GET TO KNOW PUERTO RICO FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE:EXPLORE OUR ISLAND, GET AN UP-CLOSE LOOK AT BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOU SIGH IN AMAZEMENT, AND ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE CARRIED AWAY, ASSURED THAT YOU WILL FIND NEW WONDERS THAT WILL BECOME YOUR FAVORITE.

By ¡Qué Pasa! Staff

Plan a trip whose purpose is to live a pleasant experience, either with your partner or with your family or friends. The ambiance is relaxed and brimming with the certainty that you will find perfect places to make this one of the best vacations of your life. If you add the fact that you will be in direct contact with the locals, good and helpful people waiting for you with open arms, the experience becomes even better.

Take as a starting point the privileged location of the family-run inns that are part of the Paradores Puertorriqueños (country inns) program. Consider staying in one of them to enjoy a great location with a family-friendly atmosphere and affordable prices. At the end of this story, you will see the list of participating hotels as well as their contact information.

Diversified North

How about we begin the journey along the north coast? Parador El Buen Café in Hatillo is close to the Río Camuy Cave Park as well as the Arecibo Observatory—featuring the world’s second-largest radio telescope—the Arecibo Lighthouse, and the imposing statue of Christopher Columbus. Cueva Ventana is also located nearby, as are Sardinera Beach, Cueva del Indio, and the historic Stone Church built in 1912 in the town of Camuy.

Western Countryside and Coastal Area

As you head to the Guajataca area, you’ll discover impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as an old railroad tunnel and the San Antonio de Padua hermitage. We also recommend a visit to the Guajataca Forest as it is a subtropical rainforest in which unique flora and fauna coexist. La Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind) is another natural site to consider.

Great attractions will be much closer if you choose to stay at Parador Villas del Mar Hau in Isabela. This municipality has beautiful sand beaches—including Middles and Jobos, two world-known surfing sites. Visitors should be cautious since the surf is sometimes strong. In the area, you can enjoy delectable food, as well as fried fish and local seafood dishes.

From Isabela go to Aguadilla, where Parador El Faro awaits you. Make it your home base to enjoy superb beaches such as Crashboat, Wilderness, and Surfer Beach, perfect for watersports. Nearby, you’ll find Paseo Real Marina, Aguadilla Iceskating Arena, and Las Cascadas Water Park. The gastronomic choices have grown in this part of the island, so it will be easy to satisfy your demanding palate.

Head on to the town of Rincón, a mecca for surfers and the home of Parador Villa Antonio. If you want to watch a beautiful sunset, you can do so at the Rincón Lighthouse Park. Snorkel at Tres Palmas Marine Reserve or enjoy scuba diving on Desecheo Island. There are different certified operators who will gladly take you there. Find them on the Having Fun / Scuba Diving section.

Cabo Rojo is the town where Parador Boquemar and Parador Combate Beach are located, very close to internationally acclaimed attractions. The eateries located in the Boquerón area will give you a better idea of just how tasty the local seafood really is. The Caribbean Sea amazes great visitors with beautiful beaches such as Joyuda, Buyé, La Playuela, and Isla Ratones. The salt marshes and Los Morrillos Lighthouse are must-see sites due to their surroundings of indescribable beauty.

Access to this part of the island is easy since there are direct flights to Aguadilla from some U.S. destinations. Therefore, the western region is an excellent option to begin your stay in Puerto Rico.

The Southwest and Head to the Central Region

In the island’s southwestern region, you will find the attractions of La Parguera, home to a world-acclaimed bioluminescent bay, the beautiful Caracoles and Mata La Gata cays, and Parador Turtle Bay Inn, which is ready to welcome you. La Pared Beach is a highly recommended diving destination. Playita Rosada, which boasts a Blue Flag distinction, is also highly recommended, as is touring the lovely mangrove canals.

Just a few minutes away, you will find the town of Guánica and Parador Guánica 1929. Take advantage of your stay and visit the nearby attractions: the Guánica Dry Forest, the ruins of the Ensenada sugar mill, Hammock Bridge, the Fort Capron ruins, and Gilligan’s Island, one of the area’s most frequented beaches.

Once you get to the center of the island, visiting the town of Adjuntas will allow you to appreciate another side of Puerto Rico: its beautiful rural setting. Parador Villas de Sotomayor could become your home-away-from-home while exploring Las Garzas waterfall and reservoir, El Ataúd natural pool, Guilarte Forest, and Cerro Guilarte peak.

Spectacular East

Have we mentioned that Puerto Rico’s eastern region will captivate you with its spectacular cliffs, dream spots, and seductive beaches? Take note when planning your visit!

To explore El Yunque rainforest at a leisurely pace, consider staying at the nearby Parador Yunquemar. Continue your journey in Puerto Rico’s eastern region by visiting the town of Yabucoa, whose peaceful surroundings will disconnect you from the everyday hustle and bustle. Parador Palmas de Lucía is located on the beach bearing the same name, while Parador Costa del Mar offers panoramic views and is close to places of interest such as the Wildlife Park and the Inés María Mendoza Reserve, among others.

The cliff near the Maunabo Lighthouse is a spectacle of nature that must be witnessed. Maunabo’s Bohíos Beach is favored by locals and tourists looking to capture images of impeccable beauty. If you want to hike, the place to visit with a certified guide is the majestic Sierra de Guardarraya. Bring your day of adventures to an end by resting peacefully at Parador MaunaCaribe.

As you can see, Puerto Rico could very well be described as a wonderland, thanks to its charming natural resources, its hotels that provide impeccable service, and its people who can’t wait to shower visitors with friendly assistance.

See our list of Paradores in the Lodging/ Paradores section.

 

In every corner of the island, you will find something to do with your family, particularly with the kids. When planning your itinerary, take into account that our pleasant warm climate and the obviously festive atmosphere will be your best allies. And you can certainly enjoy beautiful, sunny beach days. What more could you ask for!

Indoor Entertainment

Easy-to-reach places with safe and accessible parking fall into this category that includes the following items. Go enjoy them right now!

Museums

Fun combined with education is the main purpose of these facilities that feature very interesting attractions.
Museo del Niño, Carolina (787-257-0261) Its more than 100 exhibits are housed in a two-level building that is full of fun, educational items, and more. The exterior has a go-cart track and a real plane that children can climb on and explore.
Luis A. Ferré Science Park, Bayamón (787-740-6868) It is an educational and recreational attraction that makes it possible for visitors to learn more about various branches of science in an interactive manner.
Wildlife Museum, San Juan (787-480-5440) It has about 200 species of animals from different parts of the world exhibited in exact replicas of their respective habitats.
Maritime Museum, Old San Juan (787-977-4461) It features a collection of objects related to the merchant marine and the sea.
Center for Caribbean Science and Technology (C3Tec) (787-653-6391) This is an exciting interactive attraction where adults and children will find the most exciting aspects of science at their fingertips. Regardless of age, everyone can actively participate in the exhibits, programs, and innovative events designed to provide simply sensational experiences.

Ice Skating

Did you know that in Puerto Rico—right smack in the tropics—you are able to go ice skating? If this is one of the activities in which you usually engage during the holidays back home, you can do it here as well! While in the area, make sure you also visit one of the nearby beaches.
Aguadilla Ice Skating, Aguadilla (787-819-5555)

Outdoor Enjoyment

Puerto Rico encourages you to enjoy its magnificent sites and places of interest. And if you do it as a family, then much better! Explore some of these options that are sure to captivate everyone.

Gardens

While adults will bask in the beautiful greenery, kids will be able to interact with nature. These attractions offer entertainment for children as well as beautiful spots that adults will enjoy immensely. Plus, you’ll have tons of opportunities to take great photos and videos!
Caguas Botanical and Cultural Garden (787-653-8990) The extensive variety of tropical plants happily coexist with works of art. The site also has a small lake, stream, lagoon where you can pedal boats, and a replica of a local farm.
Río Piedras Botanical Garden, San Juan (787-758-9957) Its more than 289 cuerdas of land are home to over 30,000 plants. Visitors will admire the lakes, waterfalls, trails, sculptures, native species, and endangered species on-site.
San Patricio Forest, San Juan (787-273-0722) Its trails full of vegetation are ideal for hiking, riding a bicycle, and skating.

Theme Parks

The great thing about these parks is that they feature a great variety of entertainment alternatives for everyone. Visitors will find everything from learning about the history of Puerto Rican sports and playing in water attractions to exploring trails.
Germán Rieckehoff Olympic Village, Salinas (787-824-2200)
Aquaventura, Coamo (787-424-5500)
Monte Frío, Bayamón (787-740-4005)
Surf’N Fun Water Park, San Germán (787-659-7440)
Ramey’s Skate & Splash Park, Aguadilla (787-890-7277)
Juliá de Burgos Park, Carolina (787-257-4635, 787-257-4388)
Parque Familiar, Jayuya (787-232-1731)
Arecibo Lighthouse & Historical Park, Arecibo (787-880-7540)
We suggest you call in advance to check out each site’s schedule.

Miniature Golf

Does any family member, especially the kids, have a penchant for golf? This could be the beginning of a great adventure.
Aguadilla Bowling Center & Mini Golf, Aguadilla (787-891-3495)
Fajardo Inn Resort, Fajardo (787-860-6000)
Fantasy Island Mini Golf (Rincón Inn), Rincón (787-823-7070)
Parque Familiar, Jayuya (787-232-1731)
Taíno Mini Golf & Café, Aguadilla (787-658-6480)

Bike Riding and Roller-Skating

Admiring nature from a bicycle or while roller-skating allows you to appreciate it from a different perspective. Wearing safety gear is highly recommended.
Piñones State Forest, Carolina (787-791-7750)
Juliá de Burgos Park, Carolina (787-257-4635, 787-257-4388)
Paseo Lineal del Río Bayamón, Bayamón (787-288-0562)
Julio Enrique Monagas Park, Bayamón (787-721-2800)
Muñoz Rivera Park, San Juan (787-721-2800)
Luis Muñoz Marín Park, San Juan (787-480-7777)

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Adventures

Perfect for those who enjoy riskier rides—but always complying with all safety rules—here are several options:
Frontier Adventures, Carolina (787-974-6717)
Carabalí Rainforest Park, Luquillo (787-889-5820)
Campo Rico Adventures, Carolina (787-629-0222)

Did Someone Say `Beach’?

A visit to Puerto Rico would be incomplete without going to one of our beautiful beaches—especially during this period of pleasant temperatures and bright sunny days! In our “Attractions” section, you will find beaches featuring Blue Flag certification by region. Enjoy your vacation!

AFTER A LIFETIME OF WORK, IT IS TIME TO REWARD ALL YOUR SACRIFICES WITH A TRIP TO A DESTINATION THAT OFFERS BREATHTAKING NATURAL BEAUTY, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE, MOUNTAIN TOURS, A TOP-TIER GASTRONOMIC OFFER, AND THE KINDNESS OF ITS LOCAL PEOPLE. WHAT IS THAT PLACE, YOU ASK? PUERTO RICO, OF COURSE!

By Robert Colberg Orengo

For senior citizens, “More than a matter of age, it’s about addressing the need to fulfill one’s wish list and discover places that make you feel full of life and health,” said Maruja Roger, a consultant and expert on this particular population segment.

Many Places From Which to Choose

Puerto Rico fully complies with the abovementioned premise. Whether on a short trip or an extended stay, there are many possibilities available to Baby Boomers that will allow them to enjoy an unforgettable vacation. “They can do whatever they want on the island since the advantage is that everything is so close; you can devote a full day to Old San Juan or spend time in any of our casinos. Our beaches are ideal for family or solo outings,” our interviewee said.

Additional places that will appeal to Baby Boomers include:

  • Old San Juan – The Walled City contains centuries of tradition, culture, and history. Walking along its cobblestone streets is quite magical as it allows you to be in direct contact with our colonial architecture. It’s a great shopping destination and the best place for grabbing a bite! Palacio de Santa Catalina (La Fortaleza) and the San Juan Historical Archive were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, as were the forts and walls that characterize the city. La Fortaleza (the official residence of the island’s governor) offers guided indoor and garden tours free of charge. Call 787-721-7000 for more information.
  • El Yunque – Along its trails you can observe the exuberant flora, admire fabulous views, and watch the many birds that call the area home. It is recommended to have a certified tour guide accompany you when visiting this tropical rainforest. Begin your experience at El Portal Visitors Center. For more information go to our Destinations / East section.
  • Bioluminescent Bays – These marvels can be admired in Lajas (La Parguera), Fajardo (Laguna Grande), and Vieques (Mosquito Bay). On our Having Fun / Nature & Adventure section you will find a list of tour companies who can take you on a tour. This is an experience you simply cannot miss!
  • Río Camuy Cave Park – The world’s third-largest underground river awaits you to discover its incomparable beauty. You can also explore the Tres Pueblos Sinkhole, a natural depression located within the municipalities of Camuy, Hatillo, and Lares. There is also Cueva Clara de Empalme, which amazes visitors with its impressive formations. In our Destinations / North section you will find the number to call and learn more about schedules and tours.

For Action Lovers

Take advantage of the vast sea that surrounds the island and enjoy it from a different perspective. How about a trip on a catamaran? You will find many tour operators under the Having Fun / Nautical & Watersports section. You can also watch a sunset in Old San Juan from a boat or while strolling around the bay. For those who prefer to immerse themselves in the crystalline waters off the Puerto Rican coast, there are plenty of aquatic activities available: paddleboarding, diving, kiteboarding and fishing. You will have a terrific time! Several companies can help you plan a fun day. Go to our Having Fun / Nature & Adventure section to find certified operators.

Cultural Outings

  • Museum visits – On the Having Fun / Museums section you will find a list with more information.
  • Coffee plantations – Their privileged location will allow you to see a different side of Puerto Rico.
  • Gastronomic tours – If you want to take a different kind of tour, try those specializing in dining destinations. You will be fascinated by the gastronomic variety available on the island! Go to the Dining section for more information.

Affordable Entertainment

Hotel casinos are excellent daytime and nighttime entertainment alternatives for Baby Boomers. Try your luck at the Jackpot del Encanto (Jackpot of Enchantment) game that allows players to opt for a prize of $20,000 or more with a minimum bet of just 36 cents. A dinner at a restaurant—there are so many to choose from—is the beginning of an evening that can continue in the lobby of one our main hotels. On weekends, they feature live music, a perfect opportunity to show off your dancing skills. You can even learn to dance Salsa! On the Dining section you will find a list of restaurants and on the Having Fun / Casino section, a list of casinos.

Baby Boomers will definitely have a marvelous stay on the island thanks to our great attractions and abundant entertainment options for every taste and budget. And if you add the fact that you will receive excellent service and that airfare rates are affordable, it’s time to reward yourself with a dream vacation in Puerto Rico!

 

 

More Advantages!

  • An 85°F “winter”
  • No passport required for mainland USA residents
  • Local currency: U.S. Dollar
  • The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. offers a promotion called “Escape the Cold” that allows you to book and save up to 60% on hotels. Go to www.escapethecoldinPuertoRico.com for more details.