Things To Do in Puerto Rico (even with toddlers)
It’s not for no reason that The New York Times listed Puerto Rico as No. 1 on their Places to Go list. “In the juxtaposition of its two worlds, the tropical paradise versus the struggling island, Puerto Rico is representative of the many fragile places around the globe right now”.
If you’re thinking of visiting Puerto Rico some time soon, here’s the final part of my 4-part series on Things To Do in Puerto Rico. If you missed any of the previous posts, here are the links:
If you spend less time in resorts, check into Airbnb’s and hotels, visit local businesses, eat like the locals do and actually aim to learn a little about the culture and life where you are vacationing, your whole experience will be much more unforgettable by actually creating a connection with the place.
CRASH BOAT PLAYA
Crash Boat Playa’s name origin is not clear but one of the main hypothesis’ relates to the use of the beach by the U.S. military during World War II, where boats were kept to pick up crews from Air Force that were disabled at sea. Even with their famous pier having been semi-damaged with the passing of Hurricane Maria, it’s still a beautiful sight with the Puerto Rican flag waving proudly at the end. We even made a little friend when a crab decided to pass by and say Hello!
PLAYA PUERTO NUEVO
Playa Puerto Nuevo aka Playa Mar Bella offers protection from the violent waves with its huge limestone rocks. The rocks not only serve as a wave break, but also as a beautiful sight to see and capture Pinterest-worthy images. Being that there were no waves, and instead just crystal clear serene water where our toddlers got to play freely and we had schools of fish swimming by our feet, it was my favorite beach with the kids.
LA PARGUERA (LAJAS)
You won’t find any fancy resorts or hotels in La Parguera, but what you will find is the beautiful simplicity of a coastal town where nature takes center stage. After climbing into a yola (small boat) which our toddlers were surprisingly pretty ok with, we enjoyed the ride and going through the Mangroves until we reached the tiny island of Mata la Gata. Measuring only 1500 ft. x 1200 ft., the focal point is an area of the sea that was enclosed, creating a natural sea pool surrounded by a wooden deck.
On our way back, the helmsman stopped at a specific location in the ocean where it would be easy to spot sea life and Achilles and I got to see and touch (for about 5 seconds) an actual Starfish for the first time. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty cool! Don’t worry, we were assured it is ok for a Starfish to be out of the water for a short period of time.
MOFONGO, PASTELES & PIña colada
Bring on la comida! Tasting new foods is one of my favorite things to do while vacationing, and finally eating mofongo in Puerto Rico was on my list of Things To Do! The mofongo was so good that I must’ve had it at least 6 out of the 12 days we spent in Puerto Rico and I am not even slightly ashamed of it.
We were there for the holidays which meant pasteles were a staple in most home meals. Arroz con gandules and pasteles to be exact. Served with chicken or pernil and one day Argenis’ grandma went all out for us and spoiled us with the best seafood salad ever. And last but not least, you can’t visit Puerto Rico and not sip on a Piña Colada! I don’t mind enjoying one occasionally out here in New York, but nothing like what a traditional Piña Colada from Puerto Rico taste like. Delicious!
With both of our toddlers, Puerto Rico has for sure been our most adventurous family vacation to date. What do you think about vacationing with toddlers?