Russia’s Top Travel Show “Heads or Tails” contacted Atabey Tours for their Puerto Rico episode. From Old San Juan to the best Rainforest Adventure, we had the most fun and the best time sharing our island of Puerto Rico with this film crew. Hope you enjoy this short video clip from the episode and hope to connect with you soon in our wondrous playgrounds in the rain forests of Puerto Rico!!!

http://www.tubechop.com/watch/5941330

Thank you to all our travelers who have enjoyed and explored the best ecotours of Puerto Rico and have shared their perspective on Tripadvisor! From El Yunque Rain forest to the caves and waterfalls, most beautiful beaches and off the beaten path adventures, it’s been an epic ride and may we continue to connect with travelers form around the world in the most fun adventure tours in Puerto Rico :)

Atabey Tour Guides!!!

Your Puerto Rico Adventure Ecotour Guides!
Andrés & Jorge inside the Cave in the Magical Mystery Tour… waiting to take you away!!!

Welcome to the soul of Puerto Rico, our Island of Enchantment! If you want to experience the best San Juan City getaway and connect with the abundance that makes Puerto Rico unique, come take a ride with us on “The Magical Mystery Tour”! This is the best ecotour you can take home as a souvenir reminder of our blessed island for the rest of your life. Rain Forest Trekking, hiking, river bathing, swimming, drinking the sweetest fresh water from our generous natural water springs, natural exfoliating mud bath, wild Puerto Rican fruits!, Puerto Rican Mountain Coffee, caving adventures, bathing under waterfalls galore, fun in the sun and rain in the Rain Forest. Beyond the beauty of El Yunque Rain Forest, there is another paradise world which we at Atabey Tours are excited to share through these magical eco adventures that go beyond the conventional Puerto Rico top “ecotours or nature excursions”; these are lifetime experiences. Come explore and have FUN from the bohemian, artistic back streets of Old San Juan to the hidden Rain Forests, Caves and Rivers where the Taíno natives greeted and cherished the goddess of fresh river water and fertility Atabey (Mother Earth).

Mission Statement:

Swimming Under the Waterfall  To reconnect human beings to the true source of life through Atabey (Mother Earth) and to have the most FUN adventure in the magical island of Enchantment.

Business Spotlight: Atabey Tours

Posted on 11 October 2010 by EyeFred

Welcome to EyeTour’s Business Spotlight.  In this section, we take a look at businesses throughout the island of Puerto Rico that offer exciting, pleasant, and unique opportunities to visitors and locals alike.  Next up: We learn more about Atabey Tours with co-founder and guide, Andrés Carrero.

Atabey Tours is a young company based in Puerto Rico that aims to reconnect travelers to the true source of life through Atabey (Mother Earth) while enjoying fun experiences around what is known the world over as the Island of Enchantment. The company combines expertise on the island’s natural gifts with in-depth international experience in the field of ecotourism, offering custom adventure tours throughout Puerto Rico. Atabey Tours offers a free consultation (via email, phone or in person) to interested parties as well as a commitment to the preservation of the environment – two excellent reasons to consider them on your visit to the island. We spoke with Atabey Tours’s co-founder, Andrés Carrero, about his company and his thoughts on Puerto Rico greatest attractions.

EyeTour: When did you decide to start Atabey Tours?

Andrés: I first had the vision for Atabey Tours in 2008. I was recording in Iceland at the time and the idea just came into my head. I didn’t pursue it for a while because I was busy with other work but during my latest voyage to South America (Andes/Amazon) I was truly blessed to have met some incredible tour guides. They weren’t ordinary tour guides. They were beyond professional. They were almost shamans in a way; guiding me through these surreal journeys along the way to an epic destination (sacred Inca temples, flooded forests in the Amazon River, etc.).

But the deepest and best part was the journey itself and the way the guides would lead you, instilling their wisdom and local way of life. I met many different guides along the entire Andes to Amazon mission and I believe they planted a seed in my consciousness. When I arrived back home in Puerto Rico, I felt transformed. I knew I was ready to do the same for travelers coming to enjoy Puerto Rico. So it was only natural timing for Atabey Tours.

EyeTour: What type of traveler did you have in mind with this venture?

Andrés: As for the type of traveler I had in mind, I thought of travelers not tourists. Tourists are the people who come to enjoy a new country in a more superficial manner. Travelers are more independent minded and are looking to explore the depths of the country they find themselves in. I’ve always been a traveler wherever I’ve been, even here in my own island of Puerto Rico and I believe there’s a lot of visitors who truly want to get the real experience behind Puerto Rico. This island is a place of contrasts and it can be challenging getting to the soul of it, but I’m here to bridge that gap and guide our visitors to the most rewarding adventure PR has to offer.

EyeTour: How many tours have you given around the island?

Andrés: I’ve given many tours around the island, too many to count. At the beginning most of them were for friends and family. Then, I did some tours for visitors from the US and other countries (some of them old friends, others had heard about me through acquaintances, etc…). Eventually I realized I had a gift and a passion for this and I decided it was time to make it my profession.

EyeTour: You currently list two different treks on the Atabey Tours site – are you developing other experiences or routes for your clients? How are tours customized for each individual?

Andrés: I only specifically list 2 of the most popular treks/adventures just to give the travelers a sense of what we do and to provide them with some structure. However, there are endless options for Atabey Tours and that is my favorite part of the job. At the bottom of the “Tours!” section in the site, under “Custom Adventure Tours!” I have some pictures and text that touch on some of the dynamic possibilities. Each tour will not be a mere reproduction of the last with just new faces.

We get to know our visitors during our free consultation via email, phone or in person and that helps us understand the needs and desires of our customers so we can design the custom tour of their dreams. We have explored so many varied havens in Puerto Rico throughout the years that we have the right spot for just about anybody.

Some people like more intense adventure, some want something more contemplative and relaxing, others something spiritual and others just good old FUN! In these tours, there’s a definite sense of exploring the inner kid (going back to play in nature and that feeling of excitement and curious wonder…) in you, while simultaneously nurturing your spirit and your evolution. But its not forced. It’s just something that happens naturally when you explore within these magical places.

EyeTour: What are some of your favorite experiences in Puerto Rico?  What should be on the top of every visitor’s list when he or she comes to the island?

Andrés: I believe every visitor must go to the highlands of Puerto Rico. The coast is fantastic and there’s a whole world of alluring beaches to discover but I think anyone who comes to Puerto Rico must experience 3 essential sides of the island:

  • The Coast: different beaches to suit different tastes but just traveling the coast is a wonderful adventure as long as you don’t stay exclusively in the touristy/well-known beaches
  • The mountains: This is the heart & soul of the island. Known as “La Cordillera Central”, this vast expanse of lush greenery, waterfalls, rivers and rain forests is also home to the true Puerto Rican culture. Drive through the roof of Puerto Rico and you’ll be in a more authentic, joyful and simple environment where the jíbaro mountain folks add to the wonder of it all. And then, to top it off, this is where the Taínos retreated to when the Spaniards colonized their coastal settlements. Their spirit and influence is still seen and felt here like nowhere else. Karsts country is a mesmerizing and most under-rated region in the interior as well. This is my personal favorite.
  • Viejo San Juan: This is the real reason why you MUST spend some time in the city. Old San Juan is just miraculous. The walled-city the Spanish built starting in the 1500’s with its colonial ambiance and its massive impenetrable forts (used to keep British, Dutch and other European powers at bay) facing the tropical Atlantic Ocean is just a stunning combination. I’ve been to many, many colonial cities around the world and Viejo San Juan is up there at the top.

EyeTour: Puerto Rico is often advertised as a tourist destination for its resorts, nightlife, and more recently, for its culinary experience.  Do you think ecotourism has or will become synonymous with Puerto Rico?

Andrés: I don’t think ecotourism has become synonymous with Puerto Rico unfortunately. Other tropical Latin American countries like Costa Rica and Brasil, among others, have become synonymous with ecotourism because of their incredible natural treasures and most importantly, because of the development of ecotourism infrastructure along with the government’s support and appreciation for the country’s natural resources and genuine ecotourism practices.

There’s a consciousness about it there that extends to the government in some ways and specially the people who value nature. Puerto Rico is gradually getting there but I believe the government has to do its part to educate the masses here about the value of our environment and perhaps the government itself is not truly aware of its value or is just undermining it in preference of short-term profit schemes that cost us our most precious natural resources.

But I do see more environmental activism, which is a great sign and I do hope that PR can become a green ecotourism destination in the near future because the reality is that we have incredible gifts of nature much as other ecotourism destinations, only we contain them within a much more accessible 100 X 35 miles.

EyeTour: What would you write someone who is considering coming to the Caribbean for his or her vacation, but has yet to make his mind on which island to visit?

Andrés: Well, Puerto Rico makes a great case for being the quintessential Caribbean destination. Its got a great mix of cultures and sights, from the classic white sand Caribbean beaches to tropical rain forests to charming colonial city gems like Viejo San Juan and Ponce. Then, there’s the mountains and the unique Puerto Rican culture that brought Salsa to the world. Our friendly people are one of our greatest gifts. It’s a truly warm place in many different ways.

EyeTour: How can people contact you for more information about Atabey Tours?

Andrés: For more information on Atabey Tours, I can easily be reached through our website:www.atabeytours.com by clicking on the “Contact Us” link at the top right side of the page and also by phone (787) 415-1291. We encourage every visitor to experience the real Puerto Rico and wish you the most fun and happy time in our magical island of Enchantment.

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If you’d like your business to be featured on EyeTour.com’s blog, write us at info@eyetour.com.  Be sure to include information about your business, including: a short description, contact info, information about rates and special offers, website, and any audio-visual material such as promotional videos, brochures, and/or photographs.  By sending us information about your business you acknowledge your rightful ownership of all copyrighted materials sent – EyeTour is not liable for any information published online that has been sent to us without the proper authorization.

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Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all our Traveling Friends around the world! Here below are the descriptions of some of our most popular classic ecotour adventures in Puerto Rico. These ecotours have become classic tours by now and we've added a few surprises at each turn to keep your senses stimulated and to blow your mind with the hidden magic that abounds in the fun Caribbean island of Puerto Rico from the city of Old San Juan to the best beaches in Puerto Rico to the most enchanted waterfalls, caves, rivers, Puerto Rican food and culture... Oh, and the best part is sometimes the friendly people and the characters of Puerto Rico who we meet during our adventure.

1) "The Magical Mystery Tour" is for the adventurous souls. We can do
it several different ways depending on your needs as this is a custom
tour. The full tour includes a short trek to a spectacular cave which
is the one we have photographed on our website and then a half hour
hike through an enchanted rainforest echoing with bird calls where we
have the opportunity to spot and possibly harvest several varieties of
wild native fruits on the way towards a subterranean river which
features natural springs of crystalline drinkable fresh water and
waterfalls, canyons, caves, exfoliating mud bath, etc... This is an
epic and magical place unknown to most Puerto Ricans and we usually
have it to all to ourselves. These are all custom tours, meaning you
will most likely be enjoying the adventures by yourselves with me as
we don't like to take big groups since we feel its important to
connect personally with our fellow travelers. The "Magical Mystery
Tour" is our most remote adventure so it is more of an investment but
it's also our favorite adventure and guaranteed to be a lifetime experience.

-We also have the option of including either a family coffee
plantation where we can see coffee plants growing in abundance (along
with many other fruits), get to know the whole process of roasting and
preparing fresh mountain coffee firsthand for export and of course,
try and buy some of the best coffee in the world fresh from the
fertile mountains of Puerto Rico.

-The other option is a pilgrimage to the Caguana Ceremonial Park,
which was and is a sacred place for the Taíno natives who were the
original inhabitants of Puerto Rico before the Spanish and the
Africans came. This is perhaps the most important archaeological site
in all of the Caribbean as it was uncovered in the early 1900s and
features a ceremonial ball park lined with rows of huge boulders the
Taínos carried from the nearby river. They used this space for rituals
and ceremonies full of song and dance called Areytos. Also for playing
a ball game call Batú which was somewhat of a mix between soccer and
volleyball played with a ball made out of tree fibers. You can see in
perfect detail the preserved petroglyphs (rock carvings) they carved
on the stones of their deities and spirit gods like the original
Atabey (Mother Earth) petroglyph along with many others.

These options can be combined in any way you like and we can adjust
the times and details to fit in these activities into "The Magical
Mystery Tour".

2) Caving Adventure:
For those looking to explore the most stunning & diverse caves in the
island, we offer a unique caving tour which visits 2 of the best and
lesser known caves in the island. The first cave is by the coast and
used to be a ceremonial gathering place for Taíno Indians. Thus, it
has tons of Taíno Indian rock carvings (petroglyphs) from our
ancestors. It is a beautiful area by a gorgeous beach with cinematic
panoramic ocean views of bizarre rock sculptures from high atop the
limestone cliffs. We can take a dip in a pristine undeveloped beach as
well. Then, we visit another cave which is The Gaping Cave by the
central highlands; we explore the stalagmites and stalagtites (and
bat's nests) with our headlamps and go to a stunning viewing area
where the cave opens up to a view of the river hundreds of feet below
below, the limestone karst hills and a lush valley.

3) For the Yukiyú Rainforest Tour, we have different options depending
on what kind of experience you're looking for. The main rainforest
tour we do is the classic Yukiyú Tour which arrives in the rainforest
via the scenic route (beautiful deserted turtle nesting beaches,
historic Afro-Puerto Rican beach village full of local falvor and
-delicious optional Afro-Puerto Rican beach lunch- on through lovely
coastal farms until reaching a leatherback turtle nesting beach
sanctuary and ascending to the rainforest mountains above). This is a
full day tour (from around 10:30 am to 5:30pm approximately) which
includes some hiking in the rain forest as well explorations of
stunning secluded waterfalls deep within the jungle. This tour gives
you a great introduction on the rainforest and Puerto Rican culture
(including optional swimming in a paradise nature reserve beach).

4) Another great option is the Alternative Viejo San Juan Tour. This
tour focuses on the locals' insider perspective to give you a unique
insight into what makes Old San Juan a unique city in the world beyond
the traditional tourist route. As a native living within the centuries
old fort walls of this magical city, I know not only the most
compelling historical insights and legends but also the alternative,
bohemian art scene that is flourishing in Viejo San Juan from the most
intense Afro-Caribbean and alternative music scene to the thriving
coffee culture featuring some of the best coffee in the Caribbean and
the world, to artisanal local, organic Puerto Rican dining and even
tree and bird watching (parrots galore) within the historic walls of
this mesmerizing colonial gem.

5) Our most strenuous option is the Full-Rainforest Tour which
includes the hike to the highest peak of the rainforest mountain. This
is a magical place which very few visitors or even locals get to
experience. This is a longer full day tour since the hike to the peaks
takes close to 2 hours each way. We highly recommend this adventure if
you are truly adventurous, are in great shape and LOVE to hike. This
tour focuses exclusively on the rainforest and includes a very
refreshing swim under gorgeous waterfalls after our hike to the
clouds. The view from the top is something else.

Prices are subject to group size and availability. Feel free to contact us for further details. Explore, Discover and Enjoy Puerto Rico Like a Local...

Atabey Tours recently participated in a magical ritual ceremony where we played the native Taíno music with traditional instruments made out of local gourds, seeds, flutes and drums along with chants in the ancestral Taíno language. We performed in the sacred Batey; a ceremonial space within the archaeological wonder that is Caguana Ceremonial Park! These Bateyes (Taíno ball courts) are believed to be over 700 years old and you can still see the original petroglyphs clearly carved on the massive boulders the Taínos are thought to have carried from the nearby Tanamá River. Towering high above the river and the ancient ball courts, the 3 peaks of the Cemí Mountain rise; symbolic of a Taíno deity or ancestral spirit. Amidst all this magic, we reconnected with this ancestral energy by performing an Areyto (ceremonial dance) and then we played Batú (a Taíno game that’s somewhat of a fusion between soccer & volleyball). The local schoolchildren stared in awe and then played in the Batey and had the most FUN and educational field trip of their lives! We, at Atabey Tours, were honored to share in this beautiful moment. Thank you to “El Concilio Taíno” for inviting us! http://conciliotainopr.org/mission.htm

If you want to experience the best things to do in Puerto Rico or are simply wondering what to do in Puerto Rico, before you explore with us the secrets of El Yunque Rainforest, start by taking a pilgrimage with us from San Juan to the mysterious Taíno ceremonial caves full of historic petroglyphs (indigenous rock art) to the Caguana BallCourts Ceremonial Park and finish off with a dive, swim & a reinvigorating baptism like the native Taínos used to enjoy within the subterranean rivers full of natural, drinkable mineral water springs, dripping caves, waterfalls, rainforest, exfoliating mud baths and the calls of the wild. It is sure to be a FUN and epic eco tour adventure of a lifetime in the island the natives called Borikén (Puerto Rico).

Atabey Tours on Trip Advisor!

We are so grateful to the travelers that have shared their epic eco adventures with us here in Puerto Rico :)
Feel free to click on “Atabey Tours” below the Trip Advisor Logo to see what our guests are saying about our custom tours!

“Misión Comida Local” is an award-wining short film we directed and produced, which is still being shown in film festivals around the world. “Misión Comida Local” began as a simple idea; let’s tour Puerto Rico (from the beach to the rainforest to remote mountain farms and ancient salt mines and even San Juan) seeking local ingredients with our own hands, no farmers markets or much less supermarkets, and let’s have a festive dinner party in Old San Juan where we cook what we have harvested. From there, it became a short film as we decided we might as well document our eco adventure. 3 people, 2 days, 1 meal. Then, after a week’s intense planning, the search began on a fated weekend where we discovered much more than we ever imagined about our food, our land, our people and ourselves. About 85%-90% of the food we consume in Puerto Rico is imported to our tiny island. We used to grow most our own food only a half century ago. What happened? Where did we go wrong? The deeper answer doesn’t lie in economics, politics or even so much in the colonial status of Puerto Rico. The more industrialized we became, the more disconnected we were from our earth. We were uprooted and lost the ancestral connection to the earth as our food source. Now “Misión Comida Local” has become a movement to rediscover the roots of our land, which always has and always will feed and sustain us.

Watch & Enjoy here: http://vimeo.com/35660492