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Why You’ll Love Puerto Rico’s El Conquistador Resort with Kids

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El Conquistador beckons travelers from its perch atop a seaside cliff above the sleepy fishing village of Fajardo. This 500-acre Waldorf Astoria Resort is situated between the converging waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It looks like something straight out of a maritime fairytale. Tempted? Read on to discover why you'll love Puerto Rico's El Conquistador Resort with kids.

El Conquistador Puerto Rico Rainforest View ~ Why You'll Love Puerto Rico's El Conquistador Resort with Kids

What a view of the rainforest at El Conquistador Resort! (Photo credit: Pilar Clark)

Why Puerto Rico

It’s easy to see why Puerto Rico is known as la Isla del Encanto, or the Island of Enchantment. Expect warm Caribbean breezes, verdant jungle backdrops, tropical white sand beaches, delicious food, hip-swaying music and friendly people. Just a two-hour flight from the continental U.S. and no passports required for American citizens, Puerto Rico pretty much makes the perfect getaway for families seeking fun in the sun.

A complete destination resort

El Conquistador Hotel Resort in Puerto Rico is counted among the Caribbean’s most complete destination resorts. It offers 23 different restaurants, a 100-acre private island, the on-site Coqui Water Park, Camp Coqui kids club, an all-ages arcade, and much more. This Waldorf Astoria property is divided into five villages. All villages share the main resort’s grounds. This includes Las Casitas Village, a separate luxury resort with private villas and 24-hour butler service.

Puerto Rican Footgolf at El Conquistador Resort with Kids

Footgolf brings the best of soccer and golf together, so all ages and stages can play (Photo credit: Pilar Clark)

Activities for the whole family

If your children are anything like mine, sunbathing isn’t going to cut it when it comes to a Caribbean vacation. El Conquistador Hotel Resort in Puerto Rico keeps active families content with everything from tennis lessons with a resident pro, golf clinics on a championship Arthur Hills 18-hole/par-72 course, environmental tours in and around the surrounding El Yunque Rain Forest, and a brand new activity called footgolf. This precision sport brings the best of both soccer and golf together, so all ages and stages can play together.

Snorkeling Puerto Rico at El Conquistador Resort with Kids

Kind guides show kids how to get comfortable in their snorkeling gear and get them acclimated to the water at El Conquistador Resort (Photo credit: Pilar Clark)

El Conquistador’s guests-only Palomino Island

Hop aboard a complimentary ferry to El Conquistador’s private Palomino Island. Here you can revel in water sports like snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing, paddle boarding and jet skiing (for additional fees). After that, float on the gentle ocean waves while relaxing on inflatable rafts shaped like pizza, donuts, manatees and other sea creatures. You can also try coconut painting and lawn games on the island. Those who want to stick with turf instead of surf can hike to discover hidden waterfalls or saddle up at the stable for a horseback ride across the beach.

Freshwater pools, infinity edge pools, water park pools - it's a pool-lover's paradise at El Conquistador Resort with kids!

Freshwater pools, infinity edge pools, water park pools – it's a kid's paradise at El Conquistador! (Photo credit: Pilar Clark)

Water activities

Back at the resort, water babies can dive back into water, thanks to four freshwater swimming pools, plus three additional private pools at Las Casitas Village.

Or, head to Coqui Water Park, a state-of-the-art, 2.4-acre aquatic playground themed around El Yunque rainforest. Young thrillseekers will flip over its iconic Torre de Yocahu, a tower from which three high-speed water slides flow, including El Gigante Dormido (The Sleeping Giant) that boasts an intense 40-foot drop. Kids must meet a height requirement (different for each slide) and can ride unaccompanied. Other highlights include an 8,500-square-foot infinity edge pool, a rope-bridge and an 8,000-square-foot lazy river.

Blossoms Restaurant at El Conquistador Resort with Kids

An interactive meal means your child could be invited to join the chef! (Photo credit: Pilar Clark)

Dining at El Conquistador Resort with kids

Take a break from water play with a traditional piragua. The Puerto Rican shaved ice dessert is covered in fruit flavored syrup and topped with everything from gummy candies to coconut kisses.

When it comes to kids’ palates, El Conquistador gets that not all kids likes the same things. Twenty-three different restaurants, all with their own menus and atmospheres, ensure there’s something for the most discerning of young eaters. Order everything from American-style burgers and fries to papaya-glazed pork belly. Adventurous eaters will want to taste traditional mofongo, Puerto Rico’s signature combination of mashed plantains, garlic and pork cracklings.

Those with food allergies can be accommodated with advance notice at El Conquistador Resort. My nut- and dairy-allergic daughter had plenty to eat (and how!).

My 7-year-old gave double thumbs up to the following eateries:

  • Cozy's Gourmet Market: Head to this grab-and-go spot for countless choices of sandwiches, fruit, imported meats and cheeses, bottled beverages and freshly baked cakes, cookies, scones and muffins.
  • Las Brisas Restaurant: This casual restaurant offers a full breakfast buffet (a la carte too), plus panoramic ocean views.
  • Starbucks: We’ve all picked up a latte and lemon cake at the familiar chain, but the Puerto Rican version is the only place you’ll find an impossible-to-resist Churro Frappuccino.
  • Virgin Burger: This 50’s style outdoor café features burgers and sandwiches served on buttery pieces of traditional pan sobao as well as salads, tropical drinks and hand-churned milkshakes.
  • Iguana's: The place to eat on Palomino Island, this casual lunch joint is all about burgers, chicken, seafood and bar-style snacks.
  • Blossoms: This upscale restaurant offers Pan-Asian cuisine, including a sushi bar, teppanyaki tables, and Chinese specialties. Kids might just find themselves invited to join the chef as he prepares the meal!

Also not to be missed, parents can pick up pre-packaged kits containing chocolate bars, graham crackers, marshmallows and roasting sticks, and join other families around the communal fire pit. Families will love sitting around the fire while coqui frogs sing late into the night.

Scout About Program at El Conquistador Resort with Kids

Kids who collect color-coded wristbands while exploring cool points of discovery hidden around the resort can earn a spot on El Conquistador's Hall of Fame (Photo credit: Pilar Clark.)

Scout About program

El Conquistador acts as a steward of the surrounding rainforest and introduces curious kids to its native flora and fauna through its original Scout About program. Using a map, kids seek out specially marked points of discovery hidden around the resort while collecting color-coded wristbands. Collecting them all earns kids a spot on the resort’s Hall of Fame!

Ki Spa at El Conquistador Resort with Kids

“The sun healer” makes for the most relaxing massage ever at the resort's Ki' Spa just for kids (Photo credit: Pilar Clark.)

Ki' Spa for kids

Wind down from all the activity at the 26,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Spa. Even little ones can get in on the pampering at Ki’ Spa (“earth spirit” in the native Taino language). This dedicated spa program offers treatments just for kids. Each service incorporates products indigenous to the surrounding rainforest and ocean, and can be enjoyed mommy-and-me style (or daddy-and-me, of course). My daughter and I highly recommend “the sun healer” massage – a soothing combination of aloe, avocado and dilo oil. It smells like marshmallows and soothes sunburn like a dream. What a wonderful way to cap off an amazing visit to Puerto Rico!

Read more of Puerto Rico's El Conquistador Hotel Resort reviews on TripAdvisor and Hotels.com.

Which experience at El Conquistador with kids would you enjoy most? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Offbeat Travel Mama: My daughter and I fell in love with Puerto Rico as hosted guests of El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. As always, opinions, stories and experiences are my own.

About Pilar Clark, The Offbeat Travel Mama

Pilar Clark and travel have been besties since slap bracelets and tight-rolled jeans were a thing. Planning geek-inspired adventures around film and fiction has taken her throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe and the Caribbean. Her professional background - award-winning writer and surgical technologist-in-training - is just as eclectic. Pilar lives in Chicago with her husband, two children and rescue pup, Haggis. She is also the gypsetting storyteller behind pilarclark.com. Say hello to Pilar on Instagram @pilarclark #explorewanderland.

Comments
  1. We are a family of 5 and normally just squeeze the 5 of us into one room as long as it has 2 queens. Our youngest is only 3 and can easily fit in the bed with 2 others. Do you need to wear any sort of wrist band around the resort or anything to prove you are staying there? I’m assuming they’d only give us 4.

    • Pilar Clark says

      Hi Kevin! El Conquistador won’t “penalize” you for having a big family, and as far as I’m aware, you will receive wristbands for everyone in your party. They are only required for entry to the water park.

  2. I’m so glad El Conquistador remains a wonderful resort. I’ve had this place on my travel list way before the kids came into the picture. I would go there on day trips with my cousin who lives about an hour away and dream about staying there someday. It’s nice to know I can bring my two boys and the entire family can have fun.

    • Pilar Clark says

      That’s amazing, Joe! I love that you have a history at El Conquistador. Let us know if you end up taking the family there to visit!

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