Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Your guide to Caribbean family vacations from a husband-wife team of professional travel writers and guidebook authors.
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Family Activities in Puerto Rico
Old San Juan
Old San Juan is dotted with museums and historic
sites. The best known is Fuerte San Felipe del Morro or El Morro, Old
San Juan, Tel. 787/729-6754. This fort, one of the most photographed sites
in the Caribbean, contains a museum and is administered by the National
Park Service. On its grounds, the Cuartel de Ballaja, once Spanish troop
quarters, now houses the Museum of the Americas.
The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm; there
is no admission charge. Start with a video on the site then take a self-guided
tour. Youll find a map at the entrances, and exhibits throughout
the park are posted in both English and Spanish. Even if youre not
a history buff, this site is a family place where you can look out on
the sea and enjoy a gentle tradewind. Bring along your camera for this
Nearby, Casa Blanca, 1 Sebastian Street, Old
San Juan, contains exhibits on 16th and 17th century life and on its most
famous residents: Ponce de Leon and his family. (Actually Ponce de Leon
died before the home was completed.) Built in the 1520s, the home was
the citys first fortress and is now open for tours Wednesday through
Rio Camuy Cave Park
Puerto Rico is rich in natural attractions,
including what is called one of the finest cave systems in the world.
The Rio Camuy Cave Park, Route 102, Tel. 787/898-3100, located 2-1/2 hours
west of San Juan, was formed by large underground rivers. Today the park
includes a new visitors center with reception area and cafeteria and a
theater with AV presentation. Visitors reach cave level by trolley then
follow walkways on a 45-minute guided tour.
El Yunque National Rainforest
Another natural attraction is El Yunque National
Forest, Highway 3 east between San Juan and Fajardo to Route 191 near
Luquillo, Tel. 787/888-1810, the only tropical rainforest in the US National
Forest Service. Forty-five minutes east of San Juan, the rainforest boasts
240 species of trees and flowers, including 20 varieties of orchids and
50 varieties of ferns. Walking trails carve through the dense forest,
and guided tours are available.
Kids also enjoy the Childrens Museum or Museo del Niño, 150 Cristo, San Juan, 787/722-3791. Young visitors enter the museum through the legs of a large wooden figure then enjoy hands-on displays and activities from a village of playhouses to a Visit the Dentist exhibit where children can play dentist.
Back to Puerto Rico with Kids