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Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

Calgary, Canada
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Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

Hi folks!

After planning on driving to San Diego to escape the cold in Calgary, I found some great last minute flights to San Juan last night! Pretty short notice, we leave this Sunday, returning 10 days later. We are all excited!! I have been scanning your great forums, but a little extra advice would be greatly appreciated please:

We are mom, dad, and 3 boys ages 13, 9 and 9. We have been to the BVI's, USVI's, and the Bahamas and love snorkelling and playing on the beach. In the past we have always chartered a bareboat catamaran, but this time we will be land based. For our 9 nights, we are thinking of staying in 2 different places, but we could stay in one place as a base for touring. We would like to stay in a house right on the beach - could you please suggest which area to look at? I assume the south side is safer for swimming depending what the Altantic is doing...

Should we try and make a side trip to the Spanish Virgins, or would that we putting too much into our 9 days? I would like to have a more relaxing, rather 'go go' holiday. I am looking through all the top attractions on the site, but if anyone has some favorites to look at I'm all ears.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Mark

Elm Grove, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

Nine days is a nice long vacation but if it was me, I would be concerned about securing somewhere to stay on such short notice.

My recommendation would be to look for a condo at Playa Azul for at least part of the time. We stayed there last year and loved it. The beach will be perfect for your children and it is close to the rain forest and 35-45 minutes from San Juan for sightseeing in the city. You can search for available condos on vrbo (the Playa Azul condos are listed under the town of "Luquillo", if I am not mistaken).

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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2. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

Take a look at vrbo.com for vacation rentals.

As far as where to stay, thats up to you. The Isla Verde beach in San Juan is nice and calm. So is the Luquillo Beach in Luquillo. The nicest beaches on the main island are located on the west side, in Cabo Rojo. There are no nice beaches on the south side, except for Guanica's beaches, which are on the south west.

You may also want to look at the beaches in Vieques and Culebra. These islands are certainly worth a visit.

What to do/visit:

Old San Juan and the forts. Kids love flying kites at El Morro's grounds.

El Yunque Rainforest

The bio bays

Hacienda Carabali for horseback riding, ATV, and go karting

Zip lining

Also, if you plan on staying anywhere outside the San Juan area, you will need to rent a car.

Have fun!

Edited: 12 February 2014, 19:23
Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

Thanks momo and paris, I will search those areas. I have always had good success on finding accommodation on fairly short notice - hopefully that holds true!

Those recommendations are great for areas. If folks could give me ideas of which beach to be at, I can plug that in vrbo or homeaway. Thanks for that!

I know this isn't the right forum for Culubra and Vieques, but how long would you suggest to stay there?

How about snorkeling on PR?

Thanks!!

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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4. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

I guess the questions are:

Are you renting a car?

How far do you want to be from San Juan?

How far are you willing to drive?

The best beaches on the main island are located in Cabo Rojo, which is located 3 hours west of San Juan.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

Hi Paris,

yes we are definitely renting a car. I'm not too worried about doing some driving if the beaches are better on the west. are there any stores on the far west side of the island for basic supplies? We would get most of our food in SJ before heading out. Thanks for thoughts on the beaches. How about the snorkeling? Any favorite spots from land?

kle
Boston
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6. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

Have you also considered Vieques? We're doing a similar trip in April and will be diving our time between a condo in Isla Verde and a house on Vieques. In Isla Verde we are in a condo in Marbella East on the 15th floor--I believe Marbella West is supposed to be even better. I had also considered a condo across the street from Seven Seas Beach near Fajardo--I think the complex is called Palma Vista. Good luck!

Harrisburg...
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7. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

We stayed at a condo on seven seas beach and the location was convenient. It was close to the rainforest, luquillo beach, the fajardo ferry, and the Biobay there as well. Culebra was wonderful...loved Playa Flamenco. Also, highly recommend Erin Go Bragh. It was a great experience. Super friendly and knowledgeable captains, avoided the crowds, good food, and reasonable cost. It was just our group of 6. We literally had all three island stops to ourselves. The food was good too!

Harrisburg...
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8. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

I should mention we went with my sister and her family (2 years ago....my niece was 8 and my nephew was 12 at the time). The beach there was nice...el conquistador(?) I think it was called, is right around the corner if you would rather be at a resort.

The Biobay was literally 5 minutes away. The ferry was 10 (you would want to arrive early if you decide to do this). The rainforest was maybe 20minutes or so? I believe San Juan was 30-40 minutes, but we did not find it to be a big deal. I think the marina where ErinGo Bragh is located was only 10 minute away as well. Hope this helps!!

9. Re: Family of 5 trip planning. We're excited!

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