Looking to take an exciting weekend getaway with kids to a beautiful island? Get a chance to enjoy warm weather, beautiful beaches, eat delicious foods, explore, learn and more. A weekend in Puerto Rico with kids is a family-friendly vacation destination with things to see and do for all ages.
We have discovered that Puerto Rico is a place that we can easily escape to – even with kids. The flight from the East Coast is about 4 hours, with no passports needed.
My family and I first discovered Puerto Rico a few years ago when our kids were 3 and 9 years old. People may often shy away from a weekend trip to an island with kids, thinking it will be too rushed. But I have some tips to help you spend 72 hours in Puerto Rico with kids – successfully .
Successfully Spend a Weekend In Puerto Rico With Kids
The first time my husband and I traveled to Puerto Rico together, we were on a kid-free vacation. Despite the fact we were having a great time, we never stopped thinking about our children. Practically the entire trip, we found ourselves saying how we couldn’t wait to come back with our kids to show them this beautiful, colorful, warm, family-friendly island.
Not long after we got back from our trip, I was able to to purchase some inexpensive plane tickets for my family to travel to Puerto Rico over a long Thanksgiving weekend. After the trip my husband and I went on, we shared many photos, videos and stories wiht our kids. They were so excited to visit and experience Puerto Rico for themselves. Both of my kids love swimming and the beach, so getting out of the cold, soaking up some sun and playing in the aqua blue ocean would be a perfect fit for them.
72 hours in Puerto Rico
My son, who loves to explore and learn, wanted to make sure that we fit a little history lesson into our 72-hour vacation with a visit to Fort San Cristobal. Even though my daughter was only 3 years old (almost 4) on our first long weekend getaway to Puerto Rico, she was so interested in seeing the pretty, colorful buildings in Old San Juan, which is the historic colonial section of Puerto Rico. Luckily I made a few notes during the vacation that my husband and I took to Puerto Rico so that I could easily plan a successful and non stressful weekend in Puerto Rico with our kids.
When To Fly To Spend A Weekend In Puerto Rico
The first and most important tip that I have to provide on spending a successful weekend in Puerto Rico with kids is to arrive on the island as early as possible and depart the island in the late afternoon or evening. We like to take an early (I’m talking 6 or 7am) flight into Puerto Rico, which has us on the island and my kids toes in the sand before lunchtime. To fully maximize our time enjoying Puerto Rico with our kids, we take an evening flight home, which makes our family feel like we hit the vacation jackpot by getting almost another full day on the island.
We learned this lesson the hard way after the first time that we took our kids to Puerto Rico for a long weekend and unfortunately had a morning flight back home. We basically only got a little more than 48 hours on the island. The third and last day of our vacation was essentially a wasted day that could have been enjoyed in paradise. My kids definitely shed more than a few tears, as they wanted to stay and have more fun in the sun.
Where To Stay in Puerto Rico
When traveling with kids for a weekend (or longer) our family enjoys staying at a resort within the Condado Beach area of Puerto Rico.
Here’s what works for my family at the The San Juan Marriott:
– The San Juan Marriott is a beautiful and family friendly beach front resort that is only about a 15 minute taxi ride from the airport.
– Your kids, much like mine I’m sure, will be big fans of the pool’s waterslide, while the adults can enjoy the swim up pool bar. What really made it a successful weekend for my kids was the fact that they could hop back and forth between the pool and the beautiful beach all day long.
– The resort has a delicious Gelato & Co. store, which my kids requested to visit and try a new flavor of gelato each day.
– We truly love how centrally located the San Juan Marriott is to so many things to see and do in Puerto Rico.
If you stay at the San Juan Marriott I recommend that you save time and money by not renting a car. Your family will most likely enjoy walking along the beach or the vibrant street right outside the resort in order to explore and enjoy some of the island’s cuisine, just like my family does.
What To Explore in Puerto Rico
Just because you may only have about 72 hours in Puerto Rico that doesn’t mean that you can’t explore, learn and have a memorable time. Since we take an early morning flight we basically have a full first day on the island, so we usually like to hang around the resort and beach to play, relax and soak in the sun.
After a well rested night, the next day our family likes to get up early, walk about 10 minutes from the resort to our favorite (and very inexpensive yet delicious) breakfast place in Puerto Rico called Pinky’s. They make the most delicious homemade smoothies and you can even take some to go with you, which our kids absolutely love to sip on throughout the morning.
Our family quickly learned that a must visit place in Puerto Rico is Old San Juan. It has so much history, culture and character, and even better is that it is only about a 15 minute taxi ride from the Condado Beach area.
Old San Juan
Filled with cobblestone streets and beautifully colored buildings in the prettiest shades of teal, yellow, peach, sky blue and orange, Old San Juan is a stunning, walkable town. There are street vendors, an adorable playground, where my daughter instantly befriended and played with a little girl named Sophia who is a native of Puerto Rico, lively music, outdoor cafes, rooftop restaurants, historical landmarks and much more.
Whenever we are traveling with our kids, we love to mix in some learning with our family fun. A perfect place for the whole family to see and experience while you are in Old San Juan is Fort San Cristóbal.
Exploring Fort San Cristóbal
Also known as Castillo San Cristóbal, the Spanish built Fort San Cristobal 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. That way we wouldn’t hold others up if the kids got tired and wanted to rest for a little. The size of the fort amazed both of my kids. They 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 of San Juan from the top of the fort.
As you can see it is definitely possible to spend 72 hours in Puerto Rico with kids – successfully. I recommend if you have the opportunity to visit this beautiful island, go for it and make some new family travel memories!
Where would you and your family head first, the beach, the pool or off to explore?
About the Author
Clarissa Laskey knows how to maximize short family vacations. She’s a full-time working married mother of two awesome kids, ages six and 12. She believes one should never let the family’s busy lifestyle interfere with travel. Born and raised in Philadelphia, now living in the Philly suburbs, Clarissa blogs about family, travel and fashion with passion at Clarissa Explains It All. She also shares good deals, especially involving travel. Her goal? Showing that spontaneous travel is possible.