to last 2 hours, but we spent about 2.5 hours in the forest. Testament to Mike not rushing his guests, and taking the required time to share his knowledge and answer all questions.

If you want to see an aspect of Puerto Rico that many tourists will sadly miss, book yourself on this marvellous experience.

Date of experience: December 2015
1  Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2015

We took the rainforest walk as an excursion from our Cruiseship. Terrible experience! While on the trail, an lightning storm came up, We requested to return to the van for safety reasons and were ignored. Then it poured rain and we got soaked, the trail turned into a muddy stream and was slippery, almost fell a few times, then it got dark, We were given headlamps to navigate by up the hill to the vans eventually after dark. We are experienced hikers, Applalachian trail, John Muir, Florida trail and the Camino de Santiago, not acceptable for our guides to not keep us safe in a storm. Don't take this tour!

Date of experience: December 2015
2  Thank travelswithjimmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EIETManagement, Owner at El Yunque Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2015

Hello, to all Readers and Reviewers, my name is Michael Grasso and I am Enchanted Island Eco Tours Owner/Operator. I would first like to pass on my deepest apologies to this guest for the unfortunate weather conditions that happened during this rainforest nature walk. The weather referred to in this review was unexpected and the short thunderstorm that rolled on to the mountain was not forecasted! But as mentioned the sky opened up and with the start of the down poor came a several flashes of lightning & thunder!

I was one of four guides on this tour and would like to share my side of the story for future readers! As in many rainforest tours our day started with rain! At the start of the tour all guests had the opportunity to get supplied gear before starting on the trail, which included umbrellas, lightweight backpacks, towels, water and snacks. As in all our tours we have two guides in each group of up to 20 guests, and on this day group sizes were 18 guests to a lead guide and a backup guide. Pre-trail safety briefing was given to all guests informing them of all safety procedures about this trail and the river systems along the trail, tour durations and what to expect as normal!

Our tour started about 4:40pm and all was good, the trail Angelito was in great shape and the first 1/4 of a mile was normal walking with some light rain. As we neared the first small stream the rain became heavier and many guests started to get out ponchos and umbrellas, this again is not uncommon on a rainforest tour. Being that the rain had just started I felt that the short walk of about 70 yards to our turnaround point at the Rio Mameyes was doable! At this point all guides were on radios communicating about conditions and working with guests making sure that all were able to navigate the trail and its few tricky areas. Once at the river the rain had let up somewhat and all guests gathered with guides to view the river from the elevated banks and talk about the area. This was the point when the first flash of lightning and then a crack of thunder started!

It is now about 5:30pm and the rain is becoming heavy as a cloud burst had just started, with the "first flash" all guides started to inform guests that it was time to make ready for the return walk out! Now with the cloud cover and rain, along with being under the canopy the light conditions were low, knowing that this trip was going to deal with low light conditions due to the late afternoon time window, backup guides had prepared a backpack equipped with LED head lamps as to help light the way out on the return walk. The guides gathered their groups and passed out lights to each guest and explained how the lights worked, making sure that each guest had one and knew how to adjust and operate them. This took about five minutes, with all guests ready we started the very wet and in some places muddy walk out! At no time on the return walk was any guest without guide supervision and at all locations on the trail where rocks and or mud was making things tricky, I and other guides stopped and assisted guests through, as to avoid anyone slipping and or falling.

We covered the return walk out just short of a 1/2 mile in the rain and with some thunder in the distance as quickly as the storm rolled in, it rolled out. The first group returned to the trail head at about 6:10pm and the second group at 6:20pm with a scheduled sunset at 6:15pm! Although it was dark we did anticipate the poor light conditions and had lights for all guests. As always we spoke with all guests as we closed the tour collecting gear and trash and assisting guests back aboard the buses, many really loved the trip and despite being soaking wet no one guest was hurt!

I will close with saying that weather in the tropics is very unpredictable and even with the best preparation and guide staff, days like this one will happen! I feel we followed all proper protocol and reacted to the thunderstorm conditions quickly and calmly, we had all guests ready with the proper gear and assisted all guests in tricky areas, leading 36 guests into the forest and bringing out 36 guests in two groups of 18 with four guides and no one hurt!

I do understand this reviewers concerns and wish that the weather had not turned as it did, but in the end as guides we took all the proper steps to keep all our guests safe and made every effort to take an unforeseen situation and manage it through safely!

Thank you for your reviews!
Enchanted Island Eco Tours Inc.
Michael S. Grasso
Owner/Operator

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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