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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.