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Before you start your search for the lowest airfare, you might want to consider booking your flight as part of a travel package such as an escorted tour or a package tour. What you lose in adventure, you'll gain in time and money saved when you book accommodations, and maybe even food and entertainment, along with your flight.

One good source of package deals is the airlines themselves. Also consult Vacation Together (tel. 877/444-4547; www.vacationtogether.com), which allows you to search for and book packages offered by a number of tour operators and airlines. The United States Tour Operators Association's website (www.ustoa.com) has a search engine that allows you to look for operators that offer packages to a specific destination.

Travel packages are also listed on major Internet travel sites and in the travel section of the local Sunday newspaper. Liberty Travel (tel. 888/271-1584; www.libertytravel.com), one of the biggest packagers in the Northeast, is a bigger advertiser in print and other media, but it's website typically has at least a half dozen deals to the island at any given time.

TourScan Caribbean Vacations (tel. 800/962-2080; www.tourscan.com) finds the best deals from the 10,000 vacation offers its Caribbean travel experts analyze. You can see some results online.

Food & Wine Trips

There is no organized culinary trip per se, but you could choose to visit during one of the annual food festivals such as Old San Juan SoFo Culinary Fest (in June; visit www.tastecuisine.net), when restaurants on and near South Fortaleza Street open up their doors for sampling; or Saborea (in early April; visit www.saboreapuertorico.com), a culinary party of restaurant booths and Food Network chef demos set up along Escambrón Beach.

Also see the Flavors of San Juan noshing tour in Old San Juan (tel. 787/964-2447; www.flavorsofsanjuan.com).

Escorted General-Interest Tours

An escorted tour is a structured group tour with a group leader. The price usually includes everything from airfare to hotel, meals, tours, admission costs, and local transportation.

Puerto Rico Tours, Condo Inter-Suite, Ste. 5M, on Isla Verde in San Juan (tel. 787/306-1540 or 787/791-5479; www.puertoricotours.com), offers specially conducted private sightseeing tours of Puerto Rico, including trips to the rainforest, Luquillo Beach, the caves of Camuy, and other attractions, such as a restored Taíno Indian village.

Backstage Partners (tel. 787/791-0099; www.backstagepartners.com) offers customized tours that take in a wide range of island attractions, including eco-tours, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, safaris, and golf packages.

Other leading escorted tour operators include Atlantic San Juan Tours (tel. 787/644-9841; www.puertoricoexcursions.com), which helps you take in all the major sights of the island from Ponce to El Yunque; and Sunshine Tours (tel. 866/785-3636; www.puerto-rico-sunshinetours.com), which covers much the same ground as the others. Legends of Puerto Rico (tel. 787/605-9060; www.legendsofpr.com) hosts personalized tours, specializing in entertaining cultural and nature adventure tours.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.