Anyone searching for the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids will be impressed by the offerings. From cultural activities in Old San Juan to adventures for active families, this island is a one-of-a-kind gem. Explore El Yunque National Forest, visit a bioluminescent bay, or simply relax on the beach. All the while, you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery, friendly locals, and delicious food. What more could you ask for from your Caribbean family vacation? Puerto Rico even has indoor activities to help pass the time on a hot day too. Knowing how to start planning your itinerary is where it can get tricky for some families, however. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful list of the Best Things To Do In Puerto Rico With Kids. Plan an epic family vacation with outdoor adventures, historic sites, and more. Keep reading for our tips!
Best Beaches & Ocean Activities around Puerto Rico with Kids
Can’t get your kids out of the water? Your family will love Puerto Rico! Between gorgeous beaches and rich ocean life, there’s so much to see here. Keep reading to learn more about the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids!
Marvel at a Beautiful Bioluminescent Bay
There are five bioluminescent bays in the world and three of them are in Puerto Rico! That means visiting one is a must during your vacation with kids. One of the most popular ones is Laguna Grande, accessible by a ferry from Fajardo. It’s about an hour away from San Juan, and features vibrant, glow-in-the-dark water to dazzle your children. Combine it with a day trip to Cayo Icacos, the island it’s located on, to make your trip even better! Another popular bioluminescent bay is La Parguera, located in Lajas on the southwestern part of the island. Since it’s the only one that allows motorboats, visiting is a great opportunity to take a glass-bottomed boat or kayak ride. Local companies offer this service, such as Fondo de Cristal Tours & Boat Rental. Though less popular than the other two, the third in Vieques, also known as Mosquito Bay, is the brightest.
See Smaller Islands around Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is incredible. But did you know it’s also an access point to smaller islands? If you have some time during your family vacation, consider venturing out to somewhere like Gilligan’s Island. Accessible by kayak, this excursion is best for older kids who can keep up. It’s quite deep, there isn’t much to explore without a kayak, and remember to bring bug spray. About 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo, you’ll find Culebra, a sparsely populated island that used to be a U.S. Navy Base. Remains of this past are present throughout the island at iconic photo spots, like the rusted tank. Culebra is also ideal for beach bumming or getting closer to marine life by snorkeling or diving. Check out Flamenco Beach, ranked one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Cayo Icacos, also near Fajardo, is accessible by boat and great for snorkeling too.
Enjoy Water Activities near Fajardo
Active families should head to Fajardo. Otherwise known as the water sports capital of Puerto Rico, this eastern region encompasses the city of Fajardo and Puerto Del Rey Marina. In addition to Laguna Grande, a bioluminescent bay, it’s known for its breathtaking natural reserves, scenic views, and more. Seven Seas Beach is the most popular in Fajardo, crescent-shaped and lined with palm trees. Come here for snorkeling, swimming, or with a picnic to relax. For a real photo-worthy sight, trek off-the-beaten-path to La Zanja. This natural pool is accessible by a 20-30 minute bike ride from Seven Seas Beach, accompanied by some lesser-known scenery. Or, take a break from the water and visit the Fajardo Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in Puerto Rico. Families may also like Las Croabas Park, where you can ride bikes, enjoy a picnic, or fly a kite on the greenery.
Relax on the Beach
A trip to Puerto Rico would be incomplete without some time on the beach. Luckily, gorgeous shorelines await your family across the island! Isla Verde Beach, a popular tourist spot near the San Juan Airport, is divided into three sections for families who want to relax, surf, etc. Luquillo Beach, located on the northeast coast near Fajardo, is also great for swimming or taking a stroll on the shoreline. On the western coast of the island, teens or advanced older kids can visit Rincon, renowned as a surfer’s paradise. Families who love animals will love Cabo Rojo, a region on Puerto Rico’s southwest coast. Also home to the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, the area has brimming coral reefs and lots of other animals. Boqueròn Bay Beach is family-friendly. Keep in mind you may see some stray dogs wherever you go, since there are a lot around.
Go Scuba Diving
Puerto Rico is a great place to scuba dive! Whether your kids are beginners or advanced divers, you’ll find somewhere on the island for you. Younger kids can scuba dive at Mosquito Pier in Vieques, a perfect place for admiring the coastline. Culebra is another popular place for beginners to go scuba diving. Take a Beginner Scuba Diving Lesson from Culebra Divers to get a rundown of everything you need to know before heading underwater. San Juan Diver also offers a great Discover Scuba, which lasts around 4 hours. Have an advanced diver in your family? In Lajas, visit The Wall at La Parguera, which features a long stretch of shoreline teeming with fish. Or, book a trip to Mona Island with Adventures Tourmarine to spot giant turtles, sharks, and other sea creatures. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids!
Best Outdoor Adventures in Puerto Rico with Kids
Active families will love the endless opportunities for adventure in Puerto Rico, from traversing through the rainforest to visiting a cave. Here are our favorite outdoor things to do in Puerto Rico with kids!
Appreciate the Views from El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque National Forest is a must when visiting Puerto Rico with kids. Located on the island’s northeastern portion, this tropical rainforest showcases great views, abundant wildlife, plus remnants of the Taino people. Your first stop here should be El Portal Visitor Center for a map. If you want to take a ranger-led tour of El Yunque, they’re available from the Palo Colorado Visitors Center every day at 10 am, 12 pm, and 2:30 pm. Otherwise, explore on your own on one of the many family-friendly trails. Take a swim on a hot day as you walk along the Angelito Trail to the Mameyes River. Juan Diego Falls, a pair of lesser-known waterfalls, is worth the visit too. When driving southwest on 191, you’ll find the trail entrance behind a road barrier at approximately KM 9.8. Of course, nothing beats the panoramic views from the Yokahú Observation Tower!
Pro Tip: Regardless of where you go in El Yunque, don’t forget to pack ponchos and bug spray, because the weather is unpredictable!
Climb to El Robles Waterfall (Gozalandia Falls)
For a glimpse at one of Puerto Rico’s lesser-known waterfalls, make your way to El Roble Waterfall. Known as the Gozalandia Falls, this spot in San Sebastian is great for hikers, nature lovers, and everyone in between. Here, the main attraction is a cascading, 60-foot waterfall, accessible via a short walk from the parking lot. It costs a small entrance fee, and the walk isn’t too strenuous, though it can get slippery when wet. Once you reach the main falls, there’s a small area where kids can swim, including a submerged cave. Spots fill up quickly on hot days since this is a local favorite, so be sure to arrive early! True daredevils can even walk up the path further until they reach the upper falls, an exhilarating spot you can jump from. There’s even a rope to make you feel like you’re king of the jungle!
Embark on an Expedition through a Cave
Puerto Rico’s caves are truly a sight to behold. Fortunately, there are lots for families to visit together! Close to Utuado, there’s Cueva Ventana, aka the Window Cave. Situated atop a limestone cliff, it overlooks the Rio Grande de Arecibo Valley and welcomes guests daily. A standard entrance fee will grant you admission to the caves, a hard hat, as well as access to a guided tour. Expect to see Taino art or maybe even some bats along the way. Plus, you can’t beat the views from the actual entrance of the cave! Families may also enjoy The Camuy River Cave Park. Located near Camuy with an entrance in Quebrada, this cave system is a must when visiting Puerto Rico. Your excursion starts with a fun trolley ride down the mountainside, before proceeding to a guided walk through the caves. Photos truly don’t do this magnificent experience justice!
Explore the Ecosystems at Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve
Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve is another one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids. Equal parts bioluminescent lagoon, dry forests, and sandy beaches, this diverse destination near Fajardo showcases a variety of ecosystems for families to explore. You can only enter the park on a tour, and there’s one English-speaking option offered every day. Therefore, you should plan in advance if you want to visit and take a tour. During this two-and-a-half-hour excursion, you’ll ride a tram most of the way with opportunities to get out and walk. Stroll through a mangrove area around a lake, a beautiful rocky beach, then a historic lighthouse. Don’t forget to savor the views from the top! Though currently closed due to recent hurricane damage, the nature reserve also offers a variety of other tours, such as kayaking.
Other Adventurous Activities in Puerto Rico with Kids
If a few adventures aren’t enough, Puerto Rico has plenty more to keep your kids happy. Keep reading for the best adventurous things to do in Puerto Rico with kids!
Go to an Adventure Park
Older kids will love the variety of adventure parks in Puerto Rico. Outside of El Yunque National Rainforest, you’ll find Carabalí Rainforest Park, an outdoor destination with tons of thrilling fun. Here, kids can ride UTVs, ATVs, or cruise down zip lines for stunning panoramic views at the foothills of El Yunque. Or, ride through this unique ecosystem on horseback. Maybe a hayride with younger kids is more your style? Everyone will enjoy the go-karts! True daredevil kids can visit Toro Verde Adventure Park. Kids seven and older can enjoy mountain views from over eight different zip lines! Or, conquer The Monster, a 2.5-kilometer zip line not for the faint of heart. On The Beast, you can even fly through the air like a free bird! With climbing towers, a variety of tours, and more, this is one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids!
Take a Trip with Tamana River Adventures
Any family interested in an off-the-beaten-path expedition in Puerto Rico should book one with Tamana River Adventures. As one of the most popular adventure tour companies in Puerto Rico, this dynamic outfitter offers everything from hiking to fun river rafting. If you book the hiking excursion, you’ll be led through a beautiful forest and river before crossing onto coffee, banana, and plantain fields. Or, head to nearby caves, caverns, and through waterfalls or water springs. Kids will especially love the underground river experience complete with cave tubing! If you have older kids in your family, take the leap and sign up for rappelling even if it scares you; we guarantee you’ll have a great time! Regardless of which adventure you choose, you’ll be accompanied by a great guide who will give you a fascinating history behind everything you’re doing and seeing. It may just be the highlight of your trip!
Have Family Fun at Hacienda Campo Rico
Visiting Hacienda Campo Rico is one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids. Located just fifteen minutes outside of San Juan, this classic Caribbean-style Hacienda occupies the grounds of a former sugar plantation. Today, it’s been transformed into a thrilling destination for outdoor activities across 2,000 tropical acres! There are plenty of ways to explore, whether on horseback or ATV. Ride through the breathtaking countryside and have a great time doing so! Meanwhile, parents will love the Mojito Bar, which offers comfort food alongside tasty drinks. Together, families can enjoy a special game of archery tag, an epic sport that combines dodgeball, archery, and paintball. You can also see plants and other local wildlife on a 90-minute trolley tour, which takes you around the grounds and back in time. For a different perspective, try zip lining. The Hacienda has 5 courses and hanging canopy bridges!
Book a Segway Tour
A segway tour is a fantastic way to sightsee in Puerto Rico. And, thanks to companies such as Segway Tours PR, it’s easier than ever to take one! Embark on a guided segway tour of Old San Juan and you’ll be able to see all the best sights with an informed tour guide. (And have a ton of fun too!) Operating the segway can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be on your way and zooming through the cobblestone streets! Stops include Heritage Monument, Darsenas Square, and the Wall of San Juan. This is an especially great activity for older kids or often disinterested teens, since it conveys Puerto Rican history excitingly and interactively. Segway Tours PR even offers a tour on a Ninebot Segway Max, which lets you kick up the speed even faster.
Best Ways to Soak in Puerto Rican Culture with Kids
Of course, Puerto Rico has lots of beach or water-related outdoor activities. But the island is also brimming with interesting culture, whether at a historic site or the famous Old San Juan. Here are some more favorite things to do in Puerto Rico with kids!
Walk around Old San Juan
Travel back in time when you visit Old San Juan! From the San Juan National Historic Site to the cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses, there’s enough to keep everyone entertained for hours. Kids will especially love all the old forts, like the Castillo de San Cristobal, the biggest in Puerto Rico. Not only does it provide panoramic views of the city, but it also lets kids peer into old cannons as you walk through the fortification. San Felipe Del Morro is another well-known fort, located along the sea with a nice breeze. If you visit on a Sunday, kids can even bring a kite and fly it around the grounds! Old San Juan has plenty to do outside of seeing forts, such as strolling the Paseo de la Princesa promenade, After, stop at an iconic restaurant like Barrachina or El Jibarito for Puerto Rican delicacies in an old-school ambiance!
Get Creative at Museo del Niño de Carolina (Children’s Museum)
Museo del Niño de Carolina is a fantastic indoor activity for kids. Otherwise known as the Carolina Children’s Museum, it’s located just outside of San Juan. Children who visit can enjoy educational hands-on exhibits to challenge their creativity, whether in math, science, or art. For example, there’s a music section where kids can learn more about sounds and create their own. Or, an exhibit on physics and magnetic energy for budding scientists! Of course, the main star of the show is the go-karting, which will surely impress any kid. There’s also a chance to explore a real airplane. On a nice day, you can also head outside to see the colorful outdoor play area, including a mini zoo. Save at least a couple of hours to explore, because there are lots to see here! No wonder it’s one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids.
Head to Lajas for an Aquatic Adventure
An aquatic adventure awaits your family in Lajas! This coastal town on the southern part of the island borders the Caribbean Sea. As such, it’s a great place to visit if you’re into water sports or simply want to enjoy a seaside escape. One of the most famous attractions here is La Parguera, a boardwalk-style promenade packed with restaurants, bars, and other vendors selling goods. It’s great for exploring with kids, shopping, and also a point of departure for local fishing, diving, or snorkeling excursions. La Parguera also houses one of three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, as mentioned earlier in this article. Lajas also provides a great home base to visit small islands off Puerto Rico’s southern coast. Take a boat ride to Cayo Caracoles to see the mangroves, kayak to Cayo Enrique, or go snorkeling in Cayo Mata La Gata.
Visit Parque de Bombas
Firefighter and firetruck enthusiasts can’t miss Parque de Bombas in Ponce. Located in the town square, Plaza de las Delicas, this former fire station is now a historic site open to visitors from all around the world. Due to its iconic, red and black striped architecture, some even say it’s the most recognizable building on the island! Families visiting here can take a self-guided tour to see the small museum inside, which gives a brief history of the building. Kids will love seeing all the firefighters memorabilia here, from old uniforms to actual vintage firetrucks! Keep in mind it’s a great place to visit, but there’s not much to see, so you may finish your visit quickly. For this reason, some say it isn’t worth venturing to if you’re not already nearby. After you’re done, however, there’s plenty to explore in the area, like shops and a nearby cathedral!
Where to Stay in Puerto Rico with Kids
Looking for family-friendly accommodations in Puerto Rico? Parents with young babies or toddlers will love the Caribe Hilton, set on a beach with very calm waters. Active families who want to stay close to El Yunque could stay at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort. Kids will love the pool at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico. Other luxury accommodations include Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, El Conquistador, and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.
We hope you liked this list of Best Things To Do In Puerto Rico With Kids! From the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan to the shores of Fajardo and everywhere in between, your family will love this fun-filled island. Enjoy Puerto Rico with your family!
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
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*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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