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How To Spend 3 Days in Puerto Rico With Kids

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Have you ever thought about going on a vacation to a beautiful island like Puerto Rico with kids? Since my kids were little (they are 15 and 9 now), we have visited San Juan, Puerto Rico at least once a year. They have been some of our very best family vacations.

Usually when we travel here we stay about 3-4 days. Now, people may think it’s too rushed to spend 4 days in Puerto Rico with kids, but I promise you can have lots of fun in the sun. Let me show you why this destination is one of our family’s favorite long weekend getaways.

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Is Puerto Rico good for families?

People often ask is Puerto Rico a good vacation spot for families, especially after the Hurricanes struck back in 2017.  Our family took our first trip back, post-hurricane, last November for Thanksgiving.

The Condado Beach area of San Juan and also Old San Juan looked just as beautiful as ever. This speaks volume about the strength of this island and its beautiful people.  

When it comes to long weekend beach getaways, Puerto Rico is a top family-friendly vacation destination with lots of things to see and do for all ages. 

Puerto Rico offers warm weather, beautiful beaches, delicious foods, entertainment, historic places to explore and more. You can easily escape to Puerto Rico with kids as no passports are needed.

Fortunately you can often find cheap airfare in minutes to San Juan thanks to using some of my best free travel apps.

Get your carry on luggage packed along with the best travel essentials so you can be ready to go next time you see a great travel deal.

Condado Beach is perfect when visiting Puerto Rico with kids

Is Puerto Rico safe for children?

Believe it or not when it comes to crime, Puerto Rico is safer than many places within the US.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings though, no matter where you are traveling to, or how to stay healthy while traveling

Most areas of San Juan are perfectly safe to walk around and explore, especially during the daytime, plus the locals are very friendly.

This makes a Puerto Rico vacation with kids a perfect choice!

Biracial kids on Condado Beach in Puerto Rico

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?

Since this is just like traveling to anywhere else in the U.S. you don’t need a passport when visiting Puerto Rico with kids (or when you travel without kids too).  

Two important tips I have to provide on spending a successful 72 hours in Puerto Rico with kids are to arrive on the island as early as possible and depart in the late afternoon or evening.

I always make sure we take an early flight, which has us on the island, at our resort and my family’s toes in the sand before lunchtime. 

To fully maximize our trip we take a later evening flight home. This makes us feel like we hit the jackpot by getting almost another full day on the island.

Passport for traveling Internationally

What can a family do in Puerto Rico?

There are so many things to do in Puerto Rico with kids, even if you only have 72 hours.

You can explore, learn and have a memorable time that will make you want to book a return trip before you even leave. 

If you easily sign up for my newsletter (at the bottom of this post), you will be instantly directed to a free travel resource page where you can download an incredible packing /travel checklist so you can be prepared for your first or next vacation. 

Puerto Rico with kids 3-day itinerary:

  • Day 1 – Usually we spend that first arrival day hanging around the resort to play, relax and soak up lots of sunshine at the pool and beach. 
  • Day 1 (evening) – Once we have showered and cleaned up from our pool/beach day we like to walk a few blocks down Ashford Ave. and have dinner at Serafina (you can eat inside or out). After dinner we stop in to hang out at La Concha resort for a little. They have a ping pong table, sometimes a DJ or live music and they have a beautiful outdoor seating area. Last trip my kids made some friends to play with and didn’t want to leave. You can either go to bed, when you get back to the San Juan Marriott, or check out the live music in their lobby. 
  • Day 2 – after a well rested night we like to get up early and try to catch the sunrise over the ocean. The resort has a restaurant with a delicious buffet breakfast, but I will tell you that it’s a bit pricey. So instead I recommend walking about 2 blocks down Ashford Ave. to Pannes for breakfast. 
  • Day 2 (Old San Juan) – Old San Juan is a must-visit place in Puerto Rico. It is full of so much history, culture and character. Even better is that it is only about a 15 minute taxi ride from the San Juan Marriott. Old San Juan is a stunning, walkable town filled with cobblestone streets, beautifully colored buildings, stores, restaurants, entertainment and even art installations like the Mary Poppins travel experience I had during our last trip there. There are also street vendors, an adorable playground, live music, outdoor cafes, rooftop restaurants, historical landmarks and much more.
  • Day 2 (Fort San Cristóbal) – Whenever we are traveling with our kids, we love to mix in learning with our family fun. A perfect place to experience while you are in Old San Juan is Fort San Cristóbal. Also know as Castillo San Cristóbal, it is a fort that was built by Spain back in 1783 to protect against land based attacks on the city of San Juan. The Fort offers guided tours, but my family thought it was best if we explored on our own in case the kids got tired and wanted to sit and rest for a little. My kids were amazed with how large the fort was.  They very much enjoyed taking our time to walk around most parts of it at their own pace. My son was in awe of the spectacular views of the island from the top of the fort.
  • Day 3 – Sleep in a little, get breakfast and then spend pretty much the whole last day back at the beach and pool. The aqua colored water and palm trees all along Condado Beach will definitely make it hard for you to leave. Don’t forget to ask for a late check out.
  • Day 3 (before you leave) – Also make sure you have some of the carry on essentials I recommend so you can easily change out of your wet clothes into what will wear on the plane. The San Juan Marriott has a comfortable spa area with lockers, bathrooms and showers. Everyone can change before leaving for your evening/late night flight.

Colorful buildings along the streets in Old San Juan

Old San Juan is a great place to explore when traveling to Puerto Rico with kids.

Castillo San Cristóbal in Old San Juan

Where Should Families Stay in Puerto Rico?

Every time I travel to Puerto Rico (with or without my kids) the San Juan Marriott is always our choice. 

If you stay here I recommend you save time and money by not renting a car. Then you won’t have to worry about parking or valet fees at the resort. 

Your family will most likely enjoy walking along the beach or on the vibrant street right outside the resort.

San Juan Marriott in the best place to stay in Puerto Rico with kids.

This family friendly resort is only about a 15 minute taxi ride from the airport and is situated right on Condado Beach.

The San Juan Marriott is centrally located on Ashford Ave. That’s a walkable street with lots of restaurants, shops, other resorts to explore and more.

There are two pools, one with a waterslide and another that is zero entry and perfect for smaller children. Adults can enjoy the swim up pool bar while watching their kids zip down the waterslide.

San Juan Marriott pool and waterslide in Puerto Rico with kids

My kids love this resort because they can hop back and forth between the pool and beach all day long. Make sure to bring some fun pool floats or beach toys

Need a delicious treat? The resort has a Gelato & Co. store, which my kids always request to visit and try a new flavor of gelato each day.

We keep on returning to this beautiful family friendly resort because of its wonderful service, location and activities. 

San Juan Marriott Resort pool area and beach.

What would you do first in Puerto Rico with kids? Visit the beach, swim in the pool, head over to Old San Juan or something else?

There are plenty of other things to see and do, but as you can see it is definitely possible, even with only 72 hours, to have an unforgettable family vacation.

I recommend if you haven’t traveled to Puerto Rico yet that you should put this destination on your vision board or bucket list and take the trip!

GRAB YOUR FREEBIE!

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Lizzy

Monday 28th of September 2020

We want to take our grandkids to San Juan Puerto Rico,for spring break 2021,how far is old San Juan from The Marriot San Juan hotel,also what kind of room would you suggest and us there resot fees to pay.

Clarissa

Thursday 1st of October 2020

Hi! Thank you for reading my post. The San Juan Marriott is about a 20 minute taxi ride away from Old San Juan. If it is the four of you, then I would recommend an oceanview room (they have beautiful views vs. the city view). Yes, there are resort fees, unfortunately. If you book directly with Marriott take a look at their specials, because sometimes they offer free breakfast or resort credit. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. San Juan is one of our most favorite destinations.

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Sunday 13th of September 2020

[…] 3), especially for a long weekend getaway, because there is so much you do even if you only have 72 hours in Puerto Rico. You can often find cheap airfare, especially from NYC to San […]

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Friday 21st of June 2019

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Ashley from Legos & Leftovers

Thursday 21st of June 2018

Great ideas! Honestly I feel like you could write about how to survive going anywhere with your kids on vaca. Puerto Rico sounds amazing, and I'm definitely sold!

Clarissa

Saturday 23rd of June 2018

I am glad you enjoyed my ideas. I think you might be right though, my kiddos are definitely easy to travel with.