place-2015-06-4-3-lascascadaswaterpark0418caadb3655a4a9c6e9e2e1fb0307cThough Las Cascadas Waterpark will likely never make any top 10 list, I must say we did have a good time. The park is not big at all, but I guess it doesn’t need to be with the ocean being so close by!

Naturally, we timed our trip at a great time (after most children were back in school in mid August). We were lucky in that maybe fifty people total were at the park. There were no lines to wait in so we were able to ride each ride as many times as we wanted. Of course most people are unable to go during this time that we did, so they should generally expect there to be long lines during the heat of the summer.

When we went in August , the rides included 4 tube slides that you ride on a mat down a twisty path. If you go face-first it is truly quick; sitting up can make you go slower. We did each of these a couple of times.

Two fast slides were there– these are the ones where you lay flat on your back and quickly slide feet-first down something that looks like over-sized gutters and end up with a huge wedgie. It was fun, but one time down was enough for me!

There was also a large circle were you slowly float down a lazy river a  in a tube.

The Rio Loco was an insane river tube ride. This was my absolute favorite ride.

They also had a  wave swimming pool available that included a kiddie location for the children. There was another” diversion” swimming pool, that included some obstacle-course activities you can try.

Knowing you would be visiting there for a while, they have several food stands, tables and chairs throughout the park.  They also play music to help keep the atmosphere fun.  You can pay to have a locker for the day to keep your valuables protected. There are a lot of life guards always present and maintenance workers that are constantly keeping the place clean and safe.

We surprisingly enjoyed our day at the water park.  Understand, though, that if you go when there is a crowd, you will have some long lines to content with.  It is a great option as a place to go when the ocean is too rough to play in or you just want to slide on some water slides.

 

One of the Caribbean’s most popular and convenient destination is Puerto Rico.  It is easy to fly there from the mainland and you don’t need a passport.  If you are merely looking for a fun stroll, San Juan’s Old Town is a great option, but there are a lot more things to do other places as well.

oAaron Stewart Home

If you are looking for souvenirs that anyone will love, visit this home that was created by a pair of folks originally from New York.  Their specialties range from ceramics to brightly printed pillows.

Soda

This small hole-in-the-wall place serves local foods such as steak and rice egg rolls and porchetta, ricotta, and tomato on brioche toast.  Don’t miss this little place that is beside a gas station.

Condado Vanderbilt

The Condado Vanderbilt is a Spanish Revival-style building boasting 319 rooms.  There is a great restaurant there, 1919, and a beautiful beach.

Olive Boutique Hotel

This small, 15 room place, has a Soho House style rooftop club. You should definitely order the yuca gnocchi there!

Jose Enrique

Last, but not least, give this place a try!  Jose Enrique won a James Beard Award with it’s dishes like grilled mahimahi and delicious fish fritters.

No matter your favorite foods, you will find something for everyone’s taste buds.

 

rainforest2On an island where 85 percent of the native trees have actually been dropped, the El Yunque jungle, in the high tops of the Sierra de Luquillo, maintains 28,000 acres of untamed Puerto Rico. Found much less than an hour southeast of Old San Juan, El Yunque (pronounced “el-yune-kay”) contends more than 23 miles of properly maintained jungle trails.

Or, if you prefer, you could stay in your auto and follow the highway 20 mins beyond the treehouse-like welcome center to La Coca Falls, stopping (and pulling over) for well-worth-the-stop photo opportunities. At the falls, everyone clambers over the rocks to touch the cascading water. Weather forecast: the woodland gets 250 inches of rainfall a year; periodic rainstorms are the standard. Before or after your tropical rain forest journey, stop at food stand second, among a team lining Path PR3, for rapid and unforgettable empanadillas, miniature empanadas stuffed with lobster, crab, or conch. It’s likewise conventional to take a post-trek dip at close-by Luquillo Beach or at the adjacent, and more remote, Playa Azul.

Casa Grande’s locale is optimal for an outing. Within an hour’s drive northwest, an experience in itself along the slim, gusty roadways of the Cordillera Central, you’ll find the Arecibo Observatory and Río Camuy Cavern Park, as well as the Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Caguana.

Taino ball game & stone beltConsidered the Caribbean’s most considerable Indian ceremonial site, the park’s batey ball courts are described by headstone-like pillars dating from A.D. 1200. You should give the game a shot. Batey resembles soccer, but with policies that seem like a riddle: the round could never ever touch the ground, yet no hands or feet are allowed. Tip: heads, knees, elbows, and bellies are up for grabs.

Make a game out of detecting the sculptures of the explorer that pop up in virtually every town on the island. The bronze sculpture anchoring the plaza in Dorado, a beautiful community near the Hyatt hotels, is the fairest of them all– literally: it honors, along with Columbus, credited as the very first European to “uncover” Puerto Rico in 1493, the Africans that got there as servants in the holds of ships as well as labored in mines and fields, and the Taìnos, a people believed to have actually cleared up here concerning a.d. 600. The last group designed a global language, and the hammock and also the maracas.

CARIBE HILTON, SAN JUAN old san juan and the sea

caribe-hilton-exterior-1440x768-1-fullWant to escape all of it in the Caribbean’s greatest and busiest city?  It could appear an unlikely selection, yet the charm is in the mix– of manufactured and all-natural, old as well as brand-new, energetic and idle. In 1949, Hilton tactically positioned its very first Caribbean home on the eastern gateway to the islet on which Old San Juan was developed– the about seven-square-block area that is the city at its most enchanting. But visitors aren’t confined to the historic district’s tiny range. The Caribe, nevertheless, allows: its 646 spaces inhabit 17 acres of manicured gardens and yards. These premises forget Fort San Gerónimo, a Spanish Colonial fortress, on one side, a park with a jogging track on the various other, and the island’s only hotel beach.

Caribe’s sands, though not as lengthy or as large as the Condado strip discussed by the mega-hotels to the eastern on San Juan’s mainland side, are a lot more protected and remote. At the towel stand, kids could grab inflatable boatings, fish feed, bingo cards, hula hoops, and sand castle building tools. Poolside, the revitalizing white noise of the browse is changed by that of the waterfalls, which, together with broad, curving steps and curved bridges, attach a collection of liquid play grounds. The local celebration area is the swim-up bar and grill, shaded by a roof shaped like the Flying Nun’s headgear.

The Caribe’s various other tourist attractions range from in-room fun (movies as well as video games) to the Hilton’s all-day youngsters’ program to group activities (a game room, lighted tennis courts) and adult diversions (a new medspa as well as health club). The concierge could prepare for bikes to be delivered to make sure that the entire family could pedal the two miles to Old San Juan. The trip, along broad walkways bordered by parapets forgeting the Atlantic, is one of the best in the city. It passes Fort San Cristóbal, a design feat extending 27 acres, as well as the slim streets of Old San Juan (wing back later on for refreshments) before ending at the impressive passages, dungeons, and hunts of the El Morro fortress. (Both fts are the ultimate for playing soldiers-and-pirates.) If a bike isn’t your selection, hail a taxi for $10, and give up the migraine of parking an auto. As a matter of fact, in a weeklong stay at the Hilton, you could not need a car at all– unless you crave the wild green of the El Yunque rain forest or the Río Camuy caves. The appeal of the Caribe is that nearly everything is at your feet.

VILLAS DEL MAR HAU, ISABELA living la vida playa

A set of dolphin sculptures flap their flippers in welcome on the roadside check in front of the resort, 60 miles west of San Juan on an out-of-the-way stretch of the north coastline. Many various other indications– CUIDADO, NIÑOS JUGANDO– lining the narrow drive with the commercial property repeat the message: youngsters at play. Several of the kids belong to the Hau family, who founded Villas del Mar Hau 40 years back and also still take care of the resort. Others belong to the Puerto Rican clans that are regulars right here. At play they are– on the basketball and tennis courts, in the volley ball sandpit and well-stocked game room, and astride horses.

And they remain in the water. A coral reef simply offshore creates a calm and superficial salt water swimming pool for wallowing, practicing your bust stroke and also butterfly, or merely relaxing in chairs dragged ankle-deep right into the water. Older youngsters catch the waves– and the rip-curl society– at coastlines running from the resort 30 miles south to the surfer hangout community of Rincon.

villasmarjauThe majority of families, nevertheless, stay put, material in the shade of the casuarina pines that cover the resort grounds. Forty-one brightly painted wood homes are strung like a candy necklaces along the oceanfront boardwalk, which runs from the major office to the al fresco however incredibly official Olas y Sector dining establishment. Each rental property has cool bedrooms and a generous porch encountering the coastline; most sleep up to 6 and have simple cooking areas. There are barbecue pits as well as exterior touches for rinsing off sandy feet. The mode is decidedly low-tech; in some spaces bunk beds are made out of two-by-fours. Kind A’s ought to look in other places. This is the area for a down-home holiday that’s as unencumbered as it is simple.

HYATT RESORTS, DORADO AND CERROMAR two if by sea

cerromarSwimwear, check. Sun block, check. Sunglasses and hat, check. For kids, include an inflatable tube. For grown-ups, a publication. That’s the suggested packing checklist for a stay at the Hyatt Regency Cerromar. Or you can merely come empty-handed– every one of the above are offered on-site. This Hyatt, like the rest of them worldwide, is a full-service, American-style hotel, where dependability is the sign. The majority of areas (there are 506, stacked 7 tales high) have terraces or balconies with ocean views; all come with the comforts of home (mini-bar, movies on command). And if you intend to show up during the off-season, you could schedule a second space at half price.

Grownups might locate the palette a little bit canned-tropical, yet kids will not have time to see. They’ll spend every waking hr up, out, and also, very likely, in the 1.5 mph current of the man-made stream pool that stretches 1,776 feet. Guests tube, snorkel, and drift, remaining under bridges, falls, and at the swim-up bar. And when they get to completion, a big free-form swimming pool that’s additionally the drop point for 2 water slides, they start over. Various other swimming places are scattered around the building, fresh or salted and in all dimensions: kiddie to Olympic, and also, certainly, there’s the ocean, an option that continues to be fairly from mind though fully in sight.

The Hyatt Cerromar shares bows of soft sand and also 1,000 acres of a former grapefruit and coconut plantation with the Hyatt Dorado, a lower-rise, decidedly higher-class resort built by Laurance Rockefeller in the fifties. In the Dorado’s guest rooms, plantation-style beds and wooden shutters evoke a simpler period. Family members with really young children may choose the quieter speed here, where the buildings go away into the trees, and also the scene– such as it is– is seaside instead of poolside. Yet all Hyatt arrivals could take advantage of the substantial tasks (shell pursues, gelato parties, coastline bonfires) at Camp Hyatt, based at the Cerromar, and also the outstanding centers shared by both hotels: four greens, 13 tennis courts, a school for windsurfing and also other water sports, a spa, a casino site, and also a gym. The encounter is much more generic Caribbean compared to Puerto Rican, yet if what you want is a demand-free holiday for both body and mind, anticipating the expected is a sure means to obtain there.

LA CASA GRANDE, UTUADO at the edge of hammock and vine

In much less time than it takes to fracture a coconut, parents loosen up right into the rhythm of casa-grande-mountainthe jungle– every room at La Casa Grande has its own veranda, slung with a hammock– while the youngsters playaround chasing reptiles. Establish on a former coffee hacienda deep in the highlands (two hours west of San Juan), the resort is now home to a well-labeled botanical garden of, to name a few points, apricot moonflower trees; Chinese-hat plants; a bush called yesterday-today-and-tomorrow; as well as 8 selections of ginger. Boardwalks link the visitor cabins, which are staggered up the hill (2 are attached by a tunnel of lobster claw heliconia). There are no tvs or radios here, and the swimming pool is free of fluorescent foam noodles.

That’s because Casa Grande is owned and operated by Steve Weingarten, a former New York city lawyer that knows what landmass families need a getaway from– and also where to present the neighborhood fun. He’ll have the whole crew playing Robinson Crusoe: hiking to the nearby river, clambering along a falls, riding on horseback into the timbers (that’s his ex-wife, Marlene, who operates the steady across the street), as well as coaxing a kayak around pretty Dos Bocas Lake, where you can dock at a cantina for lunch.

A 1947 ranch home, Casa Grande’s office and lounge, with a leave-one, take-one collection. Guests commune on its broad and windy outdoor patio from sunrise to moon-up, visiting the hotel’s restaurant, Forest Jane’s, for smooth, abundant coffee; dishes like chuletas ahumadas (smoked pork chops with blueberry); and also mango, papaya, and avocado picked from the yard. The porch view skims across a high valley incorporating every color of eco-friendly: chartreuse backlit brush and also palm fronds, the fir-hued rooftops of the guest spaces as well as yoga exercise structure (daily courses at 8 a.m.), and the malachite, shamrock, and also emerald green of the Cordillera Central, the island’s largest variety. This is the excellent area to catch early evening tranquillity giving way to the after-dark hubbub of the jungle. Below’s a bedtime test for the youngsters: What’s generating that chirping cacophony?Answer: small frogs, called coquis after the audio of their croak, that bury the jungle floor.