Reed Travel Features

SAN JUAN -- Tourists trying to wend their way through the maze of the narrow cobblestone streets, fortress walls, plazas and pocket parks of Old San Juan have some help now -- and an option to the hard-to-figure-out, hard-to-fold tourist map.

Colonial Adventure at Old San Juan, which opened in late 1995, conducts walking tours of -- and only of -- Old San Juan.

Company owner Maria Pla, formerly a seven-year employee of the Caribe Hilton and a veteran of the tourism industry, got the idea for her firm from her mother, who saw far too many lost and weary tourists trying to decipher the puzzle of Old San Juan.

Colonial Adventure offers several customized excursions, including a sunset tour for $16 per person, a photography outing for $18 per person and a $20-per-person circuit of Old San Juan's mu-seums.

According to Pla, the most popular tour thus far is the $20, two-and-one-half-hour Jour-

ney Through History program, which features El Morro and Casa Blanca Museum, among other sites.

Most of the tours are an hour long and depart from Colonial Adventure's office at 201 Recinto Sur at 9:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m.

Another meeting spot, geared to the convenience of cruise passengers, is the Pink House next to Pier No. 1 on the waterfront.

The tours are conducted by certified tour guides in English or Spanish.

Pla emphasized that the programs can be customized, depending on specific wishes.

"We will take individuals, groups, families, travelers in wheelchairs and anyone who wants to see Old San Juan," she said.

Brochures detailing the various programs and services can be found in most hotel lobbies in Puerto Rico.

For information and reservations, call the firm at (787) 729-0114.

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