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Puerto Rico in 4 Days

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Day 1

Flight arrived to San Juan, Puerto Rico in the early afternoon. Picked up rental car at Europcar and drove about 50 minutes to our Airbnb. Europcar wasn’t bad, but there were some on-airport options that were more expensive. If it doesn’t matter or the price isn’t that different, I’d definitely opt for the on-site vendors. We had to wait 2 rounds for the shuttle and it took awhile to get through the line once we were there.

Our Airbnb at Vereda del Mar was great – pool, kids pool, beach, playground all within steps. We checked in and walked to the beach for a little, then drove to Dos Panza Taqueria for dinner. Great happy hour deals and the tacos al pastor were phenomenal.

Day 2: El Yunque National Forest

  • Angelito Trail Head
  • Juan Diego Falls
  • Luquillo

Drove to the Amigo store in Luquillo for groceries. Expensive, but that can be typical on an island. Lots of locals were there and it was the best place in the area. Then we all headed to El Yunque National Forest. First stop was the Angelito Trail – a very nice and easy trail to a neat area to swim and play in the water around big rocks. An hour or two total, our 3-year olds walked the whole way there and back. They loved it.

Next stop was Juan Diego Falls. La Mina Falls is the most famous waterfall that you can swim in, but it was still closed. Juan Diego Falls was so crowded as a result. Kinda took away from it. There’s a slippery trail up the left side of the falls that leads to the “upper” falls – I’d say it’s worth it if you’re comfortable doing it. Water shoes for both stops were very useful.

We then drove to the Luquillo kiosks, which is another really popular area. There are lots of small, connected restaurants and shops along the side of the highway and on the other side of them is the beach. Had some mofongo (so good) and walked up and down the sidewalk.

Went back to our place and swam and cooked dinner in.

Day 3: Culebra

We planned on going to either Vieques or Culebra this day. Those are two nearby islands that are part of Puerto Rico. The ferries were still a bit of a mess according to recent reviews (cancel with no warning, delays, sold out) and there was conflicting information online about times. We decided to just head to the ferry terminal around 9 and hope one was leaving around 10 or 11. Most of the stuff we found online showed at least 1 boat left in that time frame.

We drove about 50 minutes to the ferry terminal in Cieba – make sure you’re aware they no longer leave from Fajardo. Also, was advised to get there very early (as much as 2 hours prior) if you want a ticket on the weekends. We had no problem getting a ticket to Culebra, and the next ferry to Vieques was 3 hours away so it was an easy decision. The return we wanted from Culebra was sold out, however, so we weren’t able to come back until the 8:30 PM return.

The ferry took about an hour and a half and we caught a bus/van to Playa Flamenco (Flamenco Beach). This is always in the conversation of world’s best beaches. We had about 6 hours at the beach and had a great time. There is an old tank on the beach that you can walk to, pretty neat. If you walk to the beach and are facing the water, it’s to the left, maybe a 15-20 min walk. They have food stalls and small shops right by the beach so you can get everything you need there. Got a shared taxi/van to take us back close to the pier so we could grab dinner at a restaurant (Mamacitas – decent food and prices, on the water). Ferry then drive back to our place. Long day.

Day 4

We planned on going into San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, this day, but the day before was so long and we really pushed the kids so we just relaxed. Drove to Mi vida cafe for some breakfast pastries and spent the whole day at the pool, beach and playground on the property. Went to dinner at Dos Panza again because the tacos were so good and the kids like quesadillas. Had an early flight out the next morning.

Final thoughts

We really liked Puerto Rico and it was a perfect destination with 3-year olds. There were some concerns about how much they’d recovered from the 2017 Hurricane Maria but everything was great. Don’t feel like we missed out on too much by skipping San Juan, but it would have been nice to visit if we had another day.

We booked an Airbnb at Vereda Del Mar in Rio Grande, which is a great place to stay. There are a lot of vacation rentals in that area and it’s close to the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar (golf/restaurants/amenities), El Yunque, and Luquillo.

Weather was great in early March, 80s.

Traveled in March 2019

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