Puerto Rico is one of the family-friendliest islands in the Caribbean, and many hotels offer family discounts. Programs for children are also offered at a number of hotels, including day- and night-camp activities and babysitting services. Trained counselors at these camps supervise children as young as 3 in activities ranging from nature hikes to tennis lessons, coconut carving, and sand-sculpture contests.
Teenagers can learn to hip-hop dance Latino-style with special salsa and merengue lessons, learn conversational Spanish, indulge in watersports, take jeep excursions, or scuba-dive in some of the best diving locations in the world. All the major hotels have full children’s programs, so it might depend on what you are looking for. Top city hotels such as InterContinental San Juan Hotel & Casino, the Ritz-Carlton San Juan, the San Juan Marriott & Stellaris Casino, and the Caribe Hilton have great pool facilities for kids, day-camp activities, watersports, and other sports equipment, play areas for little kids, and video arcades or other activities for teens.
Children love El Morro Fortress because it looks just like the castles they have seen on TV and at the movies. On a rocky promontory, El Morro is filled with dungeons and dank places and also has lofty lookout points for viewing San Juan Harbor. The grounds make for great kite flying. The city’s historic plazas offer their own possibilities, such as running through the gushing fountains of Quincentennial Plaza or feeding the pigeons at Plaza de Armas.
Luis Muñoz Marín Park has the most popular children’s playground in Puerto Rico. It’s filled with landscaped grounds and recreational areas—lots of room for fun in the sun. And kids love the short cable-car ride.Kids—from teens to toddlers—love the Caribbean's largest mall, Plaza Las Americas (tel. 787/767-5202; www.plazalasamericas.com), especially on a rainy day, which has all the familiarity of the mall back home, with its movie theaters and food courts, but is probably a whole lot more glamorous.