1-Visit the Carolina Children’s Museum
Every young kid is sure to have a blast at Puerto Rico’s children’s museum. The museum is a 3 story museum offering many exhibits and play areas as well as a mini zoo outside, pedal boats, outdoor playground, and go-karts. HINT: If you need a break from the heat…this is a great option for your kiddos! They also have a small onsite café for refreshments on a hot day.
2-Explore El Morro and Castillo San Cristobal
El Morro, also called Castillo San Felipe del Morro, is a historic 16th century fort built by the Spanish to help protect Puerto Rico. Castillo San Cristobal is a nearby fort (within 2 miles) that was built in the 17th century. Both forts were a big hit for my daughter Olivia on our trip to Puerto Rico. Many areas of the fort offer big open spaces with plenty of room for the youngsters to run and explore. Olivia loved the winding staircases in particular. Along with exploring comes some history lessons for the kids as well, making it a fun yet educational experience.
When visiting El Morro be sure to bring a picnic lunch and kite! One of the great attractions of El Morro is kite flying on the rather large lawn. There are nearby vendors selling kites, but as they are much more expensive than you would find in a store I would definitely recommending getting one ahead of time.
- 3-Spend the day at the beach!
Puerto Rico has no shortage of great white sand, turquoise water beaches to choose from. Pack up the kiddos and the sand toys and spend the day soaking up the sun. The kids can build sand castles and dip their feet in the ocean waves while you kick back with your favorite tropical drink and relax. The crystal clear waters will leave you feeling like your in paradise.
4-Visit the Carabali Rainforest Park
The Carabali Rainforest Park is situated at the bottom of the El Yunque Rainforest and offers a variety of activities for children of all ages. You can hop on the back of a horse and trot through the El Yunque Rainforest. The minimum age for this is 3, so even young kids can enjoy it. The park has horses of different sizes and your child will be fitted with a size appropriate horse. The tour guides will also ride next to your child to ensure their safety. For older children (12 years and up) there is a horseback riding through the beach option, another great experience.
Aside from horseback riding the park also offers hayrides to a small river, go kart racing, and ATV/UTV adventures. The hay ride was a nice, relaxing experience. My daughter seemed to enjoy this much more than the horseback riding, which leads me to say that this may be a better option for the younger children. It was a scenic ride and the Mameyes River was a great place to cool down a little bit from the hot summer sun. The go-kart racing was a typical go-karting experience, but what kid doesn’t love racing around the tracks? I will not comment on the ATV/UTV adventure as we were unable to experience this. This adventure is designed for older children. After all the fun you can grab a delicious bite to eat at the Carabali Bar and Grill.
5-Go Kayaking/ Snorkeling
Puerto Rico’s beaches have many great options for kayaking and snorkeling adventures. On our trip we rented a kayak through the Pirate Snorkeling Shack in Farjado. We were able to rent a kayak for $20 for the hour and explore the Seven Seas Beach. We were also able to rent some snorkeling gear and observe some ocean life. The great thing about the Pirate Snorkeling Shack is they have snorkeling gear for younger children so they too can enjoy the experience. This is a must do adventure for any Puerto Rico trip.
6-Visit the Pigeon Park
The Pigeon Park located in Old San Juan one of the highlights of the trip. After getting over the initial fear my daughter absolutely fell in love with this park. There is a vendor right outside the entrance of the park selling pigeon food for $3 a bag. As soon as you enter the park you are swarmed by hungry pigeons who have no reserve about landing on you and coming after the food. The pigeon park provides many laughs and great memories!
7-Explore Old San Juan
Spend some time walking the color filled streets of Old San Juan and enjoy some shopping, good food, and mini parks. Walk around the city walls and take in the views of the waterfront and visiting the old city gate. Be sure to stop and pose for a photo in front of the Puerto Rico flag door on Calle San Jose street and visit La Fortaleza Street to view the colorful umbrellas.
8-Take a day excursion to Flamenco Beach
We ended our visit to Puerto Rico with a day excursion to Flamenco Beach through East Island Excursions and it was definitely a great way to end the trip! My daughter had a blast right from the get go, laughing hysterically as the boat hit the waves (it was a bit of a windy, rough waves type of day). We were first brought to an area to snorkel before heading to the world famous Flamenco Beach. Before heading to Flamenco Beach we enjoyed a delicious, tropical lunch with sandwiches, tropical pasta dishes, and fruit. Another plus…we had access to a free open bar for most of the trip.
We were instantly met with stunning views as we pulled into Flamenco Beach and spent the afternoon enjoying the crystal clear water and walking the white sandy beach. It was by far one of the most beautiful beaches I have had the pleasure of visiting.
9-Visit the Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park
The Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park is a little out of the way of San Juan, but well worth the drive. We spent the majority of the day exploring the many hands on exhibits, including an Indian village, pirate cave, pirate ship, the Spanish conquest, playground, mini aquarium, and Splash by the Lighthouse (mini water park). The Arecibo Lighthouse is also located on the grounds and although we were not able to go into the lighthouse on our visit we were able to go the base and get some great views.
10-Visit Cuevo del Indio
Cuevo del Indio is located close to the Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park (about a ten minute drive) and is a great little adventure. After the Lighthouse Park we headed here. There is a parking lot near the entrance and a small fee to walk the path, but well worth it. After a short walk we reached the rocks and caves. I would recommend extreme caution if visiting with younger children, but my daughter was perfectly safe (four years old) and we were not the only ones visiting there that day with young children. You are able to climb down into the caves where Indian carvings can be found on the walls, but there is no longer a ladder for easy access. We skipped this part as it would be too dangerous with young children, but were still able to enjoy many great views.
Puerto Rico is a wonderful, tropical destination and as you can see a great destination for a family vacation. I would highly recommend it when considering your next family vacation!
Looking for more reasons to visit Puerto Rico? Check out these eight great reasons here.