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1st time family 4 day trip to PR - help where to go/stay?

Canada
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1st time family 4 day trip to PR - help where to go/stay?

We are from Canada and taking a cruise leaving San Juan on March 29th. We arrive in PR on Mar 25th - family of 4 - with 2 teens. As the cruise will be crowded - we want to spend some family time in PR on a beach. We love to snorkel, see waterfalls/nature, and of couse keep the kids entertained; but I want to stay away from the crowds for a few days. We would rather do a B&B, pardor, or rent a condo/cabin than stay in a big hotel. But we really wsnt to be on a beach where we can swim, snorkel, and play in the waves, and keep the teens safe and entertained. Research on PR shows that there are lots of great places to choose from. We want to do day trips like the bio bay, see some waterfalls, jungle (maybe - as we have been to jungles before), caves, etc. (The day we get back from the cruise, I thought that we could explore Old San Juan and see the forts etc.) We want to experience the culture. I think I want to be on one of the Caribbean sides; so this rules out the north coast. We like what we see in Rincon and Cabo Rojo based on the laid back area, fewer tourists, more local culture/foods, but it seems so far away. I also like what I see in the Southeast coast. There are too many options and we have never been to PR before/have no insight/and only have limited time/budget .... we need help.... can anyone recommend an area and/or a place to stay??

Coopersburg...
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for Allentown
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1. Re: 1st time family 4 day trip to PR - help where to go/stay?

My best suggestion is to check the reviews of the B&B/Inns here on tripadvisor. My husband and I are going to stay at the Rainforest Inn tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147324-d503287… and then Mimi's guesthouse in the Southwestern end: tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g736581-d630002… My husband wants to go Scuba diving and this looked to be the best location, but once we started looking in that corner of the Island, I couldn't wait to stay at Mimi's so we can go to the "secret" beach.

I'm not sure why so many people are in love with the big name brand hotels when there look to be lots of cool smaller, well priced places.

I'm hoping we can make another trip in the next couple of years with our kids and do everything we miss this trip.

Toledo, Ohio
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2. Re: 1st time family 4 day trip to PR - help where to go/stay?

You may be able to hit most of that if you stay on the East coast. You have El Yunque, SJU, beaches, snorkeling, biobay... all within driving distance. For an interesting day trip I would suggest going to Vieques or Culebra and getting a rental car to explore. For the Biobay I would suggest Vieques as it is the brightest. Maybe stay on Vieques for the Night you do the biobay. Its only about $30 if your on the island, but about 109 if you need to take the trip out of fajardo.

Toledo, Ohio
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3. Re: 1st time family 4 day trip to PR - help where to go/stay?

TBT: I agree with you, something I dont understand is why everyone flocks to the hotels. But it does offer the reputation, however I prefer the interesting vaca homes that cost half of that box on the beach.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: 1st time family 4 day trip to PR - help where to go/stay?

Near Luquillo on the north coast you could try the Yunqemar http://www.yunquemarbeachhotel.com/ or the Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn http://www.elyunque.com/luquillosunrise.htm

We just got back from Mary Lees by the Sea in Guanica a 2.5 hour drive from SJU and it is waterfront with docks but no beach. Great views and highly recommended. Many beaches within 5-30 minutes drive and we checked out 2 new beaches each day plus Gilligan's Island. We also stayed at the Villas Mar Hau near Isabella on the NW coast. Very simple accommodations on a gorgeous beach awith very good food. Horseback riding on the beach was fun. Lots of surfing in this area but there is a protected lagoon in front of the hotel. You could also check out http://www.puertoricosmallhotels.com/ for more choices.

5. Re: 1st time family 4 day trip to PR - help where to go/stay?

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