Meet Javier Ruiz, the Best Tour Guide in Puerto Rico

Meet Javier Ruiz, the Best Tour Guide in Puerto Rico

To simply call Javier Ruiz a tour guide in Puerto Rico is an understatement. Before starting his tour company, Walk San Juan, Javier worked for eight years as a civil engineer in Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural Resources. He then became a holistic healer after spending four years earning a diploma through the Barbara Brennan School of Healing

Before that, he was a professional unicyclist, traveling extensively and winning many championships at both the World Unicycling Convention and with the Puerto Rican All-Star Unicycle Basketball Team. 

Holistic Health Meets Tourism

All these experiences helped shape his current tourism career. “One of the principles of energy healing is learning how to ‘listen’ [to] what are the client’s real needs (from a deep perspective), and figuring out the best way to support them,” writes Javier on the Walk San Juan website. “Those skills are very handy while guiding private tours…so I can really please my clients.”

As a local tour guide in Puerto Rico, Javier can spend quality time with people and share his passion for the island with others. Although he enjoys showing visitors the coolest things to do in Puerto Rico, it’s not always easy. For one, the hours can be long. But the biggest challenge of his career was after Hurricane Maria. “I was working for FEMA,” says Javier. “[I] wanted to help Puerto Rico, but the money was not getting to the people who needed it. There was nothing I could do to support the survivors. That was traumatic for me.”

In his free time, Javier still rides his unicycle. When he was competing professionally, he traveled all around the world, including a 23-day unicycling trip from Cologne, Germany to Barcelona, Spain. He’s even unicycled on China’s Great Wall. 

Explore National Treasures with a Tour Guide in Puerto Rico

When he’s home in Puerto Rico, Javier’s ideal day includes a visit to El Yunque. Located in the island’s northeast, El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System But long before colonization, El Yunque was important for the Taino, the island’s indigenous population. While the forest is relatively small at 28,000 acres, it’s one of the most biologically diverse forests in the U.S.

“I love the rainforest. The energy is amazing,” Javier says. “Amazing landscapes. Beautiful rivers. Great places to hike. There is no way to describe it.” And he’s right. After hiking around El Yunque, head to the mangroves and caves. It’s beautiful. For food, you can’t go wrong with rice and beans, staples of the island. “On special occasions, we eat mofongo (smashed plantain with garlic),” adds Javier.

Puerto Rico has so much culture and history to share, says Javier. “My biased opinion is that Puerto Rico is the most beautiful island in the world.”

To learn more about local tour guide Javier and book one of the many customized Puerto Rico tours, head to his website, walksanjuan.com.

Be on the lookout for Dreams Abroad’s ongoing Meet the Locals series. Follow our series to meet other global professionals sharing their stories from around the world.

22 thoughts on “Meet Javier Ruiz, the Best Tour Guide in Puerto Rico

  1. Javier sounds like the perfect tour guide for Puerto Rico. I love the island and will check out his tours next time I’m there. Visiting El Yunque has been on my to do list the next time I visit the island.

  2. It’s amazing to see how Javier’s life experiences have shaped his career in tourism. It’s clear that he has a genuine passion for sharing his love of Puerto Rico with others, and his experience with energy healing has given him valuable skills to connect with his clients on a deeper level. It’s also inspiring to see how he continues to pursue his personal interests, like unicycling, even while working long hours as a tour guide. And his love for El Yunque is a testament to the beauty and cultural significance of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders.

  3. I wanna visit Puerto Rico some day. That forest that Javier has talked about; I wanna see it, too.

  4. Javier sounds like an incredible person and tour guide. It’s amazing that he’s also a holistic healer – what a unique and valuable combination of skills!

  5. It sounds like Javier has a pretty varied background. It is great that he enjoys his job, it always helps when people are passionate about what they do.

  6. Booking a tour sounds like a great way of exploring a new place, it’s great to have a recommendation like this, it sound very enjoyable way of spending leisure time.

  7. This is the perfect guide for Puerto Rico. You need knowledge, experience and passion for these kinds of job and he has it.

  8. He sounds like an amazing tour guide and its clear to me that he loves what his doing. If I go puerto rico I will ask for Javier.

  9. I must say, Javier certainly does sound like a brilliant tour guide. It is somewhere I would love to take a trip to.

  10. Javier’s passion for his homeland and his expertise in showcasing the beauty and culture of Puerto Rico truly shines through in your interview.

  11. I would love to have him as a tour guide. Indeed, one’s life experiences can make a trip more meaningful. I am interested to listen to real stories from real people. Javier’s varied background is definitely something interesting to listen to.

  12. I will say Javier Ruiz was the perfect tour guide and he looks amazing at what he’s doing.

  13. He sounds like an awesome person to choose as a tour guide! Love someone who has been local and knows all the best spots to see.

  14. I think it’s so beneficial to have a tour guide. Javier sounds like he’s very passionate about what he does and where he lives…great feature!

  15. I’d like to meet Javier in person. He looks like a jolly person who has deep knowledge about his locality. I’m sure it would be enjoyable to join one of his tours.

  16. Inspired by how passion-driven Javier’s life has been. Booking a tour with a reliable expert is the best way to know a new place.

  17. There are a lot of things that make Javier sound like a wonderful person and a fantastic tour guide.

  18. Knowing the right and knowledgeable guide in a certain location is such a timesaver and money saver when traveling.

  19. It is great that he gets to do what he loves! And able to ride a unicycle? What a fun and adventurous guy.

  20. Wow he sounds like such an interesting and knowledgeable person and I imagine he makes for a fantastic tour kids, also walking a city is the best way to really get to know a place.

    Laura x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.