Skip to Content

Ultimate Guide to a Puerto Rico Family Vacation

Considering a Puerto Rico family vacation? Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Puerto Rico with kids!

girl on swing on beach in puerto rico

Puerto Rico has so much to offer families who want to visit the Caribbean.

It’s affordable, easy to get to, has lots of kid-friendly things to do, and uses the US dollar. 

I wanted to take my daughter to Puerto Rico for years and finally did so in early 2020. We had so much fun we’ve gone back three more times!

We clearly love the island so I’m excited to share my guide to a Puerto Rico family vacation.

Is Puerto Rico good for families?

girl under puerto rican flag

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about taking my daughter to Puerto Rico by myself. 

Though it’s a US Territory, the primary language is Spanish. I know very little, so I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to communicate when I needed to. 

But I’m happy to report we did fine with our limited Spanish and almost everyone we met spoke English.

I was also concerned about the damage Puerto Rico sustained from Hurricane Maria, but most places were rebuilt and open on our March 2020 trip. 

Do I need a Passport to travel to Puerto Rico? 

luquillo beach

Luquillo Beach

No, you don’t need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico with your family since it is a US Territory. 

That makes it much easier to get into and out of compared to other Caribbean islands. 

You’ll save on airport taxes, too!

Flying to other islands in the Caribbean that aren’t part of the US will add $80-$150 in taxes per person. 

How To Get To Puerto Rico

puerto rico islands from the air

Puerto Rico is located between the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.

Is it easy to get to – it’s just a 2.5-hour flight from Florida. 

The main airport in Puerto Rico is Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU), which is located just east of San Juan, the capital city. 

What is the best area to stay in Puerto Rico for a family vacation?

maps of puerto rico

Photo Credit: Google Maps

If you are visiting Puerto Rico with kids, I’d suggest staying in the northeast part of the island. 

You’ll be close to all of the attractions in the northeast part of the island, such as great beaches, El Yunque rainforest, and the bioluminescent bay. 

If you stay in a hotel or rental, I suggest limiting your search to the northeast part of the island to make your vacation as stress-free as possible. 

Things to do for families

girl walking on flamenco beach in culebra

I can’t emphasize enough how much fun we had exploring the island on our multiple trips.

There are so many family-friendly activities in Puerto Rico you will be spoiled for choice!

There are so many things to do that I needed more room – click here for my full post on the best things to do in Puerto Rico with kids.

people standing under waterfalls in forest

El Yunque rainforest

Some of our favorites are: 

You can easily fill a week with fun things that the whole family will love in Puerto Rico. 

Where to Stay on a Puerto Rico Family Vacation

beach in puerto rico

The private beach at our condo

On our first two trips, we rented a condo on the beach through VRBO for our Puerto Rico vacation. 

The first place we stayed was Beach Nirvana – a two-bedroom two-bath condo at an incredible price. It is in a gated community with several pools and private beach access – check it out here!

We loved being able to cook some meals during our trip and having extra space to spread out.

balcony puerto rico vrbo rental

On our second trip we stayed in the same community in a different unit. This condo is in the same community and has a bunkbed which was great for us – check it out here on VRBO

The condos are in the Mediana Alta area, about 30 minutes outside of San Juan. 

kitchen in our vrbo rental puerto rico

The kitchen was perfect for making our breakfasts and a few dinners during our stay.

It wasn’t luxurious, but it was safe, comfortable, clean, and lots of fun. You can’t beat that for the price!

There are tons of affordable properties on VRBO in this area, so if you want access to a living room and kitchen during your trip, that’s definitely the way to go. 

Search for your travel dates below to see what’s available.

On subsequent trips, we’ve stayed in some hotels in the northeast part of the island. 

Best Puerto Rico Hotel For Families

hyatt regency grand reserve puerto rico pool

Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico

Our favorite hotel in Puerto Rico was the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve. It was absolutely gorgeous and in an amazing location close to El Yunque rainforest. 

We stayed here for free using Hyatt points which I transferred from my card_name.


It is my #1 pick for the best credit card for travel rewards. One reason it’s my favorite is that the points earned on this card can transfer to valuable partners such as Hyatt!

Click here to learn more about Chase Sapphire Preferred and compare it to other cards.

hyatt regency puerto rico room

Our large room had two queen beds and a gorgeous patio for enjoying the perfect Puerto Rico weather. 

hyatt regency grand reserve puerto rico grounds

sunset on beach hyatt puerto rico

The beach was gorgeous and the water was calm, perfect for allowing little ones to play in. In other parts of Puerto Rico the surf is rough and dangerous, so this is a huge bonus if you are traveling with little ones. 

I highly recommend a stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve.

The best way to stay is (of course) free with points that you can earn and transfer from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, or check out availability for cash booking below. 

How To Get Around in Puerto Rico

rental car reservation

If you want to venture out of San Juan (which you definitely do!) you’ll want a rental car for your trip. 

At the time we visited, Uber and Lyft were not operating in Puerto Rico. 

I rented a car through Hotwire for our trip at a super affordable rate – $120 for five days!

The only drawback was that we had to take a shuttle from the airport to the rental car office. We ended up waiting over 45 minutes for the shuttle which was NOT a fun way to start our trip. 

When I returned, I paid the extra money to rent a car that was on the airport to have less friction on our trip. 

sju airport rental car center

The rental car center is literally across the street from the airport exit so you can’t beat the convenience. 

But I’d definitely rent through Hotwire again – the savings are excellent compared to other sites. 

Driving was easy and gas was surprisingly reasonable for an island (though be aware it is priced in dollars per liter). 

Can I go to Puerto Rico on a budget?

girl in fort in puerto rico

Unlike most destinations in the Caribbean, you can absolutely visit Puerto Rico on a budget!

I think Puerto Rico’s affordability is part of why I loved it so much. Your dollars go much farther there compared to most other destinations. 

Here are the costs for our five-day trip: 

  • Condo rental: $468.81
  • Rental car: $132.45
  • Airfare: $249.50 (just for the return flight – we flew there on Southwest points)
  • Activities: $151.70

Without food, our total cost for everything for a five-day trip was $1,000.

I saved on food costs by buying groceries and only eating out at affordable restaurants. 

That’s a super affordable family vacation to the Caribbean!

Is Puerto Rico safe for a family vacation?

streets of old san juan

We felt 100% safe at every point during our trip. 

Honestly, your biggest safety concern in Puerto Rico is a natural disaster such as hurricanes. 

We stayed in a condominium complex with a security guard at the gate plus a code to access the building. 

As long as you use common sense you will be completely safe in Puerto Rico. 

I hope this ultimate guide to a Puerto Rico family vacation will help you plan your visit to Puerto Rico with kids!

Any questions? Just leave a comment below or send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page

Check out these related posts: 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 4th of April 2023

Leah, do you have any thoughts about a November (Thanksgiving) family vacation. Crowds, weather, Turkey ???


Monday 23rd of January 2023

Love all the info. We are looking to do a family reunion trip to PR. Any links or advice on locations for large families (30-40 PPL)to stay on the island?


Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Hi Troy! Wow, that sounds like SO much fun. I think your best bet is to try a large Airbnb or work with a travel agent who could arrange booking multiple rooms at a resort. I work with a travel agent who could help - you can email her at


Saturday 9th of July 2022

Thanks a lot. Quite helpful. planning a family vacation next month

Rosali Humphrey

Sunday 3rd of July 2022

WOW Thank you so much for this information!!!


Thursday 31st of March 2022

Hello Leah, This was great information you shared. I'm thinking of taking a trip for our children's birthday son 8 and daughter's first birthday. We're planning on 3-4days stay. Any suggestions of staying at a very convenient location, with easy access to food and activity? I wouldn't have much time to cook. Also warm thank you for sharing.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Policy | Disclosure Policy | Contact Me