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“A great adventure”
Review of Atabey Tours

Atabey Tours
Ranked #14 of 110 Outdoor Activities in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Our mission is to reconnect our fellow travelers to the true source of life through Atabey (Mother Earth) and to have the most EPIC & FUN adventure in Puerto Rico. We are the ultimate off the beaten path private ecotours explorers. Come discover the secrets of El Yunque Rainforest, deserted beaches, Afro-Puerto Rican food and culture, alternative Old San Juan, gaping caves, Taíno Indian petroglyphs, visit an organic farm, Coffee Plantation, play in natural river water slides, experience Roots Salsa and Boricua Music, bathe in wild waterfalls and mystic mountain rivers; Experience Puerto Rico like a local…
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We had a fantastic time on the Magical Mystery tour. We saw, smelt, tasted and felt the real Puerto Rico. We didn't run into any other tourists the entire day. My favourite moment was in the bat cave. We turned off all our headlamps and Andres played his native Taino flute. The bats responded and we could feel the wind from their wings. The moment was erie and wonderful at the same time, sending shivers down my spine. The drive to the sights was long but Andres gave us lots of information about Puerto Rico along the way and the time passed easily.

1  Thank KWandSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"the magical mystery tour"
in 28 reviews
"off the beaten path"
in 35 reviews
"el yunque"
in 31 reviews
"sugar cane"
in 9 reviews
"natural mud"
in 5 reviews
"commercial tour"
in 4 reviews
"puerto rico"
in 126 reviews
"waterfall area"
in 3 reviews
"guide jorge"
in 3 reviews
"incredible waterfall"
in 3 reviews
"bat cave"
in 6 reviews
"secluded beach"
in 7 reviews
"private excursion"
in 3 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 13 reviews
"bats flying"
in 3 reviews
"local music"
in 6 reviews
"swimming hole"
in 7 reviews

252 - 256 of 288 reviews

Reviewed July 27, 2012

Since a young age, I have learn that there are opportunities and experiences in life that can last hours, years, or a lifetime. For me, my last eco adventure experience with Atabey Tours was phenomenal, and a time to really measure the value of life and mother nature. Every minute of it was amazing, since Andres pick us up, till he drop us back in San Juan. The places he chose, the way he explain and make us understood the value of the biodiversity that Puerto Rico offer to their people and the world! He show us how to really make an impact in our society and in the life of others, make them understand that this island is call the island of enchantment because of the natural resources, with more than 8 ecosystems in a 100 x 35 miles!!! I can go on and on. Andres, thanks for a day that will be remind it in my mind and in my heart forever! Visit Puerto Rico, and get a trip of a lifetime with Atabey Tours.. Burton

1  Thank BurtonP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

We had a great experience with Atabey tours and Andres. He is a great tour guide. It was a very adventurous and exciting experience! Andres will take you off the beaten path to show you a more interesting and culturally rich perspective of Puerto Rico. Our experience was amazing and highly recommended.

1  Thank ishmanSanJuan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

In life there are jacuzzi experiences (good while they are happening but after they are done, one is the same person) and there are PIVOTAL experiences (those experirences that after they happen, you are never the same) . Thank you atabey tours for creating pivotal experiences in our lives!!!!! Sebastian

1  Thank Drsheeba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2012

We booked this tour just two days before we went so we agreed to a tour with another couple at a slightly cheaper rate. Since we were joining in on the tour the other couple had planned we didn't get to customize the tour for ourselves. We were going to the turtle sanctuary and the waterfalls in El Yunque rainforest. Andres picked us up first with his 5 seat vehicle which was going to be cramped once we picked up the other couple, since there would have been 5 of us in the vehicle. Once he picked us up he informed us that he had not yet gotten confirmation from the other couple but we were going to go to the hotel where they were staying to see if he could find them. He left us in the car while he spent about 20 minutes trying to find them and call them. Finally he gave up trying to find them and started the tour. This tour was catered for the couple that didn't show up and despite the fact that they didn't show up he never offered to adjust the tour to what we had wanted to do.
First he took us to a gorgeous and quiet beach that he referred to as a turtle nesting sanctuary. This was misleading in the tour description because there was no sign or evidence of any turtles. We opted not to swim in the ocean, we had not worn our swimsuits and there was nowhere to change. He changed into his swim trunks behind the car and then went swimming in the ocean for about 30 minutes. We enjoyed a walk along the beach while he swam.
Next he took us to a roadside grill/restaurant in the Afro-Puerto Rican area. This was an interesting and unique experience. The food was delicious but I would not recommend this if you have a tender stomach, are a picky eater, or a strict vegetarian. The restaurant is a small open hut along the road. It was extremely popular because we had to wait in line for about 20 minutes. Do NOT use the bathroom at this outdoor restaurant unless it is a real emergency. It is really horrible (and I have used some really dirty bathrooms in my time). There was no tissues, toilet paper, soap, or warm water. This lunch was not included in the tour price so you have to pay for lunch. Definitely try the delicious coconut water straight from a coconut. It was very refreshing and fun to drink from a coconut! After lunch Andres kindly fed what we had not finished to some stray dogs in the area. I thought that was sweet of him.
Next we drove to El Yunque rainforest. He played really loud music during part of the ride and gave us some instruments to play while he drove...it was interesting but we weren't really into the jam session. Andres really loves music! During our drive into El Yunque we went by an observation tower and Andres was going to drive right by. He stopped once we said we would like to see it. There were some good, clean bathrooms at the observation tower. He took us to a waterfall and once again went behind the car to change into his swim trunks. Again we didn't go swimming and ended up sitting on the shore while he went swimming in the waterfall. After this he started driving back to our hotel. I was surprised because this was a rainforest waterfall tour and he only took us to two waterfalls: the one he swam in and then another one that he pulled over to show us that was along the roadway. On the drive back he stopped at a stand where we could buy some wonderful raw sugarcane to drink.
When we went to pay at the end of the tour the price went up $10 per person since the other couple had not come. It would have been nice of him to be up front with us at the beginning and to let us know that he was going to charge us more. Once we showed our surprise he was flexible and accepted the original price.
Overall this was an okay tour. Andres was a good driver, very friendly, laid back, and easy to talk to. He picked up trash on the beach and in the rainforest which was very nice of him to do. His knowledge was limited on various elements of the tour. We enjoyed the day but it was pricey for what we got. After the tour we regretted that we had not done our research before and wished we had booked a tour with another tour company.

1  Thank NyCricket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AndresCarrero, Owner at Atabey Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for your review. This tour was so long ago that many things have changed since then. That said, I had indeed received an email confirmation from the other couple who was scheduled to go on this tour but they suddenly disappeared the day of the tour and could not be reached by phone or any means. I went over to pick them up at their hotel and they were not there. I waited for them for about 15-20 minutes since we can't just leave our guests stranded even if they don't reply! Its our responsibility to take care of our fellow travelers and there was no way I could just leave them after they had confirmed the tour a few days earlier. This is the only time someone has been a no-show after confirming so it was an unfortunate situation but its part of the business. Atabey Tours has a policy where we trust our guests (your word is our deposit) and we hope to keep it this way. I did my best to contact the other couple and wait for them but they simply vanished without cancelling their reserved space and this has never happened before or after.
The vehicle we provided for this excursion is a fully Air Conditioned, clean and comfortable Mitsubishi which actually sits 7 people, not 5! There are 2 seats that open up in the back which were not necessary for this tour so rest assured that 4 people were never going to be "cramped". About the beach, I do recall asking if you wanted to swim and I was very surprised when you said you didn't want to swim in either the beach or the waterfall as this has been the only tour we've done where the participants haven't wanted to swim in either the pristine ocean water or the sweet mineral waterfalls. You made it clear you had no interest in swimming and I would've GLADLY taken you to a nearby bathroom to change if you had wanted to or asked. Apparently, there was some miscommunication here and that’s on me. We have since worked this out. There are no bathrooms to change right there precisely because the beaches, waterfalls and rivers we explore are secluded, unspoiled wilderness areas, not places set up for commercial tourism. You and your friend opted to stroll on the beach by yourselves and I left the two of you to enjoy at your leisure since we're proud to give our travelers the space to roam freely in these beautiful places if they chose to do so. We take pride in being flexible and giving you the opportunity to connect on your own if that's what you desire. Thus, I waited for the 2 of you while I watched you from the water to make sure you were okay. I was out of the water waiting for you before the 2 of you came back to our meeting spot.
The price was discussed before the tour and the price was for 4 people, including the couple who was a no-show. I basically charged you the rate for 4 people even though you were only 2 so you paid $10 less per person and I was fine with that due to the unusual circumstances of this tour. I'm sorry to read your review and that you weren't blown away by our tour. Atabey Tours is not for everyone. Our focus is on getting off the beaten path into the heart and soul of Puerto Rico's culture and nature. Our intention is to treat our fellow travelers like locals, just as if we were greeting a friend from overseas. We don't want to set many boundaries between the traveler and the host guide since we want you to experience the real Puerto Rico that other tour companies just won't share. This is why we focus on small groups and custom adventures. Almost every other tour operator in Puerto Rico can show you popular attractions in a brief and professional way from a big commercial tour bus or van. We are very clear that our target audience is travelers more than tourists (you can read the interview on our website where we answer and explain our perspective and mission). Currently, we're in Alaska on an intensive Ecotourism expedition to learn even more and grow as guides so we can share our knowledge with our travelers back home. We're here to go beyond the crowded tourism hot spots to explore the hidden gems of our magical island. We take great pride in our personal and professional customer service and go beyond to cater to your individual needs and give all we can to make sure you experience Puerto Rico like a local. The fact that all our other reviews are nothing short of wonderful speaks for itself and of our knowledge and love for the island, its nature and culture. With that said, we appreciate and have learned from your feedback and continue to provide the most stimulating and inspiring adventures to travelers from all over the world. The road less traveled isn't always paved...

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