Traveling to Puerto Rico was a wonderful first solo trip, sans parents, for our wanderlusting kids and their friends. Not ones to sit and tan on a beach, these youngsters searched for a fun yet safe Puerto Rico Adventure accessible from downtown San Juan. Unstoppable TravelingMom’s young adult children quenched their adventurous thirst with Rocaliza Adventure Tours.
As a full-time adventure traveling family, it came as no surprise to me that my kids would carry the torch to places yet unseen by their parents. So, when two of my kids (young adults, 19 & 18) came to me and their dad with a plan to travel to Puerto Rico, I wasn’t surprised.
Puerto Rico is an absolute paradise. The locals are incredibly kind and helpful, the weather is gorgeous, the water warm and the adventure, off the charts. Puerto Rico is the perfect island getaway for everyone, but especially those in search of Utopia on a shoe-string budget.
After consulting my fellow traveling moms and hearing their advice and taking their recommendations, Brody and Kady booked their flights, their hotel in Condado, gathered two of their travel lusting friends and started making plans.
My two are pro-whitewater kayakers, their friend, Luke, is a Cataraft expert and Sepp, he’s up for any challenge anywhere. Hence, they were not looking to relax at the beach and tan, they wanted adventure with some blood pumping adrenaline.
They also needed this Puerto Rico Adventure to include transportation as all four of them were too young to rent a car and too broke to hire a taxi to drive them all over the island. They also needed mom approval, because even though they are technically adults, this momma knows that adulthood doesn’t happen until after 22!
I needed to know, in order to sleep, that the Puerto Rico Adventures they chose were legit, that they were safe and respected. Rocaliza was one of those companies. After speaking to the owner, Diego Garcia, and doing a thorough search on Yelp and Trip Advisor, as well as interrogating my fellow Traveling Moms, I knew our kids would be well cared for and have an incredibly amazing experience … win/win.
And it was for sure the most incredible experience!! They traveled deep into the Carite Rainforest in the town of Caguas for the amazing El Salto Full Day Tour!
So, what was so amazing that I felt I had to write about it? Read on …
This was a huge bonus and a big part of why we chose Rocaliza … they picked the kids up at their hotel in Condado! Yes, they met them in the lobby and proceeded to give them a detailed tour of the city of San Juan as they drove to pick up the other guests.
San Juan, specifically Old San Juan, is full of culture. It’s an amazing place, with forts and beautiful architecture and history!! The driver told them things only a local would know and as seasoned travelers, this was a special addition to their trip and they were grateful for this info.
We are a bonafide adrenaline junkie family. While many visit Puerto Rico to sight-see and relax on the stunning beaches of San Juan and the islands of Culebra and Vieques, we need a little more pump in our vacations.
We were scouring, like I said earlier, and found a company called Rocaliza advertising Puerto Rico Adventure tours in the Carite Rainforest in the town of Caguas! It felt like they were speaking directly to us. Upon further investigation, we found they offered a “Hiking, Rappelling, Waterfall, Climbing” Adventure Tour and we knew instantly that it would be a blast!! And this momma loved the fact that it also included a home cooked meal with dessert!
The hike was stunning and amazing. It was so beautiful, words can’t even describe it. It was jaw-dropping gorgeous! It was only slightly difficult, due to the slippery rocks, but for added safety the guides insisted that everyone wear the gear provided to protect themselves from accidental slips and falls..
But, be not afraid. It’s not too difficult, I promise, in fact, my son Brody and his best friend, Sepp, had a competition as to who could not use their hands in the climb the most. The guides egged them on by adding challenges! The guides were great, they added to the fun!
We love climbing and I think this is one of the reasons we chose Rocaliza over other Adventure Tour Companies. Climbing alongside the waterfall, with the help of ropes, was an incredible experience. To be immersed in nature, one cannot help but be in total awe of the surroundings, the dense rainforest, the banana trees, the sun shining through, not to mention the waterfalls … amazing.
The rappel was off a 65’ waterfall! There wasn’t a ton of volume of water coming down, it sort of poured over the side, so the rappel was fun and you got wet, but you weren’t being beaten by a gushing surge of water the entire way down!
At the top the guides showed us how it was done and got us ready with a harness and ropes for the rappel. It’s something we’ve done hundreds of times, in fact, we sometimes hike to simply rappel off things, it’s that fun. But, even though Kady and Brody knew exactly what to do and how, it’s not necessary for the tour as the guides show you everything you need to know, and it’s really crazy easy. And the guides took cameras to take photos of everyone rappelling! It was a fun and easy rappel as the wall is straight down … no worries.
At the bottom of the falls, there was a cave that they explored with more of the waterfall cascading through.
To get to the zipline part of the tour, they walk you a little ways down through the creek. There are a total of 5 ziplines and this was perhaps the highlight of the trip, aside from the dinner, which I will get to in a second!
The first two zips were short-ish, the third was a little longer, but the last two were LONG and awesome! You literally fly through the trees, above trees and beside trees. It was incredible! Talk about freedom and adrenaline! Wow! And to think, you are in a rainforest in Puerto Rico … could life get any better??
Now, of course, our crew had to do tricks on the zip, so they kept throwing themselves backwards so as to be upside down! So much fun!
After the 5th zipline, everyone was pretty much back to where they started, but the amazing wasn’t over … not quite yet!
Lunch, according to Kady, was the best part of the entire Tour! You see, one of the guides’ Grandmother’s house was right next to where the hike started! And so, when everyone arrived they changed their clothes and went over to have a home cooked meal for lunch!
Her grandmother cooked up chicken legs and rice and beans. According to Kady, it was “ quite possibly the best part of the entire tour. We were all hoping for seconds. It was the most authentic food we’d eaten our entire trip.”
And then dessert was served, it was a cream cheese cake, like a custard … no words. It was equally as delicious as lunch!
What You Need To Know
Cost: $115 per person
Included: Transportation, Equipment, Lunch, Water
Location: Town of Caguas (45 minutes from San Juan)
What To Bring: Change of clothes, towel, snacks, day pack, sandals, hiking shoes, waterproof camera
What To Wear: Shorts, T-Shirt (quick drying clothing is best), closed-toe shoes
Minimum Age: 12