Puerto Rico, Who Knew?

old san juan, puerto rico, puerto rico family travel, puerto Rico with kids

I Left My Heart In Old San Juan…

I was pretty excited – The San Juan Marriott in Puerto Rico invited my daughter and me down for a visit, for a peek at what to do in Puerto Rico with kids. While I always thought myself to be a pretty knowledgeable person, I truthfully knew very little about the destination for our mother-daughter working vacation, inclusive of 7 meagre tidbits:

-Ricky Martin is from Puerto Rico.
-Jennifer Lopez’s parents are from Puerto Rico.
-The characters in West Side Story are Puerto Rican.
-Nuyorican Soul (Nuyorican is a slang term for Puerto Ricans living  in New York) was a collective with some pretty classic House Music tracks (I had a brief club phase in the mid-’90s, don’t judge!)
-Bacardi Rum is Puerto Rican
-Puerto Rico is not an official US state, but Puerto Ricans get a US passport (Ricky Martin told me this. Seriously!)

Pretty pathetic, huh? But in the few short days we spent there, Puerto Rico captured my heart and we can’t wait to return with the whole family. I’ve been humming “La Isla Bonita” for a week, and I’m pretty sure Madonna must’ve written that song with Puerto Rico in mind.

In future postings, I’ll get into deeper detail about where we went, what we did, and what we ate, but in a nutshell  – here’s what I loved about Puerto Rico, and why it’s a great (and easy) destination for family travel:

-Every conceivable type of accommodation is available in Puerto Rico, for every budget. The San Juan Marriott is one of the nicer beach resorts Puerto Rico has to offer, but there’s something for everyone. Prefer to rent a villa, Puerto Rico has them. Are you an All Inclusive Resorts family? Puerto Rico has them. Want baby equipment rentals? Puerto Rico has them too.
-Americans don’t need a passport to visit Puerto Rico, and currency is all in US dollars. In fact, some don’t incur roaming costs on their mobile phones!
-There is no malaria in Puerto Rico, and the water is safe to drink from the tap.
-There is a wide range of food & drink options, and stores offer every necessity for babies and little kids at regular prices. The Walgreens across from the San Juan Marriott had organic baby food and even the Baby Mum Mum rusks that I couldn’t find in Florida. (BTW, Puerto Rican food? Aweome.)
-Pretty much everyone speaks English, although falling in love with yet another Latin destination has just reaffirmed my need/desire to learn Spanish.
-Puerto Rico offers great beaches as well as city stuff, tropical rainforest, cool caves, and interesting history. There’s truly something for everyone.

el morro, san juan, puerto rico

Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Something wonderful also happened on our Puerto Rican mini-break, our mother-daughter bond got a lot tighter, and I fell madly in love with my girl all over again. The past year’s been tough with all the adjustments of becoming a big sister. As much as mommy-daddy time is essential to keeping your marriage healthy, I now see the benefits in having solo parent time as well. Sibcations? Kidcations? Expect an upcoming piece on that too.

Big thanks to the San Juan Marriott, Diamond PR, and the lovely #SJMoms who were also on this trip: Amber (Crazy Canuck Blog), Debbie (Delicious Baby), and Colleen (Travel Mamas).

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9 Responses to Puerto Rico, Who Knew?

  1. Lisa MK at 11:49 #

    Thanks for posting this! I was there in March with my husand and daugher (she was 18 months old at the time) and we had a great time … great island for kids. Very easy to get around in and lots to do.

    There were lots of calm, gorgeous beaches and we all loved running all over El Morro and hiking in the rainforest.

    It is VERY Americanized (by Caribbean standards) which is to be expected as it is part of the US technically which can be off-putting but it was definitely a lot of fun.

    BTW, I have a funny picture of my daughter and husband in front of the same mural!

  2. Corinne at 11:58 #

    Thanks Lisa!

    I agree that it is very Americanized – but it was actually less so than I anticipated. Plus, I was grateful for a McDonalds when my daughter needed the bathroom while we were traipsing around Old San Juan!

    Soon I hope to add new destinations to the main site, and Puerto Rico is one of them. I’d love to hear more about your trip one day!

  3. kara at 12:30 #

    Can’t wait to read more! Love the pic of Megan lying in the grass at El Morro.

  4. Zelma at 20:05 #

    Love it! I’m glad you liked Puerto Rico. If you or anyone needs a local “non-official guide”, I’m your gal! :)

  5. Gladys at 18:56 #

    Beautiful! I have never been to Puerto Rico before-I will plan my next vacation with that in mind-thanks

  6. Wait…why didn’t I hear your story about meeting Ricky Martin while we were in Puerto Rico?! Do tell!

  7. Corinne at 18:29 #

    Ha!

    In the olden days in my previous career, I was there for a big interview for a documentary on him I was helping with.

    Funny thing was Behind The Music was there shooting with him as well, and he’s kissing me goodbye in the BTM credit roll montage. Just one of my lame claims to fame! ;)

  8. Costa Rica at 01:35 #

    My family will be flying from Costa Rica to Puerto Rico this summer, cant wait for the vacation. I also found that there are some very budget friendly hotels, its always hard when traveling with a family of 5.

    Thanks for all the fun facts, especially that the water is safe to drink

    Keep up the great work!

  9. Esther and Rosemary Davila at 07:26 #

    Please refer to our calendar for availability on your next vacation.
    We have a comfortable apartment in Isla Verde, where five persons can enjoy,
    Located in beautiful Isla Verde Beach on the 9th floor of a condominium with 24-hour security, a large swimming pool and assigned parking. Walking to shops, night life, casinos, fine dining and fast food, water sports and much more!

    To rent it at Airbnb.com find the title “COZY, OCEANVIEW 1 BEDROOM APT” with a photo of the living room and my sister and I.

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