Puerto Rico - Parque Luis Munoz Marin

The Luis Muñoz Marín park, a quick 10 minute drive from San Juan, is a wonderful family park. We could not say enough good things and we both agreed it was one of the nicest and cleanest parks we had ever been to. There are two water features - the main area has tall towers decorated with mosaics that spray water to a splash area below and the other water feature is a long, shallow, flat pool/fountain also decorated with mosaics. Among the other attractions there is an elevated walk, some 30 feet high, where you can walk among the trees and enjoy views of the park. The park is surrounded by modern sidewalks and colorful seats and as you walk around there are different play areas to visit including a large spider web climbing feature that towers high into the air and different playgrounds that range in design to accommodate children of all ages. 
The park opens from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. There is an entrance fees are as follows $2 adult, $1 children and $3 parking. There are clean bathrooms and seasonal fast food kiosk as well.




Puerto Rico - Playa El Escambron

Playa El Escambron was 1.2 miles from where we were staying in Miramar and it took us about 30 minutes to walk there. We packed up the stroller with drinks, food and everything else we needed for a day out and we were off. This is another Blue Flag beach which again is an internationally recognized program awarded to beaches and marinas that meet high standards of safety, services, environmental management and water quality. The waves were mellow making it another great beach for children, Ava was even going in and out of the water on her own with her life jacket on. There were beautiful tall palm trees that provided lots of shade from the sun, plus there was a lifeguard and free bathrooms and showers. This was a very family oriented beach and there were lots of other children - Ava quickly made a friend and Autumn and Jon took a nap together. The beach is also protected by a coral reef and a lot of people were snorkeling. 


Puerto Rico - Playa Isla Verde


We loved the Isla Verde beach and ended up going back twice. We went during the week and both times the beach was not crowded which was nice. It was a quick 10 minute drive from where we were staying and it's only 15 minutes from San Juan. We went to the Balneario de Carolina (Public Beach) section of Isla Verde which means it is managed by Compania de Parques Nacionales, and they offer picnic and bathroom facilities, parking, and showers - plus the sand is cleaned and the water quality is monitored. We paid $4 for the day and parked right along the beach, but if you prefer there is also free parking you just have to walk a bit. With children it was nice to park close, not have to walk far with all of our stuff and be able to go back to the car easily. There is a wide sandy area and the water was bright blue with mellow waves which were great for the girls. We packed food and drinks and spent the day swimming, building sand castles, walking along the beach and relaxing.  


Puerto Rico - El Yunque National Forest + Luquillo Beach

El Yunque National Forest , located about 40 minutes from San Juan, is the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. It is comprised of 28,000 acres, has a year-round tropical climate and immense biodiversity. The rugged Luquillo Mountains that rise to 3,533 ft. above sea level comprise most of the forest land. Their steep slopes can sometimes receive rainfall of over 200 inches per year. The forest experienced a great deal of damage from the hurricane, but is beginning to return to it's previous glory. When we went only certain areas were open - you can learn more about hiking in the park and get up to date information about which areas of the park are available to visitors here.

We stopped at the Yokahu Observation Tower first. It was a quick climb to the top and the view was amazing - beautiful panoramic views of the coast and rain forest.

Ava has this camera. She really enjoyed getting to take her own photos and it was so cool to look back and see the trip through her perspective. 

Next we stopped at Bano Grande a cool man made pool filled with the waters from an upper branch of La Mina RiverThis 18 feet deep pool is formed by a stone and masonry dam over which water cascades and is surrounded by a cobblestone path and arching stone and masonry bridge, 

Our last stop was the Juan Diego Trail a short trail that leads to a waterfall and natural pool. Due to limited capacity, the maximum time allowed for parking in this area is 30 minutes. 

After leaving El Yunque we were all hungry so we stopped at Degree 18 Juice Bar located in the town of Palmer, just outside the park. This place was amazing and I am still dreaming about the delicious acai bowl I had! All of their ingredients are fresh and local, some even grown on the property and most are also organic. The outside patio was beautiful and we all enjoyed getting to visit with the owners friendly dog and cat. Jon and I both got acai bowls, the girls split a smoothie and we all split empanadas which were also delicious. After our meal we felt nourished, energized and ready to go to the beach.

Luquillo Beach is a crescent shaped beach with bright blue water, a wide sand area, lots of mature palm trees for shade and the rain forest as a backdrop - it is beautiful. This beach is also designated a Blue Flag beach which is an internationally recognized program awarded to beaches and marinas that meet high standards of safety, services, environmental management and water quality. The water was calm, since there is a reef  that breaks the waves making it a great beach for the girls and children in general.

The beach is gated and they charge $4 for parking. The walk from the parking lot to the beach, is a bit far but not too bad. They have facilities which include free outside showers for rinsing off  plus for a fee of $1.00 per adult (50¢ per child) for the whole day you can have a access to bathrooms, showers and changing rooms 

* Check out the Goggle Map of our itinerary for the day here *