Exciting Excursions: Snorkeling & Ziplining in Puerto Rico
While the enchanted island of Puerto Rico is a fabulous destination for a family vacation of swimming in the warm ocean waters, relaxing by the pool under the sun, and feasting on local delicacies, my family upped the adventure, excitement and memories with two unforgettable excursions: a catamaran snorkeling day trip and a zipline adventure through the verdant forest.
Grab your family and set out for two Puerto Rican experiences you will never forget!
EXCURSION #1: SNORKELING IN PUERTO RICO
We found all the ingredients for a perfect snorkeling adventure — beautiful deserted beaches, crystal clear Caribbean water, and a professional family-friendly crew — with East Island Excursions. You’ll find them at Marina Puerto del Rey, just minutes from Fajardo and about an hour from San Juan.
Your family can choose from a variety of excursions. My gang chose the Icacos Beach and Snorkel Tour on a sailing catamaran and we LOVED it!! This was my girls’ first snorkeling experience, and now they can’t wait to do it again.
The majestic catamaran’s first stop was an uninhabited white sand island, where we literally got our feet wet and learned (or re-learned) the “A-B-Seas” of snorkeling. With a ladder that descends from the boat right into the water, it was easy for my girls (and their Mom) to get started. The crew was extremely helpful with their instructions and confidence building.
After about 30 minutes of the three of us girls “getting our mermaids on”…and my husband breaking in our new Go Pro, we re-boarded the boat and headed off to our main destination: perfectly blue water teeming with all sorts of coral and fish.
Because this part of the tour was in open water, the crew provided flotation devices to anyone (both children and adults) who desired some extra support. This tour includes everything you need for a perfect day at sea: snorkel gear for all sizes, a beautiful catamaran and scenic stops PLUS a delicious buffet lunch including plentiful deli meats, salads, soft drinks and as many rum-based drinks as Mom and Dad want! If anyone in your party does not want to snorkel, they can sunbathe, swim or use the super-cool water slide off the boat.
After snorkeling for hours and enjoying a tasty lunch, our boat sailed lazily back to the marina. When we departed the marina earlier in the day, everyone was full of energy and eager to begin the adventure. On the return trip, it seemed everyone was exhausted and content to lounge under the bright sun while listening to the soothing reggae music.
What a perfect ending to our unforgettable visit to paradise under the sea!
Tips: Bring your own towels. Apply sunscreen in the parking lot because it is not allowed to be sprayed on board the boat. If anyone in your family is prone to motion sickness, consider taking precautions. Happily we had no sunburn or seasickness!
EXCURSION #2: ZIPLINING IN PUERTO RICO
Do you believe you can fly?
My girls had experienced ziplining before, and I knew that my little thrill-seekers would love flying over Puerto Rico’s beautiful tropical forests! So I researched for hours to be sure I found just the right zipline tour for us. It had to have the following characteristics: (1) Enough adrenaline rushes for my experienced ziplining daughters; (2) Not too extreme for my husband and I who were first time zipliners (3) Within 30 minutes from San Juan and (4) A solid safety record!
I found the perfect choice at La Marquesa Canopy Tour!
Located in beautiful La Marquesa Forest Park in the City of Guaynabo, the ziplining grounds include an aviary, butterfly garden, observation tower and a cool funicular (ski lift style enclosed gondola ride). La Marquesa Canopy tour offers a beautiful setting for your family to fly across eight different ziplines of various lengths and the thrill of descending one short rappel.
La Marquesa provides everything you need: directions for how to zipline, the proper equipment, and a staff member at each zipline platform who reminds you what to do and how to be safe.
The guides at each platform were patient and helpful and put our safety first. My girls happily zipped around from the very first line. After the first two introductory lines, my fear began to diminish and I became every bit as daring as my girls! For a bonus, my girls loved attaching our Go Pro to their chest straps which made for some thrilling home movies.
The highlight of this excursion was the final zipline which was hundreds of feet long and simply awesome! We enjoyed an incredible sweeping panoramic view of the fabulous forest below and our adrenaline was definitely pumping! Soaring through the lush treetops of Puerto Rico with your family is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed!
Tips: Check with the company about specific age and other restrictions. Wear sneakers and properly secure any items that can fall off while flying through the air. Be sure to have the family use the restrooms before putting on your harnesses. If you are interested, the tour takes pictures of you on your final zipline, which are available for purchase.
Where to stay: Best Resorts in Puerto Rico
Because you need an equally fabulous place to rest after these action-packed days, consider staying at one of these two kid-friendly top-notch resorts which our family loved: Caribe Hilton in San Juan or El Conquistador Waldorf Astoria Resort in Fajardo.
While at Caribe Hilton, enjoy the gorgeous pools and beachfront, or spend time kayaking and trying snuba (a combination of scuba diving and snorkeling). For a treat, relax in a luxurious cabana which includes an hour of water sports, a fresh tropical fruit platter and an ice bucket of cold waters. The comfortable cabana was plenty big enough for our whole family!
At El Conquistador, you can easily fill your family’s time visiting the on-site Coqui Water Park, relaxing on their gorgeous private beach on Palomino Island, watching a dive-in movie or taking your children on an scavenger hunt called ScoutAbout around the lush property.
For more fun things to do in Puerto Rico, read about other Puerto Rican adventures our family enjoyed.
You may also enjoy:
- 10 Puerto Rico Travel Tips
- The Perfect Family Vacation in Puerto Rico
- Things to Do in Puerto Rico – Bioluminescent Bay Kayak Tour
Both of these vendors provided Lisa’s family complimentary excursions. She selected them both for their excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and they lived up to all the hype!
Hilton Mom Voyage writers receive free night certificates to use at Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. To learn more, visit our About Us page.
Lisa has been traveling all her life…and loving it! Leaving the sunny skies of Miami, Lisa traveled to Philadelphia where she attended the University of Pennsylvania…stayed for…