While the enchanted island of Puerto Rico is a fabulous destination for a family vacation of swimming in the warm ocean waters, relaxing by the pool under the sun, and feasting on local delicacies, my family upped the adventure, excitement and memories with two unforgettable excursions: a catamaran snorkeling day trip and a zipline adventure through the verdant forest.

Grab your family and set out for two Puerto Rican experiences you will never forget!


We found all the ingredients for a perfect snorkeling adventure — beautiful deserted beaches, crystal clear Caribbean water, and a professional family-friendly crew — with East Island Excursions. You’ll find them at Marina Puerto del Rey, just minutes from Fajardo and about an hour from San Juan.

Your family can choose from a variety of excursions. My gang chose the Icacos Beach and Snorkel Tour on a sailing catamaran and we LOVED it!! This was my girls’ first snorkeling experience, and now they can’t wait to do it again.

The majestic catamaran’s first stop was an uninhabited white sand island, where we literally got our feet wet and learned (or re-learned) the “A-B-Seas” of snorkeling. With a ladder that descends from the boat right into the water, it was easy for my girls (and their Mom) to get started. The crew was extremely helpful with their instructions and confidence building.

After about 30 minutes of the three of us girls “getting our mermaids on”…and my husband breaking in our new Go Pro, we re-boarded the boat and headed off to our main destination: perfectly blue water teeming with all sorts of coral and fish.

Because this part of the tour was in open water, the crew provided flotation devices to anyone (both children and adults) who desired some extra support. This tour includes everything you need for a perfect day at sea: snorkel gear for all sizes, a beautiful catamaran and scenic stops PLUS a delicious buffet lunch including plentiful deli meats, salads, soft drinks and as many rum-based drinks as Mom and Dad want! If anyone in your party does not want to snorkel, they can sunbathe, swim or use the super-cool water slide off the boat.

After snorkeling for hours and enjoying a tasty lunch, our boat sailed lazily back to the marina. When we departed the marina earlier in the day, everyone was full of energy and eager to begin the adventure. On the return trip, it seemed everyone was exhausted and content to lounge under the bright sun while listening to the soothing reggae music.

What a perfect ending to our unforgettable visit to paradise under the sea!

Tips: Bring your own towels. Apply sunscreen in the parking lot because it is not allowed to be sprayed on board the boat. If anyone in your family is prone to motion sickness, consider taking precautions. Happily we had no sunburn or seasickness!


Do you believe you can fly?

My girls had experienced ziplining before, and I knew that my little thrill-seekers would love flying over Puerto Rico’s beautiful tropical forests! So I researched for hours to be sure I found just the right zipline tour for us. It had to have the following characteristics: (1) Enough adrenaline rushes for my experienced ziplining daughters; (2) Not too extreme for my husband and I who were first time zipliners (3) Within 30 minutes from San Juan and (4) A solid safety record!

I found the perfect choice at La Marquesa Canopy Tour!

While at Caribe Hilton, enjoy the gorgeous pools and beachfront, or spend time kayaking and trying snuba (a combination of scuba diving and snorkeling). For a treat, relax in a luxurious cabana which includes an hour of water sports, a fresh tropical fruit platter and an ice bucket of cold waters. The comfortable cabana was plenty big enough for our whole family!

At El Conquistador, you can easily fill your family’s time visiting the on-site Coqui Water Park, relaxing on their gorgeous private beach on Palomino Island, watching a dive-in movie or taking your children on an scavenger hunt called ScoutAbout around the lush property.

For more fun things to do in Puerto Rico, read about other Puerto Rican adventures our family enjoyed.

This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.

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