We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

Have many questions:

Do you think it's a good place for an adventurous family of 5 (53, 53, 23, 20, 17) to visit for 7 days late this May?

What area on the island is the best to stay in? We enjoy exploring the area, visiting forts, castles, zip-lining, ATV rentals,hiking, biking, checking out different beaches, eating out, etc. We also enjoy going off the beaten path, but is this safe?

Hotel/condo/apartment rental recommendations?

Would we need a car? We like the flexibility of cruising around on our own but is having on a hindrance?

Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated?

Tuckerton, New...
Level Contributor
347 posts
89 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

HI! Definately a great place for an adventurous family to visit! This will be my families 3rd trip, we leave 6 weeks from tomorrow! My kids are only 4 & 7, but we don't let that stop us. Old San Juan is a great place to explore and then you will have to check out El Yunque, the rainforest. f

May is the slow season so certain restaurants may be closed, but you'll still have plenty of places to go. Check out the kioskos at Luquillo Beach.

We stay in a timeshare in Palmas del Mar, a 45 min. ride from San Juan. It is a gated community, very safe and beautiful.

You def. need to rent a car to get around. We had fun driving down to Ponce in the South. The landscape as you drive South is amazing.

I think that since it's your first trip you may want to stay on the East coast or San Juan area.

Any questions please ask.

Mentioned in this post
Old San Juan
Old San Juan
14,166 Reviews
Puerto Rico
Luquillo Beach
Luquillo Beach
982 Reviews
Puerto Rico
San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico
Ponce
Ponce
Puerto Rico
usa
Level Contributor
5,008 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

To do what you mentioned above, you will need to rent a car. Puerto Rico is a great place to get in a car and go out on the island and explore. There is so much to see and do. Unlike many vacation destinations like Mexico, Jamaica or the DR, it is safe to venture out without undue concern, as crime has never been specifically directed at tourists in PR. Most Puerto Ricans won't even notice you as they just go about their daily affairs.

Edited: 11 January 2013, 22:06
Mentioned in this post
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Caribbean
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Cambridge...
1 post
Save Reply
3. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

My husband and I are thinking of traveling to Puerto

Rico February,2013. We generally travel to less popular islands and enjoy the more secluded beaches However, this time we are looking for a short flight and Puerto Rico looked interesting. Can folks tell me about and access to some secluded beaches.

Mentioned in this post
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Caribbean
Armonk, New York
Level Contributor
1,315 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

Puerto Rico is a large very diverse island. Where you go depends on the style of vacation you prefer.

In general, most visitors to the island gravitate to one of several areas: (1) San Juan (Condado / Isle Verde) which have Miami like urban beach front resorts. Lots of night life, restaurants, activity. (2) Old San Juan - great historic district, best restaurants, museums, shops - no beach (3) El Yunque Rain Forest region - Island atmosphere, several major beach resorts, island type activities - remote beaches, bio bay, rain forest, horseback, zip lines etc. (4) Rincon on the West Coast - Surfer world, laid back, chill. (5) Vieques and Culebra: Beautiful and isolated tropical islands for those who want to avoid civilization, bit of a hassle to get to.

Mentioned in this post
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Caribbean
San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico
Condado Beach
Condado Beach
1,180 Reviews
Puerto Rico
Old San Juan
Old San Juan
14,166 Reviews
Puerto Rico
El Yunque Rain Forest
El Yunque Rain Forest
5,716 Reviews
Puerto Rico
Rincon
Rincon
Puerto Rico
Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
El Yunque National...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
5,882 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

For secluded beaches, you need to get out of the metropolitan area or less touristy towns. February is not a popular time for locals to visit beaches (especially during mid week), so many of the more popular beaches will not have a lot of people on them anyway.

Secluded beaches in February may not be safe beaches for swimming. We get some rough sea conditions in winter, especially on the north shore. And getting to some may require some walking.

The Northeast corridor is empty- walk until you are tired! Off of Seven Seas there are some less frequented beaches (Convento /Escondido). Media Mundo in Ceiba (though there is not much sand). Really, almost every town has a number of less frequented beaches. It might just take some exploring to find the perfect one for you. I have been to many areas and have been the only ones on the beach.

You can always head to Culebra or Vieques for some more options.

Mentioned in this post
Culebra
Culebra
Puerto Rico
Isla de Vieques
Isla de Vieques
Puerto Rico
Kansas
Level Contributor
313 posts
176 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

FlowerFarm's www.puertoricodaytrips.com site has great descritpions of the more secluded beaches. The hidden beaches off of Seven Seas are great and to the West I found Mar Chiquita to be awesome.

usa
Level Contributor
5,008 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

There are some really nice beaches in the southwest area of Cabo Rojo on the Caribbean Sea. This time of the year they will be virtually deserted, but you will have to rent a car to get to them. Puerto Rico's Vieques Island has some of PR's best beaches in its nature preserve which are undeveloped and pristine. There you would need a jeep to get to most of them.

Edited: 14 January 2013, 14:02
Mentioned in this post
Cabo Rojo
Cabo Rojo
Puerto Rico
Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
Vieques Island
Vieques Island
88 Reviews
Puerto Rico
NYC
Destination Expert
for Isla de Vieques
Level Contributor
4,109 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

definitely check out www.puertoricodaytrips.com for the best day trip suggestions.

I reccomend going west to camuy or utuado for the caves. we went to cave de ventana for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was spectacular. and easy to get to.

i also reccomend at least two nights on Vieques. drive to fajardo, park in the lot and take the ferry over. there you should rent a car. i know it is difficult to justify two rental cars at the same time but you really should have one there. the beaches are mostly secluded and time it correctly with the moon phase so you can visit one of the brightest bio bays in the world.

Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

Thanks so much for the wonderful tips... If you had 7 days to spend on the island would you camp in one location and drive around the island or would you spend 3-4 nights on one side of the island (where specifically? City?) and the other 3-4 nights on the opposite side? (again where?)

Appreciate your assistance in any way...

Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Considering a first-time trip to Puerto Rico...

By "Camp" I mean stay several nights in a rental condo or hotel and then relocate a few days later... Perhaps to save some driving time and to maximize sight-seeing...