Puerto Rico with kids
I’m newly in love with Puerto Rico and as an American who wants to encourage other Americans to travel more, I’d say; start with Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is a great starting point for “international” travel, because, well because it is not “international” travel.
Americans do not need a passport to visit this American Territory. That means Puerto Rico is an easy destination to add to your bucket list.
Puerto Rico comes with the ease of domestic travel, yet you land in a new culture that can only be found on this Caribbean island.
Spanish is the first language of the island, though most Puerto Ricans are bilingual. Making traveling for non-Spanish speakers just as convenient.
This list is not an extensive list, so I urge you to ask opinions from the Puerto Ricans you come in contact with. Those that work at the hotel, taxi/uber drivers and the staff at restaurants. Everyone was so very kind and so proud of their city and their heritage.
Five things you shouldn’t miss when visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico with kids;
1) The forts in Old San Juan; El Morro and San Cristobal Fort. Both forts can be toured either alone or with a ranger who will teach while they show you around.
2) El Morro Esplanade, this is the large green lawn outside the El Morro Fort and it’s popular for good reason. It’s a great place to have some family fun flying a kite after a picnic or some palettas!
3) Parque de las Palomas; Pigeon park, aptly named. This is quite an experience for the whole family. Someone will be there selling bird food for $1 and you can feed the pigeons yourself.
4) El Escambron; this beach is located right behind El Caribe Hilton and it offers a lifeguard and it has large reefs and rocks providing a safer current for families.
5) Bioluminescent bay; Bioluminescence exists around the world, but there are only a few bio bays on Earth, and Puerto Rico is home to three of them. This activity is at night, by kayak, and you will not want to miss this. During your visit you’ll watch the dark, night waters come alive with millions of glowing plankton as you paddle your way through mangroves and forests. You can some of the tours here, here and here. (I did this excursion on my first visit to Puerto Rico before children, it’s top on my list to get back and do with all four of mine!)
Just walking Old San Juan is a really great day with kids. The colors on the buildings and the street performers really give it an authentic Latin, Carribean feel. There is the Old San Juan Trolley that you can easily use to get around the city, it’s a free trolley and you can get on and off at each of the stops. It’s a great way to “see” the city first before you begin walking around so you have a better idea of where you want to go. City streets are narrow, so we recommend leaving the strollers in your hotel and having the children walk or wearing younger ones in a carrier.
The best time to visit Puerto Rico would be the winter months. November through April is Puerto Rico’s peak season, having the best weather. May and October are its shoulder season. And June through September is its low season because of Hurrican season. However, we were in Puerto Rico in September and had lovely weather. So, like anything, there’s always a chance, but sometimes chances are worth taking.
We can’t wait to visit again and venture beyond Old San Juan; we hope to take day trips to
1) El Yunque Rainforest
2) a snorkeling cruise to the Island of Icacos
3) a ferry or catamaran to Culebra
4) ferry to Vieques and see mosquito bay
5) and so much more…
We stayed at Condado Vanderbilt and highly recommend it. We barely wanted to leave this place.
Other hotels that we absolutely recommend are;