How to Spend a Week in Puerto Rico with Toddlers

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Puerto Rico | 0 comments

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Puerto Rico is a perfect destination to visit with your family. There are so many different things to do around the island that everyone in your family can enjoy. The island has over 300 miles of beaches and is home to three out of the five bioluminescent bays in the world. It is also home to the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System.

We spent a week in Puerto Rico with our two small kids aged 1.5 and 3 and had a great time. Our kids loved everything about the trip and we enjoyed ourselves as well. This post will go into detail about things to do with kids, can’t miss things when visiting the island and how to spend the best week in Puerto Rico.   


General Information:

Puerto Rico is an island located in the Caribbean. The currency of the island is the U.S. dollar and the offical languages are Spanish and English. Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States so if you are a U.S citizen, you do not need a passport to visit the island.

There are lots of non-stop flights daily to Puerto Rico from major U.S airports. We usually look for non-stop flights when traveling with our kids as it is easier for them. The international airport on the island is located in San Juan and where most flights from the U.S. will land.

When visiting Puerto Rico, I would highly recommend renting a car. It takes awhile to get to different parts of the island and having a car makes it much easier to get around. We like having cars with our kids so we can make our own schedules as well.    

The best time of year to visit would be in the winter or spring. We visited in winter and had a wonderful time escaping the cold weather. We heard from many locals that summers are super hot and rainy and to avoid fall as it is hurricane season. You may find better deals during these unpopular times if you are looking to travel on a budget.

Where to Stay:

Puerto Rico is a pretty small island but it does take awhile to drive around to different areas of the island. We based ourselves in the northeast part of the island as it was closest to the things that we wanted to do with our kids. We ended up loving the area and it was a perfect base for all of our adventures. 

We stayed in an Airbnb right on the beach in Rio Grande. This location was about a 45 minute drive from the San Juan airport and very close to El Yunque Rainforest. If you are visiting Puerto Rico with kids, I would highly recommend this area as there are many kid friendly beaches nearby. 

If you prefer hotels to vacation rentals, The Wyndam Grand Rio Mar is a beautiful hotel in this area as well. It is also located right on the beach with easy access to lots of kid friendly beaches as well.

Another option for a hotel would be the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve. This hotel is located a little closer to San Juan but on the beach as well. It has very good ratings for being kid-friendly and would also be a good choice when visiting the island.  


Day One: Beach and Pool Time

After a long day of travel, we spent our first day enjoying the beach and pool at our condo. We usually try to have a relaxing first day after traveling so our kids can adjust and do something we know that they love. 

We also spent the first day getting aquainted with the area and grocery shopping. Food is very similar in price to what you would find in the United States. Eating out at restaurants was also very comparable to eating out in the United States as well. 

We had a delicious dinner at Carabali’s Bar and Grill our first night. This is a great, family friendly place to eat at. The food is delicious and it is located near the rainforest which the kids found to be very fun.   


Day Two: Luquillo Beach

Luquillo Beach is located about 45 minutes from San Juan and was only a 5-10 minute drive from our condo in Rio Grande. This was by far our favorite beach to take the kids to. The waters were calm and the sand was soft and fine. There were also plenty of beach vendors if we got hungry. 

Another popular thing about Luquillo Beach are the Luquillo Kiosks. These are located on the west end of the beach and have a large variety of food available. I would suggest visiting the Kiosks by themselves and then heading further east to enjoy the beach. The beach area by the main parking lot is much nicer than the beach area by the Kiosks. 

Luquillo Beach is open Wednesday thru Sunday. Of course the beach never closes but this is when the parking area and vendors are open. It costs $4.00 to park for the day and it is a short walk to the beach from the parking area. We also enjoyed this beach because there was always an abundance of shade in the morning hours which is when we usually visited the beach. You can read my post about the best beaches for kids in Puerto Rico here. 


In the evening, we returned to check out the Luquillo Kiosks. They have so many places to choose from that it can be overwhelming to choose what to eat. Our favorite places were La Parrilla, Terruno and Revolution Pizza Shop. 

Parking can seem hard to come by at busy times but there is parking available behind the kiosks. We never had a problem finding a spot and we went during dinner a few times. Also, if you are eating at La Parrilla, they have their own parking lot located right next to their restaurant. 


Day Three: Old San Juan Food Tour

Since we had grandparents along for this trip, my husband and I decided to do a food tour in Old San Juan. Before we had kids, we always took food tours everywhere we traveled so this was the perfect date for us. 

We did a food tour with Flavors of San Juan and thought it was the perfect tour to eat and learn about the history of Puerto Rico. We tried everything from the famous Mofongo to delicious paletas for dessert. This tour is not for children but if you are traveling with other people, this is the perfect thing to do without kids when visiting Puerto Rico. You can read my full review of our food tour here


Day Four: El Yunque Rainforest

El Yunque Rainforest is the only tropcial rainforest within the U.S. National Forest System so this was a must see place while in Puerto Rico. The rainforest is free to enter and I would highly recommend driving it yourself as there are several stops along the way. 

Our kids loved the rainforest and there are some kid friendly hikes and sights within the rainforest. The first is La Coca Falls. This is a pretty waterfall right off the main road with parking across the street. 

The next must see thing is the Yakuha Tower. This area also has a small parking lot next to it and the tower is not too bad to climb. Our three year old was able to walk up all the steps and I used a carrier for our one and half year old. The views from the top our beautiful.

The last place we stopped was Bano Grande. This is a short hike up some steps to a man made swimming hole. There is a nice path that you can walk along that goes around the whole pool. If you want more information about things to do in El Yunque with kids, you can check out my blog post all about the rainforest here


Day Five: Beach Day

When traveling with toddlers, we like to have lots of low key days so they don’t get overwhelmed when traveling. This led us to another beach day at our favorite beach in Luquillo. I think the waves were even calmer this day which our kids loved. They spent hours swimming and playing in the sand. 

Another beach worth mentioning is Seven Seas Beach near Fajardo. This beach has calmer waters and is very family friendly. The only downside to this beach is that it is much rockier than Luquillo Beach and it is a further walk from the parking lot to the actual beach. I still think it is worth seeing especially if you have older kids. 

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at El Verde BBQ which is located right off the main road near Rio Grande. We ordered lots of dishes to share and the chicken and ribs were the highlights. 


Day Six: Old San Juan and Bioluminescent Bay Tour

We came back to Old San Juan again with our kids this time. We knew that our three year old would love the colorful buildings and the different types of food that the city has to offer. 

Some places that I would recommend visiting with kids:

– Pigeon Park: Our one and half year old loved all the birds and really enjoyed watching them. This was a nice relaxing activity and the area is enclosed so kids can wander freely. 

– El Morro: This historic fort is a great place for kids to wander around and you can fly kites right outside the fort. 

– Senor Paleta’s: This place has some of the best paletas in the city. It is the perfect treat to cool off on a hot day.

We then enjoyed a delicious lunch at Pirilo Pizza Rustica. This place is perfect for kids and it was a nice break from the hot sun. You can read my full blog post about what to do in Old San Juan with kids here.  


After spending the day in Old San Juan, my husband and I went to do a Bioluminescent Bay Tour. There are three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico and we chose to do the one at Laguna Bay as it is the easiest to access. All the tours go out during the night so you can see the bioluminescence much easier.

We chose to do a boat tour with BioIsland Boat Tours which was amazing. The other option is to kayak through the mangroves to get to the bay. The best time of the month to go is during a new moon. This is when the sky is the darkest and the bioluminescence is at its brightest. We went shortly after the new moon and we were able to see the bioluminescence really well.

The other nice thing about the boat tour is that they allow young children aboard. Children have to be at least three years old but this is much younger than the kayak tours that have a minimum age of six years old. You can read more about our experience on the bioluminescent bay in my post here.

Day Seven: Beach Day and Relax

We spent our last day just relaxing and hanging out at the beach. After a busy day in Old San Juan the day before, we decided to just let the kids relax on the beach. They had so much fun playing in the waves and the sand. It was the perfect way to end our awesome trip to Puerto Rico. 

Puerto Rico is the perfect family friendly destination. The beaches are beautiful, the food is delicious and there are lots of things to do with kids on the island. If you are looking for a tropical getaway with your family, Puerto Rico is a great choice. 


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