The full-day trip on the 62’ sailing catamaran for $55 per person is a great deal. For $12 more, a van picked us up at our hotel at 8:15am on the dot. We then drove for an hour and a half to the east side of the island, picking up more passengers along the way. The driver was a certified tour guide and he gave an informative commentary on the countryside and mountains-–this is a great way to see some more of the island without renting a car! As a special treat, he even took us off the main road to a cave where archaeologists are reputed to have found some of the oldest remains of the Taíno Indians, the native inhabitants of Puerto Rico.
We arrived at the boat by 10:00am (make reservations ahead of time just to make sure you have a spot) and were soon sailing out to sea. The boat was filled with all kinds of people, natives and tourists, children and adults, making it a safe choice for beginners. After marveling at the view of the El Yunque mountains and the Fajardo coast, we soon anchored at a gorgeous "desert island," where we donned our snorkeling equipment (provided by East Wind), listened to a quick instructional lecture, and were soon swimming with the fish. The beach was lovely too, and some people sunbathed instead. But snorkeling is tiring and everyone got hungry-–good thing too because the lunch buffet was all-you-can-eat and delicious! Sandwiches, pasta salad, and watermelon just hit the spot. The virgin pina coladas tasted incredible and I certainly took advantage of the open bar, drinking about 10 of them over the course of the trip.
The next stop was a deeper reef, where we saw a wider variety of coral and fish, especially blue tanners and parrot fish. Two other snorkeling boats showed up too, so there were a lot of people in the water. The waterslide was great fun once I got tired of snorkeling, but when it was time to begin the sail back to Puerto del Rey, I was ready to leave and we were back at the port by 3:30pm.
This trip is wonderful and I would highly recommend it, especially to beginners. The crew is friendly and knowledgeable, the food delicious, the snorkeling fun. Be sure to bring a towel, sunscreen, and sunglasses. The boat sells underwater cameras, but I would suggest buying your own before you come. And if you start feeling seasick, look to the horizon and breathe deeply.