For those planning a family vacation, Puerto Rico is an excellent choice. Home to family-friendly accommodations, calm-water beaches, unique tours and educational adventures, it's essentially impossible to run out of activities both kids and adults will love. To help you plan your trip, here are some top family-friendly experiences in Puerto Rico.
While most people stay put in the capital of San Juan when visiting Puerto Rico, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort offers a wonderful family getaway with a beach, nature trails, sanctuaries and lakes. Along with catering to couples and luxury travelers through delicious dining, spa treatments and a white sand beach, there are a number of amenities that cater also to parents and their kids. Through their Iguana Childrens Club, kids 5 to 12 can enjoy treasure hunts, arts and crafts, kayaking, sports, Nintendo Wii, board games and interacting with other youths. Additionally, families can get an education on Puerto Rico's rich ecosystem through their onsite nature center, or head to the onsite beach for a day in the sun.
What can be better than a fun day at the beach with the family? Puerto Rico is home to many beautiful beaches, although some are better than others for families. One top choice is Luquillo Beach -- about a half hour from San Juan -- home to a beautiful coral reef, calm clear waters, picnic areas and changing rooms. Another great option is Playa de Ponce in Ponce, which also features serene waters great for swimming. No matter where you go, remember to bring or rent some snorkeling gear, as the islands are home to a colorful underwater world of flora and fauna. Don't forget these other beach items, either.
There are only a handful of bioluminescent bays in the world, and Puerto Rico is home to three of them, including in Fajardo, Vieques and Lajas. Bioluminescent bays are bodies of water that, when agitated by, say, your hand or a paddle, glow fluorescent colors, best seen at night. This happens due to delicate plankton called dinoflagellates that glow when touched. Vieques is said to have the most vibrant bio bay, and you can take a kayaking tour of the bay (officially called Mosquito Bay) with Bieque Eco Trips For both children and adults, having this unique experience together can be enriching and bring you closer as a family.
Located in Fajardo, Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve is a great attraction for families, home to a nature center, old lighthouse from 1882, a bio bay and scenic trails. Encompassing 316 acres (128 hectares), the reserve features seven different ecosystems, from beaches to mangroves to lagoons, as well as a high density of wildlife. Additionally, El Yunque Rainforest -- the oldest forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere -- holds a number of easy yet scenic hikes perfect for the family. Hike to La Mina Falls for a truly memorable experience with the kids. Begin your visit at El Portal Visitor Center to enjoy exhibits, snacks, beverages and a gift shop.
Located in Aguadilla, Las Cascadas Water Park boasts being the Caribbean's largest water park, home to an array of water slides, lazy rivers, pools and a kiddie area. The highlight of a day in Las Cascadas Water Park is The Maze, a slippery slide full of hairpin turns and scream-inducing twists. When you're hungry, bring the family to one of the parks many eateries for some nourishment.
Puerto Rico's childrens museum is called Museo Del Nino and features an incredible world of learning through play. While there are many experiences to be had here (there are over 100 exhibits), some of the top include a dress up area, a replica TV studio where kids can be news anchors, a life-sized kids town, a fascinating science center, a theater where children can be actors and the chance for youngsters to design and build their own race car.
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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