About

Our Mission

Our mission is to help visitors experience the best Puerto Rico has to offer through curated, experiential travel.

 

Our Story

Experiential travel
El Yunque Photo credit: Keila Martinez

Welcome to Purple Coquí Tours! Founded in 2019, Purple Coquí Tours is an outgrowth of the destruction from Hurricane Maria. Not only did Puerto Rico suffer massive damage in her wake, the long-term effects have continued to devastate the island. With the loss of a staggering number of people, homes, businesses/jobs and farms, many were forced to leave the island. Those who stayed were faced with equal pressure to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. But this isn’t a sob story; it’s a story of new ideas, reinvention and the Puerto Rican pride that is enduring and unstoppable.

Prior to Hurricane Maria, many saw Puerto Rico as the island with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, all-inclusive resorts and attractions like Old San Juan, El Yunque Rainforest and the Bioluminescent Bay. And while those are extremely popular tourist destinations, we know there’s so much more to the island dubbed “La Isla del Encanto,” which means, “The Enchanted Island.”

With Puerto Rico back in the news, there’s a resurgence of people who want to visit but aren’t certain about the current state of the island post-hurricane. Or, who don’t know much beyond the typical tourist attractions. We’re here to tell you, there has never been a better time to visit Puerto Rico. Purple Coquí Tours takes the guesswork out of planning a vacation that’s more than a vacation—it’s an experience.

 

What is Experiential Travel?

Sheila Ocasio, general manager of Finca Viernes: glamping and experiential travel in Utuado, Puerto Rico.

If tour buses and all-inclusive resorts aren’t exactly your vision of the perfect vacation, Purple Coquí Tours is right for you. Our goal, with every trip we plan, is to help travelers experience the island as fully as possible, no matter how long they’re planning to stay.

Unlike tourism, which largely consists of visiting the island and remaining an outsider, experiential travel is all about putting you on the inside track. You’re not just visiting Puerto Rico—you’re immersing yourself in the history, culture, food and customs while getting to know the people who make Puerto Rico what it is. Your experience is designed to be authentic and real. That might mean hopping on local transport instead of a tour bus, lodging at an Airbnb instead of a US-based hotel chain or dining at the renowned local food trucks instead of the buffet at an all-inclusive resort.

Get off the beaten path and see, feel, smell and taste Puerto Rico like you never have before. Whether you’ve only visited through pictures or you’ve been to the island, experience Puerto Rico as it was intended to be experienced.

 

Why Puerto Rico?

It didn’t take us long to fall in love with Puerto Rico and we know it will be the same for you. From the stunning natural attractions to the array of culinary styles and flavors, to the dancing, beaches and all-around great energy of the island, Puerto Rico is a place that captivates.

It’s also a great place for experiential travel–living the way locals live, experiencing the many attractions not found on the internet. There’s no shortage of incredible, memorable things to do during your vacation. If you live outside the U.S. or plan to travel to neighboring islands (via a cruise or “island-hopping”) you will need to bring your passport.

Puerto Rico has a mountainous region, several state parks and forests, many hidden-away gems owned by people without the marketing budget to advertise to you, along with a history that dates back to 500 B.C. Puerto Rico’s culture and the people of the island are a beautiful blend of Taino (indigenous people living in the Greater Antilles from 500 B.C. until the 1500s A.D.), Spanish (from Spain) and West African, which can be experienced in the music, the food, the natural surroundings, the vibrant colors and the warmth and friendliness of the people.

 

Your Host

The founder of Purple Coquí Tours, Sarah Ratliff, and her husband Paul began visiting Puerto Rico in 2007. They loved it so much that by 2009, Puerto Rico was their permanent home. They began to farm their land, and Sarah launched a successful content marketing company.

Along with everyone else in Utuado and all over the island, Sarah and Paul experienced some form of devastation when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. Although their house remained intact, they lost 80 percent of the trees they’d spent the previous seven years planting and cultivating.

Rather than see this as a setback, like many on the island, Sarah saw it as an opportunity to reinvent herself. With a long history in event and party planning—necessary skills for planning great trips—Sarah founded a travel company. Purple Coquí Tours was born from a desire to present the real Puerto Rico—not the all-inclusive resorts written about on travel sites, but the heart, soul, pride, history, struggles, triumphs and resilience of the Boricua people living on this enchanted island.

 

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

At Purple Coquí Tours, we celebrate what makes you, you. And we delight in creating trips that appeal to our wide range of visitors. We welcome ALL people, including:

  • Religious, spiritual or atheist
  • Straight, cis or a member of the LGBTQ+
  • African American, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, Hispanic or mixed race
  • Those with disabilities
  • Those experiencing any other form of marginalization—both seen and unseen

 

Don’t just visit Puerto Rico. Experience Puerto Rico!