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Reviews are never edited or deleted unless the content does not comply with EF and Bazaarvoice's™ terms and conditions, which prohibit the use of such things as personal information and inappropriate language. On 8/6/2013, our name changed from EF Smithsonian Student Travel to EF Explore America, thus any mention of our previous name can be considered EF Explore America.
Average Rating: (4.7 out of 5)
311 reviewed Puerto Rico: Island of Natural Wonders
5 stars
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  1. Phenomenal Tour!

    The Puerto Rico trip was a top-notch tour! Our itinerary was packed with an array of diverse experiences that allowed us to learn through all of our senses and across content areas! It was informative, fun, experiential, and cultural! I would recommend this tour to anyone and I would go on the exact same one again!
    HalPal / Adult traveler
    Albertville, MN / Posted on July 17, 2018
  2. Island of ADVENTURE and Natural Wonders!

    Puerto Rico was amazing! We avoided the northeastern side of the island (Fajardo), but otherwise circumnavigated it.

    Started in San Juan, drove south to Ponce and toured a coffee plantation (hosted by a physician turned gentleman farmer), then to the Ponce art museum (amazing collection and guide, who actually got kids discussing art!), swam at night in the bioluminescent bay in La Parguera (doesn't get any cooler than this!), up next morning for snorkeling around a coral reef (our captain was a former engineer), then west through the salt flats (reminiscent of Yellowstone's) to the second oldest lighthouse on the island (El Faro - Los Morrillos), up to Mayaguez. Then to the Arecibo Observatory (of "Contact" - Jody Foster fame). So many firsts came out of this observatory that has now switched hands from Cornell to University of Central Florida.

    Next was my favorite - the caves! We truly CLIMBED down into the caves and saw the bats, some pre-15th century petroglyphs, and the Cueva Ventana (worth a Google). Amazing plant life - the morivivi plant was very fun - but so many amazing plants! Had a cooking class (made mofongos) and a salsa lesson (learned 4 different steps and a turn).

    Spent a day at a finca (hacienda) just south of El Yunque, where some students got to work Paso Fino horses and then we all bathed them, learned to make jewelry based on native Taino indian petroglyphs with metal and hammering (our teacher was a local jewelry designer) and then had a walk around with an agronomist from University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and did some garden prep and planting while the finca's grannies cooked for us. Food was so good!

    Then there was the history of Old San Juan via the National Historic Sites of the National Park Service - El Morro and the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista (where Ponce de Leon is buried) and a nice dinner where they say the first pina colada was made.

    Roadside fresh pineapple stand and various roadside food stops. The beach at two places. It was one of my best trips ever! We even got to practice our Espanol - regularly.

    Best of all were the people, starting with our amazing tour director! So friendly, helpful, and glad to see us! Will DEFINITELY return.
    Gwenby / Group leader
    Plano, Texas / Posted on June 15, 2018
  3. Trip of a lifetime!

    Puerto Rico was truly the trip of a lifetime. Our tour guide Adriana was fantastic and went above and beyond to make sure our experience was the best. We were busy everyday learning about the culture and history of Puerto Rico. Wonderful opportunity!
    SaraJ / Adult traveler
    Corpus Christi, TX / Posted on July 17, 2017
  4. Amazing Experience!

    It was absolutely amazing. All of the experiences were wonderful, our tour guide was knowledgeable and funny (and the best tour guide ever!), and all of the places we ate for dinner were awesome. Only complaints were things that could not change-- the other school we were paired with was rude, and the hotel in La Parguera was not exactly the cleanest. However, the experiences in La Parguera outweighed the 9 hours spent in the hotel. I would highly recommend this tour, especially for Spanish classes!
    happytraveler467 / Student traveler
    Carleton, MI / Posted on July 05, 2017
  5. Best Trip Ever

    Our tour director was incredibly knowledgeable and polite. I felt that he adequately divulged us into the culture while being respectful of their culture. The rainforest, bioluminescent bay, snorkeling, and the nature reserve were very educational but also very fun. The salsa lessons were easy to follow but it would've been nice to have a little more time at the lesson. I enjoyed the laid back beach days because we could enjoy the relaxation and could bond with our group members. Overall the trip was an incredible experience and I would highly recommend it to all ages.
    Lainey / Student traveler
    Shelby, NC / Posted on June 27, 2017
  6. Amazing!

    The BEST tour guide of any tour I have ever been on. We learned about history, food, and local culture. All of the places we visited were amazing! The Caverns, the fort, the walking tours, the National forest, snorkeling, the beaches, cooking class, salsa lessons, coffee plantation were all so interesting and the kids truly enjoyed things about all of them. Our tour guide was local so pointed out so many things in the bus along the way to our other excursions. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone interested in visiting Puerto Rico.
    Leesie / Adult traveler
    Humble, TX / Posted on June 21, 2017
  7. An educational adventure nobody should miss!

    As a teacher, I loved all of the learning that the tour included. Our incredible guide, Angel, was full of information that made our tour so amazing! My students were amazed at cultural and environmental likenesses and differences from home. I had an enjoyable time each and every day! I'd consider taking another tour to Puerto Rico in the future!
    Aphillips / Group leader
    Tahlequah, Oklahoma / Posted on June 14, 2017
  8. First Tour

    This was my first experience traveling with students in a structured tour like this. Having a good deal of travel experience myself, including in Puerto Rico, there were aspects of the tour that I was happy with and others that I thought could be improved upon. I appreciated the variety of activities on the tour as well as the instructional component. All speakers/presenters were informative, flexible, patient, understanding and open to questions. Our tour guide was exceptional and took advantage of opportunities to create additional experiences for students where they could interact with locals. The primary hotel throughout the tour was fantastic and all of our drivers were great as well. Some of the challenges and frustrations that I had with the tour was the scheduling. The second day into the tour we spent approximately 5 hours at a local beach with very few amenities while when touring Old San Juan we had just 30 minutes at El Morro. There were also multiple instances where the time spent on the bus commuting to an attraction did not justify the amount of time spent at the destination. There were opportunities throughout the tour when attractions could have been arranged differently that would have reduced the amount of time spent on the bus and afforded more time at other locations. I also found frustration with several of the dinner venues, number and quality of options and service received. My students also expressed some frustration with these areas (time spent on bus as well as quality and number of options related to meals) and had hoped for opportunities to enjoy more local cuisine. Overall the trip went well, was expertly led and my students had a generally positive experience.
    MrCP / Group leader
    North Syracuse, New York / Posted on April 24, 2019
  9. Could have been better

    Puerto Rico is an amazing and beautiful place. The sights and experiences of the tour were incredible, but there were some issues. Our group was paired with another group with very different values and expectations. This caused some friction on the tour, and as it was easier to accommodate the needs of the other group, there were a number of times where our group's needs were unmet. Special dietary needs of a group member were consistently unmet during provided meals, and meals for all participants were regularly hurried and/or missed entirely. We experienced a travel delay on the way home (not anyone's fault), but then were told that it would take an additional 3 days to get us home from Puerto Rico. Ultimately, the chaperones in the group were forced to make travel arrangements for our group, as EF said there was nothing they could do. EF did end up paying for the alternate arrangements, after we had done the legwork. There were also missing food vouchers or nonworking food vouchers given during our significant travel delays, which made the travel experience far worse.
    Robert101 / Adult traveler
    Vermontville, Michigan / Posted on April 08, 2019
  10. Incredible experience

    Had an amazing, amazing time. Very organized and always felt safe
    Happygirl / Student traveler
    Weston, wi / Posted on July 23, 2018

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