Puerto Rico with Kids
Puerto Rico is a family-friendly island with no end of fun things for kids to see and do, including cave exploration, snorkeling with marine turtles, and nighttime excursions to bioluminescent lagoons. Many resort hotels arrange children's activities or have kids’ clubs, freeing parents for romantic beach strolls and candlelit dinners.
Choosing a Place to Stay
Resort hotels make a point of catering to family needs. Most offer free rooms to children under 12 and can provide cribs. Here are a few questions to help you gauge the level of family-friendliness:
Are there discounted meals and activities? Do restaurants have kids' menus? Are there children's programs, and is there an age range? A children's pool?
El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, near Fajardo, has a long list of facilities for children, including the sensational Coquí Water Park. On the south coast, Copamarina Beach Resort and Spa has a children’s pool and playground, plus kayaks, pedal boats, tennis, and heaps of other activities.
Condos and vacation rentals offer an inexpensive option, especially for larger families. They typically have multiple bedrooms, and you can cook for yourselves.
Things to Do
Vacationing in the Caribbean is all about the outdoors. Kids may even forget video games when they see the options: snorkeling, whale-watching, body boarding, and cave exploring. And the list of great beaches is nearly endless. The wave action around Rincón can get a little rough for youngsters, but Vieques and Culebra have the most fantastic, reef-protected sands, which are good for snorkeling, and kids can also go kayaking and fishing. Of course, many beaches have riptides, so do play it safe and heed posted warnings, such as red flags.
Parque de las Cavernas de Río Camuy. This huge cavern will leave kids wide-eyed. They'll have fun trying to discern imaginary figures in the surreal dripstone formations. And they'll also enjoy a number of not-so-imaginary figures, like the tiny coquí frogs hopping around the cavern entrance, crabs and blind fish in the underground river, and bats flitting about overhead. The tram ride to reach the caverns is icing on the cake.
Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park. Local families flock to this small theme park built around Los Morrillos lighthouse. It has a museum on seafaring—and that includes pirates. In winter, kids can look for whales from the lighthouse observation platform. The playground has a pirate cave and replica galleon, as well as a Taíno village.