Yes, you can hit the Caribbean with an easy direct flight and no passport: Puerto Rico is calling your family for a vacation. Puerto Rico offers beautiful scenery, vibrant history and culture, and of course, a relaxed pace. Families can take advantage of beautiful beaches and variety of water activities, the historical sites of Old San Juan, luxe accommodations, and plenty of opportunities for adventure. I had the pleasure paying my very first visit to Puerto Rico this past March, and found the atmosphere as warm as the climate. Be sure to click through the slider below for more great photos!
The Condado Plaza Hilton is a great option for families. It’s a short drive from the airport—which makes arrival and departure super-easy—and it’s accessibly located to attractions like Old San Juan, and heart of the city of San Juan as well. Situated with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Condado Lagoon on one side (fun fact: It’s the only property with views of both), the property offers a variety of vistas, as well as waterside fun to be had. Book a family suite that comfortably accommodates a family of four, or, for larger parties (for example, if you’re planning a family reunion, a trip with family friends, or to coming stay for a wedding, shower, or holiday) there are three-bedroom penthouse suites available with gorgeous ocean-front views. Additionally: Guests can indulge in variety of dining options (including the award-winning Pikayo restaurant from acclaimed chef Wilo Benet) as well as fitness center, four pools (including a toddler pool and a salt water pool), and lush grounds rife with hammocks to lounge in, beautiful local flora, and plenty of comfy spots to enjoy a quiet moment in the sun (or even a nap).
One of the most enticing aspects of the Condado Plaza Hilton is the variety of outdoor activities they offer on-site—water activities in particular. On the Lagoon side, guests can rent kayaks and paddleboards to explore the serene Condado Lagoon at their leisure. The Lagoon is populated by friendly manatees (who may even swim right up to your kayak) and when I took a stand-up paddleboard out for a spin, I had a spirited iguana (yes, they can swim) hop up and hitch a ride on my board for a moment. On the ocean side of the resort, there’s a small bay where kids can snorkel as well as access to a nice public beach. A water slide at the main pool, a handful of hot tubs, a swim-up bar (for mom and dad), and tennis courts round out the amenities in very fun fashion.
From natural delights to historical wonders, Puerto Rico has your family covered for a one-of-a-kind escapade. Pack up and head south of San Juan to the Toro Verde adventure park in Orocovis for a day of high-flying fun. Toro Verde is home to the Monster—the largest zip-line in the world—as well as the Beast, which is a zip-line with a special harness so you feel like you’re actually flying. The park also offers zip-line courses that take you on a series of shorter flights through the lush forest with valley vistas, as well as combo tours and more. For history and local flavor, hit up San Juan. With cultural happenings—like the Heineken JazzFest in late March—taking place all the time, and the proximity to the history on display in Old San Juan, there’s sure to be something for everyone in this bustling city.