There are a great many things you should do and try in Puerto Rico that I really recommend as once in a lifetime experiences. To mention a few examples; night kayaking in to the bioluminescent bay in the Cabezas de San Juan, near Fajardo, where the water glows blue from micro organisms, snorkeling in pristine waters in the island of Culebra, or generally most beach bumming activities, (my favorite is Caja de Muerto, Dead Man’s chest island south of Ponce which is part of a natural reserve). I can honestly go on forever recommending amazing things to do in my home island but this post is about what you SHOULD NOT do.
Do not go to groupon for discount ideas. (I actually recommend you use the local version called Gustazos) My dear mother found a zipline tour in the mountains for an unbelievable price of 40 dollars a person. As a family we had done many ziplines all over the map and in the island they usually run around 100 dollars a pop, so we were beyond elated for the find. Unfortunately there was a reason for this steep price cut. Unknowingly we drove deep into the mountains where there was no longer pavement but mud roads and finally reached what was a really nice villa overlooking the valley below. So far the trip seemed worth it! We had complementary drinks, a salsa band was playing as others arrived for the tour, however we could not see any ziplines anywhere.
Well our guide finally decided to grace us with his presence once a large enough group of about 30 people formed. He came down from the second story of the villa and my were we surprised. He seemed to be either drunk or on drugs or both. My family and I debated for a while which. Either way we decided to see where this went so all gathered around the man, he gave an introductory speech and we were off, into the rain forest. At this point I realized my white sneakers were a bad idea. The thing about the rain forest in Puerto Rico is that we werent going on a nice trail, no we were slipping and sliding down a ravine in a foot of mud, holding on to trees and saplings for dear life. After an hour or so if this nightmare we reached the river bed which at this point was flowing like a gentle creek and thank God for that. We walked down the creek bed for another hour wondering when the hell the ziplines would show up. After rappelling down a waterfall with no gear (never doing that again), we finally came to an opening where there was a 100 foot, 45degree angled mud hill with a platform at the top. The platform had one single cable leading to a rock face and a small pool of water below it. I looked at my family and they looked at me puzzled. No way in hell is this it. We all bear crawled up the hill to the platform and as soon as I grabbed onto one of the wooden beams it snapped right in my had due to to rot. We all breathed a collective hell no and found a service road just to the other side of the hill that led us back to the villa and our escape from this deranged place.