Puerto Rico is the perfect tropical travel destination for all types of travelers, including family travel. This is the reason why I have created this 7 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary for Families.
There are plenty of great activities that every member of the family will enjoy - from exploring white sand beaches and caves, hiking a rainforest, trying your hand at water sports, snorkeling barrier reefs, visiting museums and much more!
Here is a guideline for how to do 7 days in Puerto Rico with your family with a home base in San Juan. Some of the days may be quite active. If you prefer a more relaxed vacation, I would recommend replacing some of the activities with a beach trip!
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Using the map of Puerto Rico, you can explore all the days and stops.
The first day is best spent getting acclimated to your accommodation and enjoying the beach! After checking in to where you'll be staying, head to one of the many beaches located after San Juan. Afterwards, sample some mouthwatering classic Puerto Rican dishes.
After settling in, choose one of the many beaches around San Juan to relax, soak up the sun, and dig your toes in the sand. There are several great accommodation options located along the ocean that will give you quick and easy access to one of San Juan's beautiful white-sand beaches.
Visit one of the striking beaches, such as Isla Verde Beach, Condado Beach, Balneario El Escambron, or Ocean Park Beach. Don't forget the sand toys so the kids can enjoy making magnificent sandcastles while you kick back and relax.
Along many of these beaches, you will find vendors selling a variety of different snacks and drinks. Be sure to try a tropical smoothie (with or without alcohol).
After spending the afternoon at the beach, head downtown to enjoy a Puerto Rican styled dinner and some time strolling the streets.
Hotties Bar and Restaurant is located on Avenida Isla Verde and offers many original Puerto Rican dishes, including a variety of different seafood options and meat dishes, plantains, bifongo, and rice and beans.
The restaurant has plenty of family-friendly options that kids will love as well. Choose indoor seating, or enjoy their outdoor seating and the lovely ocean breeze that you are bound to feel. After finishing your meal, venture on to explore Avenida Isla Verde by visiting the shops and picking up some souvenirs.
Spend day two enjoying some family fun destinations, including the Children's Museum for educational exhibits and go-karts and the Caguas Botanical Gardens. Here, you will get up close and personal with nature and the remains of a sugar cane plantation.
The Caguas Botanical Gardens are a 60 acre garden with several smaller gardens and the ruins of a 19th-century sugar cane plantation. Near the entrance is a museum detailing the history of the plantation. If traveling with younger children, this may be something to skip as they likely won't be interested in it.
Continue along the path, and you will come across the majority of the sugar cane plantation remains, including a steam-propelled sugar mill and many sugar cauldrons. Also on the property are distillery remains overlooking a human-made lake.
Gardens located throughout the property include a rose garden, African Grove, Taino Grove, Tropical Wetland, and Creole Grove. The gardens are a great way to spend a couple of hours. I would recommend 2-3 hours at minimum here as it will allow the kids to run and stretch their legs.
The ruins and stone carvings in the Taino section of the gardens were a big hit with my 4-year-old!
After visiting the Caguas Botanical Gardens, take the 30-minute drive to Museo del Nino located in Carolina.
The Museum is home to many hands-on education exhibits and more, such as an outdoor go-kart track, mini petting zoo, pedal boats, and a mini-city featuring a police station, mayor's office, bank, supermarket, dentist office, and an outdoor playground.
The Museum also has a plane that kids can go in and explore. I would recommend grabbing a quick lunch here before beginning your exploration of the museum, meaning leave some time in the evening for a full sit down meal.
You could easily spend half the day here, and I would suggest a minimum of three hours. Extra costs apply for the pedal boats, go-karting, and mini zoo, but they are very inexpensive. After visiting the Children's Museum, I would recommend getting dinner and then returning to the beach to catch the sunset.
El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the US National Park system. The El Yunque National Forest spans over 29,000 acres and is home to a number of different plant and animal species. Spend the third day exploring the rainforest and experiencing some of the fun activities at Carabali Rainforest Park.
Spend the morning hiking the many trails of El Yunque Rain Forest. There are plenty of easy/moderate trails in the forest that you can explore, several of which lead to waterfalls or swimming holes, including the Mount Britton Tower Trail, El Yunque Trail, El Toro and Tradewinds Trail, and Vereda La Coca Trail.
Be sure to do some research prior to hitting the trails to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into and can take the necessary safety precautions/packing tips. Don't worry - hiking El Yunque is very safe!
The Carabali Rainforest Park is located at the foot of El Yunque Rain Forest. It is a family-owned ranch that offers a variety of rainforest experiences. You can take a wagon ride through part of the rainforest to the Mameyes River and a cute little snack shop - the perfect activity for younger children.
Horseback riding tours are also offered for children as young as 3, and horseback riding along the beach, ATV & UTV adventures, and go-karting are also available. On site, there is a Bar and Grill with some tasty traditional Puerto Rican dishes to try.
Old San Juan is undoubtedly one of the highlights and a must-do on every trip to the area! It is full of history, great shops, delicious food, and colorful streets. Take a self-guided walking tour through the city starting at one historic fort and ending at the other.
Castillo San Cristobal is a historic Spanish oceanfront fort built in 1783 to help protect Old San Juan. Today, you can explore the grounds, learn about its history, and see views overlooking the ocean.
Stroll Paseo de la Princesa, a promenade from the docks to the famous Raíces Fountain. Along the way, you are bound to find different vendors set up selling everything from treats to homemade gifts and items. Take in the fantastic views of the ocean and old city walls.
There is also a small play area you'll come across during your walk that the kids can enjoy!
You won't want to miss this stop! This was perhaps one of the best stops along the way. It is a small square park in Old San Juan that is home to hundreds of pigeons.
Outside of the park, you will find vendors selling pigeon food (relatively cheap). Be sure to grab some and then watch as the pigeons flock towards you! This is an excellent experience for kids and adults alike!
Be sure to visit Fortaleza Street, home to the mansion of Puerto Rico's governor. Above the street, you will find a string of colorful umbrellas. The road is also lined with shops and restaurants and is a great place to kill a little bit of time shopping and finding unique souvenirs.
Castillo San Felipe del Morro is another historic fort located in Old San Juan. The large lawn here is well known for flying kites due to the ocean breezes.
Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the lawn while watching the variety of unique kites and crashing waves. Explore the historic fort and learn about its history with the kids.
Arecibo is located about an hour outside of San Juan, but is well worth the drive! It is home to cave systems, an observatory, and a historical park featuring kid-friendly activities and a lighthouse.
The Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park is home to an 1898 lighthouse and many different family-friendly attractions for kids to enjoy and learn about the history of the island.
The historical park contains replicas of the three ships the Spanish used in their conquest of the New World, a Taino Village replica, a pirate ship and cave, and a mini zoo, aquarium, and water park.
You will also find stunning ocean views while you relax near the oceanfront and listen to the waves crash against the rocks. The historical park also has some fast food options offering dishes unique to Puerto Rico.
Cueva del Indio is a prehistoric rock art site that is now open to the public. The entrance to the park is located on private property, and the owner charges a $10 fee to gain access to the area. The area is full of limestone caves that the Taino Indians carved into and held tribal meetings near.
There is a cave that you can climb down into to view the carvings, but the ladder that was once there has been removed. I would not recommend climbing down with children, but the site is still exciting to see nonetheless.
The kids will enjoy climbing among the rocks (just be sure to keep a good eye on them) and watching the waves crash against the rocks.
Take a day trip from Fajardo to one of the world's top-rated beaches. Flamenco Beach has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it definitely lives up to the reputation! The turquoise water and white sand beach are sure to capture the hearts of everyone in your family!
End the day with some arcade fun at Dave and Busters in Bayamon.
Spend the day experiencing one of the world's top beaches. Combine your trip to Flamenco Beach with a snorkeling day trip through East Island Excursions. Have fun snorkeling some of Puerto Rico's barrier reefs to see all kinds of underwater species, and enjoy a complimentary lunch buffet.
Before arriving at Flamenco Beach, you will be taken to an underwater nature preserve rich in ocean life where you will spend an hour snorkeling! If you choose not to participate, you can also stay aboard and sunbathe (don't forget the sunscreen!).
After this, you will have an onboard buffet that includes juices, soda, fresh fruit, coleslaw, gourmet pasta salad, bread, sliced meat, and cookies. To top it all off, head to the open bar for a drink (for adults only, of course!).
Finally, you will be taken to Flamenco Beach where you can pass a couple of hours walking along the 1 ½ mile-long crescent beach, lying on the sand, or taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters. You are sure to come into contact with smaller swimming critters, but don't worry, they are harmless!
To end your adventure, you will be taken back to Puerto del Rey Marina in Fajardo.
On your return to San Juan (assuming this is where you chose to stay), stop at Plaza del Sol in Bayamon for some ice cream sundaes, dinner, and arcade games.
Soft and Creamy is located inside the shopping center. You can make your own sundaes here before continuing to Dave and Busters for dinner and some arcade fun! (Who says you can't have dessert first?)
We had a classic American dinner and then enjoyed a couple of hours in the arcade. There are games that family members of any age can enjoy, and it will get you out of the sun for a bit!
Depending on when your flight leaves, spend the day enjoying more of Puerto Rico's nature and beaches! What better way to end your trip than by dipping your toes in the sand and letting the warm ocean water run over you?
Bosque de Pinones, or mangrove forest, is a combination of a wooded trail and open boardwalk along the ocean. This area is where the locals spend their weekends, so it is an excellent way to immerse yourself in local life.
Along the wooded aspect of the trail, you will find a variety of different local wildlife species, bodies of water, salt flats, meadows, islets, and a boardwalk. And along the street running parallel to the boardwalk, you will find plenty of local shops and food vendors. Don't skip these as they are great locations to find local food and unique items.
Balneario de Carolina is an oceanfront beach park that offers beach access as well as different activities, such as beach volleyball, water sports, and a small water park for children. The white sand beach and turquoise water are enough to keep all members of the family busy!
Puerto Rico is a great family-friendly destination full of culture, history, and fun! There is something for everyone!
Still looking for more reasons why you should visit Puerto Rico? Find them Here
This article was first published on Mar 26, 2020 13:53 UTC.
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