Fourteen days is a long time, and, although Puerto Rico has beautiful beaches, I knew I could not spend two weeks straight in the sun.
Of course, I found something different. If you are seeking a unique, full day adventure in Puerto Rico, Acampa Nature Adventure Tours is the way to go. Our journey with Acampa, however, was not a tour. I chose their full day excursion through the Toro Negro Rainforest in Ciales (central PR) because it included several fun hikes, a waterfall climb, a late lunch, zip lines, and swimming.
The day began at sunrise, when our guides, Josue and Reynard, picked us up in San Juan. We joined the three additional couples in their van. Then, the guides drove for about an hour, during which we saw several different ecosystems. The guides, geologists, really seemed to love their job.
We began somewhere on a mountain in Toro Negro and the guides briefed us about the day ahead while handing us safety gear. Both Josue and Reynard were knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. We hiked down a path to taste fresh coffee beans, climbed up a small waterfall, and walked through some clear creeks– nothing more than hip deep, unless you decide to jump in the deep hole for fun.
Different attitudes towards the waterfall climb
My brother halfway through
What I enjoyed most about this excursion was that it was not a hike for-six-hours-straight deal. Instead, we went on short, fairly easy hikes, and stopped along the way for some interesting geology. We zoomed back to the camp where we started by a series of 5 zip lines.
I don’t want to give it all away, but here’s what you need to know:
1.) Lunch was delicious (everyone got up for seconds)
2.) The zip lines were safe (unlike other, more touristic zip line attractions on the island)
3.) Toro Negro Rainforest is higher than El Yunque National Rainforest, Puerto Rico’s main attraction, but it’s definitely not a tourist trap. We have friends who live in Puerto Rico and had never heard of Acampa before we went.
Acampa’s website includes plenty of information from prices, to clothes to wear, to requirements. I also see that they’ve added a 100ft rappel into a hidden canyon to this excursion. Fun!