Beach Blanket Bingo, Far Flung Adventures, TravelTuesday Q&A, Week Long Getaways

#TravelTuesday Q&A: Two Week Puerto Rico Getaway with a Toddler

puerto_rico-wikipedia
Q: Hi Playground! I’m headed to Puerto Rico with my husband and two year old in March.What is your best advice on top things to do with a toddler? Would you make any changes to the itinerary below? Is it worth driving all the way to Cabo Rojo? If you picked three of the four places, which would you recommend? A little about us: Pre-baby we loved active adventure vacations. We are still up for a little adventure, but we are realistic that we want to travel easier with a toddler:

Days 1 – 4: San Juan, Caribe Hilton: Old town, castillo, kids museum, Camuy caves, beach
Days 5 – 7: Cabo Rojo, vacation rental: beaches, hiking, salt flats
Days 8 – 11: Fajardo, El Conquistador Resort: El Yunque and resort activities
Days 12 – 14: Vieques (need a hotel): Beaches, Bioluminescent Bay (we’ll split up two nights to do this without toddler)

~ Thanks! Kelly

A: Hi Kelly, Puerto Rico is one of my favorite family destinations, I’ve brought my son there multiple times since he was the same age as your little one, and we’ve explored a lot of the island. Two weeks on a tropical island sounds amazing, and with even a fraction of what you have proposed above, you’re all sure to have a great time.

Some general thoughts: Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the beaches and relax by a pool — you want to be able to enjoy the destination and not pack too much in every day. I took my son to PR when he was 2 and then again when he was 3, and the sun and fun of the beach REALLY tired him out, so my husband and I often found ourselves sipping piña coladas and watching the sunset from our balcony more than we expected. It wasn’t a bad thing, but make sure you give yourself plenty of down time and non-exploring days so you don’t wear out your tot.

Puerto Rico | family travel

I’ve never stayed in Cabo Rojo, but we have stayed in both Guanica and Rincon which border it. I love the western side of the island for its super laid-back vibe. The rhythm is completely different than in the San Juan area, and I think you’d enjoy exploring that side of the island.
I’m a big fan of El Conquistador when I just want to kick back and totally relax, but it’s a large self-contained resort, and I’m wondering, based on how you describe yourself, if that’s a good fit for you. If you’re looking to whittle your options down to three, you could eliminate that one and add El Yunque on to your San Juan stay (it’s only 45 minutes from there), then head to the western side of the island, and then add an extra night or two to Vieques.
Puerto Rico | family travel
Beach at Casa La Lanchita

For Vieques you have two ways to go for accommodations: small B&B/Inn or the resort amenities of the W Resort.

For small inns, Casa la Lanchita gets great reviews from parents who have stayed with children. All rooms are suites with kitchens and ocean views and the friendly owners have ready-to-use baby amenities such as a pack-and-play, crib, booster and high chairs. There’s direct beach access and you can even rent a car directly from the property.

One thought on the bio bay excursion: why not look into getting a babysitter so you and your husband can enjoy the natural wonder together? Contact your hotel for recommendations. (And if not here, do try and treat yourself to a night out at least one night in the two weeks — I’ve used the babysitter service at the Caribe Hilton — all licensed and many of whom work in the housekeeping department and had been cooing over my son during our stay before I used them).

Have a great trip!

Have a family travel question?
Email Melissa at mandgplayground@gmail.com

 

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