Puerto Rico: The Beach and Beyond
are walking down the palm lined path behind the Inter-Continental
Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My guide is a curly-haired moppet,
Lara, with one hand in mine and the other clutching a sticky red
lollipop. Lara, on loan from her mom, shows me the hotel’s day
camp where she plans to make sandcastles. Almost all major hotels
here have supervised daycare facilities.
Look no further for a family-friendly destination: it is here.
In Puerto Rico, families find entertainment in sightseeing as
well as the sights to see. For instance, when visiting Old San
Juan with youngsters whose little feet may easily tire, traipsing
cobblestone streets, there are non-charge trolleys for enchanting
transportation to key points of interest.
For families, El Morro (open daily 9-5) is the most amazing sight
in Old Juan. The larger of the city’s two old forts, it features
a maze of secret tunnels, lookouts, dungeons, ramps, barracks
and vaults. Also check out the beautiful Museo de Arte de Puerto
Rico (299 De Diego Ave., Santurce, Tues-Sat. 10-5; Sun., 11-6)
where an interactive children’s gallery is to open shortly.
Journeying beyond old San Juan reaps other rewards. El Yunque,
a 45-minute drive, is the only tropical rain forest in the United
States. Here youngsters learn the secrets of the plants, flowers
and birds that pack the 28,000 lush acres, from interactive exhibits
at El Portal Tropical or rangers booked in advance for two or
Ponce, about a 90-minute drive from San Juan, offers a peak at
the past at Castillo Serrallés, a magnificent mansion with handsome
furnishings (closed Mon., 787-259-1770, guided tours) and a historic
plaza with its old fashioned outdoor market and the 1882 firehouse,
now a museum. Unique for family fun here is a visit with Kenneth
Melendez, a famous mask-maker and musician who demonstrates his
arts for visitors.
information contact the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Old San Juan
Station, 787-721-2400, fax 787-722-1093.)
Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel:
(212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: email@example.com.
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