Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a kids’ paradise. Photo: iStockphoto

Our series of fam-friendly summer travel guides

The easy-to-get-to island is a tropical treat for all ages.

Get glowy in a bio bay

Puerto Rico has the good fortune of having two rare bioluminescent bays, in Farjado and adjacent Vieques, within close proximity. A nighttime visit to see these natural wonders is nothing short of magical no matter what your age: High concentrations of (harmless) microscopic organisms in the bays set off a blueish light when agitated, in turn making the creatures around them and the water itself appear to glow. Several outfitters offer fam-friendly kayak tours, including Island Adventures Bio-bay Eco-Tours and Abe’s Snorkeling and Bio-bay Tours.

Visit a tropical rainforest

El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. It was plenty of easy hiking trails for all ages, plus natural pools and waterfalls that practically beg you to take a swim. Along your hike, you’ll see plenty of cool critters and unusual plants. Don’t forget a rain jacket—there’s likely to be a downpour at some point during your excursion.

Play pirate at Arecibo Lighthouse & Historical Park

This small theme park highlighting Puerto Rican history is super fun for wee ones. Highlights include a climbable replica of one of Black Beard’s pirate ships, a cave used as a hideout by pirates, an aquarium, playground and a lighthouse built by the Spanish in 1898. Tip: If you come in winter, you may be able to spot whales from the lighthouse observation platform. Older kids  may also want to visit the nearby Arecibo Observatory to check out the world’s largest radio telescope.

Explore Old San Juan

The historic colonial area is a popular tourist destination for shopping and dining, and its full of museums that will appeal to grownups. But it’s also home to the Museo Del Niño, a small museum with loads of interactive exhibits to keep kids of all ages entertained, including an art room, science center and dress-up section. The helpful staff is bilingual.

Try Spelunking for Beginners at Parque de las Cavernas Río Camuy

The beautiful, enormous cavern is easy to walk with kids (it’s stroller friendly and reachable by a fun tram ride) and awe-inspiring in size (it’s the third largest cave system in the world). Look for tiny coquí frogs at the opening and blind fish in the underground river. 

 

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Tagged: Family time

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