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 Puerto Rico at least once a year and they have been some of our best family vacations. Usually when we travel here we stay about 3-4 days. Now, people may think its too rushed to visit an island with kids for only about 72 hours, 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 a Good Vacation Spot For Families?
People often ask is Puerto Rico a good vacation spot for families, especially after the Hurricanes struck in 2017. Our family took our first trip back, post-hurricane, last November. 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 family-friendly vacation destination with things to see and do for all ages. Most areas of San Juan are perfectly safe to walk around and explore, especially during the daytime, plus the locals are very friendly. Believe it or not when it comes to crime, Puerto Rico is safer than many places within the US.
Puerto Rico offers warm weather, beautiful beaches, delicious foods, historic places to explore and more. You can easily escape to Puerto Rico with kids as no passports are needed.
72 Hours in Puerto Rico With Kids
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 a very early flight, which has us on the island and my family’s toes in the sand before lunchtime. To fully maximize our time we take an evening flight home. This makes us feel like we hit the vacation jackpot by getting almost another full day on the island.
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 anyway, just like we do.
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., which is a walkable street with lots of restaurants, shops, other resorts to explore and more.
There are two pools, one with a waterslide and one 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. My kids love this resort so much because they can hop back and forth between the pool and the 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 for long weekend getaways to this beautiful family friendly resort because of its wonderful service, location and activities.
What To Explore
Just because you may only have about 72 hours in Puerto Rico with kids that doesn’t mean that you can’t explore, learn and have a memorable time. If you take my advice on the early morning flight, you should have a fairly full first day on the island.
- Day 1 – Usually we spend that first arrival day hanging around the resort to play, relax and soak up some sun 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 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 the 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 you are wearing on the plane. The San Juan Marriott has a comfortable spa area with lockers, bathrooms and showers where everyone can change before leaving for your evening/late night flight.
What would you do first in Puerto Rico with kids, visit the beach, pool, Old San Juan or something else?
Now, there are plenty of other things to see and do, but as you can see it is definitely possible to spend 72 hours in Puerto Rico with kids.
I recommend that if you have the opportunity to visit, take the trip and make some new family travel memories