Last year we took a family trip to Puerto Rico with some friends and my sister’s family. The trip didn’t turn out quite like we planned, because we had to cut it short to close on our house. It was still an amazing adventure.
We are always looking for safe, beautiful, and relaxing places we can take our kids. Puerto Rico fits that perfectly! Not only was it a stunningly beautiful island with fun lively Latino culture, but we felt safe the entire time. The airport felt like any other US airport. (Bonus: it’s a US territory so we didn’t need to bring passports or pass through customs!) The people were the kindest people I’ve met anywhere, and most understood or spoke English so it was easy to communicate.
We stayed in Humacao (the southeast corner of the island) at the Park Royal homestay Club Cala. The gated area is steps away from the ocean and contains golf courses, tennis courts, pools, and tons of shopping! Our 2 bedroom unit was very comfortable, and we loved the large deck overlooking the marina. We loved our stay there. The employees were so nice and bent over backward to make us happy. My kids loved the pools, and I loved the cabana for shade! The marina had a fishy smell, and the beach wasn’t my favorite on the island, but overall we would gladly stay there again!
The island is so beautiful! It’s lush, mountainous, and tropical! Just a simple drive in the car was fascinating because the scenery was so captivating. The hills flowing into the ocean was breathtaking. I just couldn’t look away. The island isn’t very big so nothing is too far away.
We loved the water! It was true Caribbean blue! There were plenty of beaches perfect for snorkeling. The water was clear and there was plenty of sea life to see! We saw tons of tropical fish, sand dollars, and starfish! The water was a perfect bath water temperature. It still felt refreshing but didn’t take any time to get used to it. I expected it to be sweltering hot outside in June, but it was pleasant, and actually a little cooler than back home in Dallas.
We visited the San Juan National Historic Site. My kids loved learning about the fortress and why Puerto Rico was so desired by European countries. The views from the lookout were spectacular! Bonus: if you have a 4th Grader make sure to print off every kid outdoor pass. This allows your family to visit all national parks (including San Juan National Historic Site) for Free! https://www.nps.gov/brvb/planyourvisit/annual-4th-grade-pass.htm
The area of Old San Juan was a lot of fun. We walked up and down the hilly streets and enjoyed the shops and cafes. We loved the music and cultural vibes. The food was delicious. It was fun trying their fruity drinks, and of course an authentic pina colada. It was invented in Puerto Rico and they are quite proud of it!
We had a blast seeing El Yunque rainforest. It’s the only rainforest in the US. The waterfalls and greenery were spectacular and a must see! Many of the trails were destroyed by Hurricane Maria, but there were still plenty of other trails open.
There were a few things on our list that we didn’t get a chance to experience because we left early. Part of the appeal of Puerto Rico is that there is actually a lot to do! We hope to take another trip there in the near future!
Beaches to visit:
Crash boat beach:
Flamenco Beach On Culebra Island: it’s just a short ferry ride from the big island.
Vieques: Another small island a short ferry ride away with wild horses and stunning water. You can rent a golf cart here to cruise the island.
We hope to catch this next time:
Kayak tour at night of Bio Bay in Vieques: Mosquito Bay in Vieques has so many bioluminescent dinoflagellates that it has been declared the brightest bay in the world! If you can’t get to vieques, Fajardo also offers Bio Bay tours after dark. Typically the tours are for ages 4-5 and older.
I hope you get a chance to visit Puerto Rico with your family. Happy Travels!