Planning a family vacation to the Caribbean can be expensive. In addition to the flights, hotel, and activities, you need to secure passports for most Caribbean destinations, except for Puerto Rico, which makes it a little bit more affordable for family travel. Fortunately, resorts like the El Conquistador offer fun – and free – options for travelers who are keeping an eye on their wallet.
Seven Free Things to Do at El Conquistador Resort
Puerto Rico’s sun drenched white sand beaches and exotic atmosphere make it a perfect getaway for families. The fact that you don’t need a passport to visit Puerto Rico makes it just a little bit more affordable than other Caribbean destinations. With that savings, you may be able to upgrade to the luxurious 500-acre, Waldorf Astoria AAA Four Diamond El Conquistador Resort & Las Casitas Village in Fajardo.
I visited this beautiful resort as part of a press trip to Puerto Rico, but can’t wait to take my family back. I want to play a game of foot golf with them on the resort’s gorgeous Arthur Hills designed golf course. The views from the greens looking down the mountain are breathtaking.
On my next trip I also want to visit the El Yunque rainforest, and take a kayak trip through the bioluminescent bay, and maybe zip line in Puerto Rico. All those activities add up, especially for a family of five. However, there are lots of free activities at the El Conquistador that can keep your family busy for quite a while too.
Here are seven Free Things to do at the El Conquistador Resort
Art in the Hotel
You don’t have to leave the resort to visit an art gallery, just take a walk. The El Conquistador has a collection of major artwork that includes paintings, as well as some awesome sculptures from Puerto Rican artists such as Carlos Cancio, Lindsay Deen, Angel Botello, and Arnaldo Roche. Ask for a map to take your own self-guided tour, or download the map before your visit to read up on the artists.
Scout About is a scavenger hunt around the El Con property. Find the items and collect the colored bands, while learning about tamarind trees, coqui frogs and more. It’s a wonderful way to see all of the resort, and although the program is made for the kids, it’s a fun way for adults to discover the resort too.
In my book, this alone is reason to stay at the El Conquistador and Las Casitas Village. Palomino Island is the El Con’s private Caribbean retreat. Enjoy fee based water sports, splashing in the crystal water, hiking the mountains, chasing butterflies or watching the many iguanas on the island. Be warned though, when the iguana shakes his head, he’s saying leave him alone, not hello. There is also a giant chess set, and plenty of beach games on the island.
Catamaran Ride to Palomino Island
The Caribbean is best seen from the water, and the free ferry from the El Con resort to Palomino Island is a soothing ten-minute boat trip that offers stellar views of the resort, and a chance to see Puerto Rico from the sea, for free.
Hiking at Palomino Island
Bring your hiking shoes to Palomino and walk up the dusty dirt trail to the top of the mountain, where you’ll find cool ocean breezes and amazing views. You may also find a Scout About band or two. You can also use your hiking shoes to walk around the island, and visit the different beaches and coves.
Swim in the Blue Green Water
There’s never a charge for enjoying the beach and the crystal water at Palomino Island, or any of the seven pools on the property, including one with a refreshing swim up bar. Drinks are extra.