Have a Cell Phone Policy!

After hundreds of tours, we noticed that students’ attention, discipline, and responsiveness are much stronger and rewarding in groups that adhere to a “no cell-phone bus policy.” Without a cell phone, students appreciate the sights, talk to each other, and pay attention to the guide. But, how do parents stay in touch with them? What if they want to take pictures or need to check their email? Continue reading



Letter From Our President

Letter From Our President

July 16, 2019

Dear Group Travelers,

As you may have heard in the news, there are a few protests in San Juan and in other major cities of the US against the Governor of Puerto Rico. Some people want the immediate resignation of the Governor after pages of insensitive, homophobic, and very inappropriate language were revealed in a private online chat.

Vamonos is closely following these protests. The safety of our groups is our number on priority. As for now, we do not anticipate any changes to your Puerto Rico tour other than the Old San Juan visit. Our goal is to still visit the old city as long as the road to Old San Juan is easily accessible and there are no protests, planned or unplanned.

Fortunately, the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has the resources, the infrastructure, and the experience to deal with these isolated protests. As previously stated, we will continue to monitor the situation and will modify the itinerary on a particular day if needed.

Thank you,

Jorge Pardo
President, Vamonos Tours
www.vamonostours.com
888.266.6121


Student Travel Changes Lives

What do these four have in common: student travel, Puerto Rico, Minecraft, and Hurricane Maria? Meet Cory and you’ll instantly be able to connect these four. Eight years ago, one high school Spanish trip to Puerto Rico changed Cory Scheviak’s life. Consequently, this experience transformed the lives of many in Puerto Rico.

In the icy and frigid temperatures of Sweden, Cory Scheviak innovates and expands his online tropical world in the popular game of Minecraft. Cory works full time at Mojang’s Swedish headquarters. The game company hired him given his terrific skills in java, but mostly because of “Tropicraft.”  Minecraft is the most sold video game of all time (176 million copies sold!!!), and Corey is one of a handful of people designing the features for it.

Tropicraft is one of the longest-running mods of Minecraft. It’s a dimension-adding mod full of palm trees, native islanders, iguanas, tribes, clear blue oceans, volcanoes, etc. Tropicraft was inspired by a trip he took to Puerto Rico in 2011. That year, a group of students from Leesville Road H.S. in North Carolina visited the island on a 7-day tour. While there, they met locals daily, hiked forest trails in Utuado and Rio Grande, danced salsa, walked through old city cobbled stone streets, learned fascinating legends, and ate local food everywhere they went.

Inspired upon returning home, he created Tropicraft as a restful paradise escape. The mod became quite popular. Since then, he’s returned to Puerto Rico on numerous occasions. After hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, Cory helped raise funds to support the rebuilding efforts. He created a simple fundraiser within the Minecraft community called Love Tropics.

The original goal was to raise $3,000. However, over the first weekend, Cory and his community raised $10,000 within his online world. “Love Tropics” became an incredible tool to bring people together and make a difference. After their fundraiser, Cory and his friend Matt visited Puerto Rico and witnessed the destruction and serious needs left by the hurricane. They saw many houses with blue tarp-roofs still destroyed. It was then when Cory and Matt came to a realization. “We immediately knew that Love Tropics was not a one time thing, it was something we could use to continue to give back because there were people that needed it,” explained Cory.

Since the first Love Tropics fundraiser, Cory and his community have raised over $35,000 as they continue to help the island. Most of their efforts benefit Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization within the online world. This team is on the grounds in Puerto Rico helping communities rebuild. Team Rubicon has completed over 400 roofs since 2018 and their progress continues to grow today. The future of Love Tropics will focus on combating climate change and helping the residents of the island cope with the effects of climate change.

Recently, Minecraft posted a Youtube video introducing Cory and his inspiring story. The video reached 160,000 views in just the first month. At Vamonos, our motto is “student travel changes lives.” This particular high school Spanish trip in 2011 positively affected many Puerto Rican lives. Vamonos is honored to partner with Cory in all of his recovery efforts on behalf of Puerto Rico. We continue to support his efforts and look forward to welcoming him again in June of 2019. Gracias Cory!

To Learn More:

For more information about Tropicraft and how to donate to Love Tropics visit:  https://lovetropics.com or @welovetropics on Twitter.

For the full story about Cory, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?


SATURDAY DECEMBER 22, 2018 – Hamilton Puerto Rico – Change of Venue

Dear Hamilton-Puerto Rico fans,

As you may have heard, yesterday the Hamilton Team and the Miranda family decided to move the Hamilton Musical to one of the best theaters in our island, the Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan. Please read the official press release from the Hamilton team at the end of this email to find out more details about the move.

Continue reading


The Tonight Show Live from San Juan, PR!

Exciting News!

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon is coming to Puerto Rico as part of the Hamilton Musical events with special guest including Lin-Manuel Miranda

This special show will be aired live on NBC on January 15, 2019 and will include an airing of a special Hamilton performance.

Perfectly put by Jimmy Fallon himself, “it’s going to be a celebration of the light, the life, the spirit of Puerto Rico and it’s people and it’s culture. Puerto Rico is back and open for business!”

For more information about our January Hamilton package tours, please visit  www.vamonostours.com/hamilton


Holiday Traditions of Puerto Rico

Holiday Traditions of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is able to transform into every tourist’s ideal location at any time of the year. One of the greatest times of the year to visit the island is during the holiday season. Accompanied by a breezy 75-85°F weather, no place has a longer and more diverse holiday season than we do in Puerto Rico. Check out these facts:

A THREE MONTH SEASON

Before Thanksgiving, the decorations start to go up! That is the general rule of Puerto Rico’s holiday decor. Some businesses are widely known for having Christmas decorations all year round and Christmas trees displayed throughout in preparation for the next season to come.

The holiday season ends in January. This month starts off with the Three Kings Day and ends with the Octavitas, the eight days after the Three Kings Day. Visitors extending their stay enjoy the massive cultural and musical events associated with Las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián which takes place in mid-January.

HOLIDAY PARTIES

In cold weather, bundling up and going house to house and singing Christmas Carols is a tradition for some. The Puerto Rican version of this is a  parranda. These parrandas occur throughout Christmas and in particular on Nochebuena, also known as Christmas Eve. Latino versions of Christmas carols can last until sunrise with live music, food, and traditional Spanish Christmas songs.

FOOD

The holiday menu in Puerto Rico includes the staple of arroz con gandules, which is rice and green pigeon peas. This is accompanied with pernil,which is roasted pork, and pasteles, which are our version of tamales made up of green bananas, usually filled with pork. For dessert, there are guava pastries and flan, a custard dessert.

DRINKS

Hot cocoa and apple cider are the winter classics to combat the cold weather. In Puerto Rico we consume coquito, a coconut drink served cold and topped with cinnamon sticks. This drink is iconic to Puerto Rico and around the globe many have tried to replicate the “perfect coquito recipe”.

DIVERSITY

Christmas is widely celebrated on the island, but Hanukkah is also celebrated and cherished in the Puerto Rican Jewish community. For example, there are traditional Puerto Rican Hanukkah dishes such as Fish with Mojo Isleño, which is usually a snapper seasoned with a specialty sauce of onions, garlic, peppers, and red wine vinegar.

Learn more about Puerto Rico and check out some of our tours by visiting https://www.vamonostours.com/destination/puerto-rico/ .


Hamilton in Puerto Rico Tour Special

America’s hottest historical musical is coming to Puerto Rico!

Lin-Manuel Miranda will reprise his starring role as Alexander Hamilton for 24 performances from January 8-27, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Vamonos is honored to offer a 4-day Hamilton tour package featuring history, culture, entertainment, and adventure. This special package offers Hamilton orchestra quality seating, 3 nights in the luxurious La Concha Resort, 6 meals, airport and hotel transportation, guided tours and filtered water daily.

Alexander Hamilton’s Caribbean roots will come alive in Puerto Rico as it intermingles with our culture, people, and history.

The highlights of the tour include:

  • HAMILTON orchestra quality seating
  • VIP history-filled sailing trip
  • Afro-Caribbean heritage experience
  • Tropical rainforest excursion
  • Old San Juan walking tour
  • Bomba & salsa workshop
  • Visit local art studio
  • Spanish paella night
  • University of Puerto Rico visit
  • Santurce farmers’ market and street murals
  • La Perla iconic neighborhood
  •  and much more…

This package has been approved by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and HAMILTON. We are honored to be one of the trusted companies to sell this expertly guided tour package.

Our spaces are very limited, book your package right away: vamonostours.com/hamilton