1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary


One Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Spending a week in Puerto Rico will leave you wanting more time there.  From rainforest hikes to hidden beaches to historic Old San Juan to a hopping food scene, Puerto Rico has a little bit of it all. Our 1 week itinerary for visiting Puerto Rico will guide you on how to not only experience it all but also have plenty of time to relax.  Here is our 1 week in Puerto Rico Itinerary.  

Note: This itinerary covers visiting mainly the East side of the island and Old San Juan.  If you want to visit both sides of the island, you really need more than a week.  We hope to go back one day to explore the West side of the island. 

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

FYI: This post is based on a trip taken in early March.  We took this trip with our 7 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, Flying with a Baby  and How to Hike with a Baby posts.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary Day 1: Arrive in Puerto Rico

On day 1, fly into Puerto Rico. There are several airports on the island but you are going to find the best deals in/out of San Juan as it is the biggest airport. For tips on saving on flights see 5 Ways to Save on Flights.  For emails to be sent to your inbox on cheap flights departing from your home airport, sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights.  Use this link for a FREE 2 week trial of Premium Scott’s Cheap Flights

After arriving in San Juan, we recommend pick up groceries before heading to your accommodations. You are going to have the most options of places to shop and the best prices on groceries in/around San Juan.  We recommend stopping at the Costco (not sponsored but should be) not far from the airport.  We stayed at an Airbnb with a full kitchen and found Costco to be a great spot to stock up on some essentials for the week. 

Stay East of Old San Juan

Next, drive to your accommodations and settle in. You can either go out for dinner or cook depending on your preference/timing of flights. 

We recommend staying at the Airbnb we stayed at in Ceiba (East of the Island) just south of Fjarado, The East Point P.R. Airbnb.  We loved this Airbnb for many reasons.  For one, the patios at this Airbnb are amazing. The front patio has hammocks under a gorgeous tree and the back patio has stunning mountain views.  The hosts at this Airbnb were so kind and helpful as well. Our daughter also loved the swimming pool which is shared, but we always had it completely to ourselves. When we visited, there was a reservation system in place to only have one family at the pool at a time. This Airbnb is not a resort and allows for a more local experience as the other people at the complex reside there. 

Luquillo and Fjarado are also good areas to stay in while visiting the East side of the island. They are far enough away from the city yet close enough for a day trip to Old San Juan and with convenient access to El Yunque and some of the best beaches/beach hiking.  You may also consider staying in Old San Juan if looking for a nightlife scene and if you plan to spend more than one day in Old San Juan. 


1-Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary Day 2: El Yunque National Rainforest

1-Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

El Yunque National Rainforest

The next morning, wake up early and head to the El Yunque National Rainforest, which is the only tropical rainforest in the US National Parks system.  It is one of the smallest National forests yet one of the most biodiverse.  We loved visiting El Yunque (several times) and our favorite parts of the trip happened here!

IMPORTANT: You Need Reservations to Enter El Yunque National Rainforest.  

Currently in 2022, you cannot enter El Yunque National Rainforest without a reservation.  You can book these reservations 30 days in advance at recreation.gov. We recommend you set an alarm to get these tickets as soon as they become available.  These tickets are not as competitive to get as some tickets for entering other National Parks like Zion National Park, Arches National Park or Rocky Mountain National Park but we still recommend getting them as soon as possible otherwise you may be SOL.  We encountered numerous people who did not have tickets and could not get in (and had no idea prior to visiting they needed these tickets).  You also cannot give or sell your ticket to someone else, even if you are not going, because the park rangers were checking IDs to make sure ticket names matched your ID.  

Tip: If possible, get morning entrance tickets because there will be less people in the park.  In the morning, you will only encounter other people with morning entrance tickets whereas in the afternoon, twice the number of people can be in the park at that time.  The mornings are a bit cooler and better for hiking as well. 

Stop at La Coca Falls

1-Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

This location is a brief stop to see a waterfall off the main road (Hwy. 191) as you enter the park from the east. Our daughter loved looking at this waterfall. She was memorized by the waterflow! 

Stop at Yokahu Tower

Yokahu Tower

You can climb up the Yokahu Tower to look out over the park from even higher up or you can simply look out from the spot right next to the parking lot.  Regardless of what you decide to do, it is certainly a pretty spot. A short stop again and right off the main road. 

Hike La Coca Trail (3.2 Miles, 947 feet of elevation gain, out & back)

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

This hike is very serene, peaceful and pretty. We hiked this trail on a Saturday at 9am and were the only people on the trail.  For more information on this hike, see our El Yunque National Rainforest Guide.  

Vereda La Coca Trail AllTrails 

Mount Britton Tower Trail (1.6 Miles, 649 feet of elevation gain, out & back) 

This trail takes you up to Mount Britton Tower that affords you panoramic views across the park. To access it, drive further up road 191 from the Vereda La Coca Trailhead (same road you use to access La Coca Falls)  

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

The Mount Britton hike is along a well maintained trail, mostly paved with rocks.  We advise wearing hiking boots for this trail though as it was a bit slick. The slickness was nothing our hiking boots could not handle but we saw people in regular shoes struggling. 

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Tip: Hike Mount Britton on a Clear Day and in the Morning 

Try to go on a more clear day for better views from the top as cloud cover can completely obscure your views.  The cloud cover can change in a matter of minutes and go from clear skies for miles to complete cloud cover (it did this when we were there). Also, try hiking the trail earlier in the day for the best views/weather as it typically rains in the afternoon in the rainforest (per park ranger). There are also less people on this trail in the morning.  We saw at least a dozen other people while hiking this trail on a Saturday late morning/early afternoon. 

Mount Britton Trail AllTrails

For more information on this hike, see our El Yunque National Rainforest Guide for more details, including a detailed map 

Pork Highway

After a morning hiking in the National forest, you will be ready for some delicious food so head to the Pork Highway. This drive consists of lechonera after lechonera on highway 184 that leads you up into the mountains.  Lechoneras are restaurants/food joints specializing in roast pork. These lechoneras each serve pork that is slow roasted over hot coals making it crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. Yum!

Pork Highway Puerto Rico

Our favorite places we stopped along the Pork Highway included: 

  • Lechonera Los Amigos: This cafetería style lechonera had the most flavorful pork we tried on the Pork highway.  We also had some very good tostones (crisp flattened plantains) here.  The staff was very kind and accommodating to our daughter (7 months old at the time) as well. 
  • La Placita Guavate: This restaurant was further up highway 184 past the main lechoneras.  This location was certainly a local spot. Our waitress only spoke Spanish. The views from the dining area here were stunning over the mountains. Here, we enjoyed some really delicious sides, including Mofongo and Amarillitos. The house dessert (Churro Balls filled with nutella covered with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce and whip cream) did not disappoint either. Our daughter got to try all the foods here, and we gave her a lime for the first time.  What a funny reaction to see! 

Tip: Locate the beginning of the Pork Highway by searching for Lechonera Los Amigos. 

This Lechonera is at the start of the Pork Highway. From here, drive southeast on highway 184 towards Guvate (will be labeled with yellow signs as pictured).  The Pork Highway is a build your own experience so drive on highway 184 as far as you would like and stop at as many or as few lechoneras as you please. 

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Tip: Visit between traditional mealtimes 

We drove the Pork Highway late on a Saturday afternoon (started around 4 o’clock).  At that time, it was not crowded.  Most information we read on the Pork Highway advised arriving by noon.  Otherwise, it would be very crowded and difficult to drive but we found driving it late afternoon to be very easy-going. 

Foods to Try while in Puerto Rico:

  • Amarillitos (Sweet fried plantains) 
  • Tostones (Crisp flattened plantains, savory) 
  • Mofongo (Mashed up plantains and yuca, National Dish, Natalie’s favorite, has a garlic bread like taste) 
  • Arroz con Gandules or Vegetables (Rice with pigeon peas or other vegetables, has a sweeter taste)
  • Cuajito (stewed pig stomach)
  • Morcilla (blood sausage)
  • Longaniza (spicy sausage)
  • Yuca al mojo (cassava with onions, olive oil and vinegar)

1-Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary Day 3: Visit Old San Juan

Visit Old San Juan

Old San Juan

Next up, Old San Juan! Old San Juan reminded us of a charming European city with its cobblestone roads and colorful buildings. The Spanish influence, from Puerto Rico’s time as a Spanish colony, is very evident. The vibrantly colored buildings paired with the lively music, food and people we encountered made for a very fun day exploring Old San Juan. Old San Juan is also dripping with history, with the Castle and Fortress (on the shoreline) are a delight for any history buff.  See our 1 Day in Old San Juan Puerto Rico guide for all our recommendations on visiting this city.

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

We recommend walking around the entirety (a couple miles of walking) of Old San Juan to experience the culture and see all it has to offer.  Simply park at one spot (see below where to park for FREE) and make a big loop.  Be sure to also pop down random streets and not always walk on the main roads.  We found some of the cutest spots when we were off the beaten path.  If you love photography like Natalie, you will love finding these quaint and colorful spots.  We also found some fun murals tucked away on less trafficked streets. 

Explore El Moro Fortress & Castillo San Cristobal

Beyond the cobblestone streets and colorful buildings, be sure to visit El Morro Fortress and Castillo San Cristobal on the coastline.  El Moro was constructed in the 1400s to protect San Juan from pirates. The architecture here is quite magnificent and provides for some awesome photo ops. Castillo San Cristobal is located just south of the fortress on the shoreline and has similarly cool old architecture.   See our 1 Day in Old San Juan Puerto Rico guide for how to save on admission to these spots.

 El Moro Fortress Old San Juan

La Fortaleza/Calle Fortaleza

Another spot you may want to make sure you visit is La Fortaleza/Calle Fortaleza, the Governor’s Mansion and the street in front of it. Typically Calle Fortaleza is very picturesque and has umbrellas hanging above it but when we visited, this was not the case.  A local told us the objects hanging above the street rotate throughout the year so do not expect to necessarily see this decor. 

Tip: Park near El Morro for FREE. 

Across the street a couple blocks east, we were able to park on a Sunday morning for free. Here is the location we parked at for free. Be sure to read all signs, as this could have changed.  Signs are in Spanish so either ask a local or use Google translate if you do not speak Spanish to be sure it is free to park (and you won’t get a ticket). 

Tip: Arrive early as it gets busier throughout the day.  

We were able to drive into Old San Juan quickly without any traffic but when we were leaving in the afternoon, the traffic to get into Old San Juan was bumper to bumper.  The National Park Sites were also quite crowded at that time.  We like people, not crowds!  

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Parent advice: You can navigate Old San Juan with a stroller but ideally would baby wear

It is a bit tricky but doable to use your stroller in Old San Juan Puerto Rico. In Old San Juan, the roads are mainly cobblestone but you can roll your stroller on the sidewalks.  The sidewalks are not always continuous and sometimes we had to lift our stroller up or carry it briefly.  However, it worked and was worth the extra effort for us.  We prefer to have our stroller, when we can, as it serves as a portable napping spot for our baby. Having our stroller allows the baby to sleep quite well almost anywhere. A well rested baby is a happy baby!  For all our baby travel tips see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Check Out Barrichina, Home to the Original Pina Colada

Be sure to get some traditional Puerto Rican food or check out one of the many other types of restaurants in Old San Juan.  We recommend eating at Barrachina (specializes in traditional Caribbean food), has a beautiful enclosed outdoor dining area and is, allegedly, home to the “Original” Pina Colada. 

See our 1 Day in Old San Juan guide for more tips on visiting Old San Juan.


1-Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary Day 4: El Yunque Rainforest

After a day in the city, we were ready to get back out in nature again and hike in El Yunque National Rainforest. We entered again through the east entrance. If you want to revisit a stop, you can stop at any of the pull offs along the road again.  There are several other small waterfalls and rest areas you can stop at along the road (see map in our complete El Yunque National Rainforest Guide) but we hit most on the first day we visited. 

El Yunque Trail to Los Picachos vía El Camilito Trailhead (about 5 Miles Roundtrip, 1,748 feet of elevation gain, out & back) 

This hike takes you through the serene rainforest and into the clouds.  It ends at a cement landing that you climb up to get panoramic views of the park.  It is a steep climb to the top but 100% worth it. This was our favorite hike and overall activity we did in Puerto Rico.  It was so peaceful and our 7 month old daughter at the time adorably babbled the entire hike. 

Tip: Try to go on a more clear day or in the morning (less likely rain) to have more clear views without cloud coverage (sometimes cannot see any views with full cloud coverage)

Along the trail, there are several small waterfalls and plenty of very pretty rainforest flora to keep this hike interesting.  Also, despite having quite decent elevation gain, the elevation gain was well spread out and the hike did not feel overly strenuous.  See our El Yunque National Rainforest Guide for more details on this hike.

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Stop at La Murella for Lunch 

This roadside stand is located just prior to La Coca Falls.  The food here is delicious and freshly prepared.  It is quite overpriced but you are paying for the convenience of a hot Puerto Rican Food in the middle of a rainforest.  This is the best food we have ever had at a National Park site. Typically the food at the National Parks does not match up to the views but this time it did!  Be sure to bring cash to pay for it. 

Hike the Angelito Trail (0.7 miles, 127 feet of elevation gain, out & back) 

The Angelito trail takes you through the rainforest to a river where you can go swimming.  The highlight, for Natalie, at this spot was the rope swing that she had fun mastering swinging on into the river.  On the trail, you’ll pass through some bamboo too.  

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Tip: Go right after it rains or on a weekday to beat the crowds. 

We had this normally very busy spot almost completely to ourselves after a short downpour because everyone else cleared out.  Also, try to go here on a weekday as it gets packed on weekends. 

See our El Yunque National Rainforest Guide for more details on this hike.


1-Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary Day 5: Beach Hiking & Food Kiosks 

Seven Seas to Playa Colorá and Playa Escondida Hike (2.2 mile out & back, 147 feet elevation)

This easy, mainly shaded, hike takes you through Mangroves to two secluded beaches.  We hiked this trail around 7:30 AM and had both beaches completely to ourselves.  On this hike, we saw lots of large fist sized crabs going into their holes as we approached the mangroves (don’t worry, they were off the path).  When we walked slowly and looked out closely, we could see 30 + out at a time! 

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Tip: Park for free along the road just south of where the trail starts (north of Costa Mia restaurant). You can park at Seven Seas for a fee as well but if you arrive before 8 AM, you should have no trouble parking here for free. 

Eat at the Luquillo Food Kiosks

There are about 50 food kiosks at the Luquillo Food Kiosks.  Several are sit down restaurants with outdoor seating overlooking the beach.  Other spots are more grab and go, specializing in different Fried Puerto Rican Street Food and drinks (mojitos and pina coladas mainly).  The Kiosks are definitely a fun atmosphere!  

Eat at La Parilla 

We ate at the seafood seat-down restaurant La Parilla (Kiosk #2).  We liked the food and atmosphere here so much, we actually ate here twice. Our main dishes were on-point (grouper with a lemon butter cream sauce and chicken yuca mofongo) and we loved the tostones filled with crab appetizer.  You can also get the tostones filled with lobster but we liked the ones filled with crab-filled better so we would recommend a full order of those.  


1-Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary Day 6: Luquillo Beach Hike & Beach or Pool Afternoon

Luquillo Beach Hike (Up to 6 miles round trip, out & back, little to no elevation) 

This hike starts at Monserrate Beach (near and behind Luquillo Food Kiosks) and heads south along the shoreline. You can hike up to 6 miles round trip if you hike as far as you can along the shoreline.  We hiked 4 miles along (north to south) Monserrate Beach, Luquillo Beach, Fortuna Beach and Playa Azul.  On this hike, you access very pretty and secluded beaches south of Luquillo Beach.  These beaches also have calmer waters that our 7 month old greatly appreciated being able to stand in more easily.  These beaches are more “classic” in that they are lined with coconut trees and there are no mangroves unlike the previous day’s hike to Playa Escondida.  Be sure to have sun protection with you as most of this trail is in the direct sun if done anytime after early morning. 

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Tip: Park for free at the Luquillo Food Kiosks and walk to the shoreline to get to the trail.  Otherwise, you have to pay for parking at Luquillo Beach (small fee but same distance of walking to the coastline so we suggest the free option). 

Eat at the Luquillo Food Kiosks again

Since you are already parked at the food Kiosks, time your hike to finish around when you want to eat lunch and eat here again.  Try somewhere new or eat at La Parilla again if you liked it as much as we did.


1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary Day 7: Hike La Zanja Trail, Fly Home

La Zanja Trail (3. Miles round Trip, out & back, 351 feet elevation)

The La Zanja Hike is along the beach and mangroves outside of Reserva Natural de Las Cabezas.  This hike was very pretty, serene and felt secluded. We saw no one else on this trail during our morning hike around 7:30 AM.  And if you hike before 9 AM, most of the hike will be in the shade.  Depending on the tide, you may have to wade some water/slippery rocks at high tide. We completed the hike during a low tide time so we had no issues and simply walked on the beach the whole time. 

1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary

Tip: Park for free along the road just north of where the trail starts (before Costa Mia restaurant).  This is the same spot you park for the Seven Seas to Playa Colorá and Playa Escondida Hike but instead of heading north to Seven Seas Beach, you head south towards the nature reserve.

Fly Home 

We did not want to leave Puerto Rico and hope you feel the same after traveling with this itinerary. 


Other Puerto Rico Travel Tips/Observations

Foods to try in Puerto Rico:

  • Mallorca: Sweet Puerto Rican Bread
  • Mofongo: Mashed up Plantains and Yuca, Natalie’s favorite
  • Arroz con Gandules: Rice with Pigeon Peas
  • Empanadillo: Puerto Rican Empanada 
  • Tostones: Fried flattened plantains, our favorite were filled with crab at La Parilla 
  • Flan: Egg custard dessert, Sam really liked it, Natalie did not care for this

Bad Drivers and Roads

Drivers in Puerto Rico, in general, are VERY aggressive (worse than, sorry IL friends, Chicago drivers) so be cautious. There are also speed bumps everywhere, probably to slow down those aggressive drivers. Similarly, the roads are also in poor condition at baseline so if a road has signs it is in poor condition, expect it to be really rough (especially Road 186 in El Yunque). We found this very ironic because you pay extra taxes with your rental car for the poorly maintained roads.

Many Stray Dogs and Cats  

We encountered several aggressive stray dogs in numerous areas of Puerto Rico.  This caught us off guard as we have not previously encountered aggressive strays despite all of our travels.  We love dogs but an aggressive stray dog biting you would completely alter your trip.  Prophylactic Rabies vaccinations are now something we are considering to potentially get for further travels.

 


Other Potential Puerto Rico Activities

Below is a list of some things we hope to do in the future but did not have time for or were unable to do with baby.

Bioluminescent Bay at night  (best to see during new moon phase, check prior to trip) 

The glowing bioluminescent bays are a phenomenon you can only see in a few parts of the world, including Puerto Rico.  They are best viewed during the new moon phase so try to time a visit to one of them around that. There are 3 places you can view these in Puerto Rico–near Fajardo at Mostiquo Bay, on Vieques Island or in La Parguera (southwest corner of the main island).  Kayak tours (not an option with a baby) are plentiful and there are many different companies you can use.  Some different options for viewing these bays we came across during our research included: 

  • Boardwalk Tour with Reserva Natural Las Cabezas de San Juan (Para la Naturaleza, was not occurring when we visited)
  • Big Island Boat Tours (Electric Boat to the Islands, BioIslandPR, 1 (787) 422-7857, Minimum age 3 so that was a no go with a 7 month old)

Eat at La Estacion 

This is a laid back gas station turned restaurant in Fajardo with locally sourced meat and produce with Puerto Rican Street Food.  Be sure to check when it is open and plan accordingly. This restaurant was closed all the times we thought about going. 

Visit an Island 

Other than the Puerto Rico main island, Culebra and Vieques are the most popular islands. You can take a ferry from Ceiba (East Side of the Island) to access them.  If you go to Vieques, it is quite large and our friends who have been there advise renting a Jeep to get around the island. 

Puerto Rico Ferry

Toro Verde Adventure Park

Ziplining near El Yunque

Cerro Mime Hike (3.4 Miles out & back, 354 feet of elevation gain)

Central Region Island hike with mountainous Views.  We did not hike because it is very far from most other activities/sites we visited. 

Hike El Toro Trail (4.9 Miles, 1325 feet of elevation gain, out & back)

This hike is located in El Yunque National Forest.  Based on reviews we read, it is very muddy. Some people said they would not do it again and it took most people 5 hours to hike.  We did not hike this trail because at the trailhead, located near the edge of the park, there was a pack of large aggressive stray dogs. Based on the reviews we read, we did not think the hike was worth doing to potentially get bit and maybe even contract rabies.  El Toro Trail AllTrails


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Puerto Rico.  Anything you’d add to our guide?  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

1 Day in Old San Juan


Old San Juan reminded us of a charming European city with its cobblestone roads and colorful buildings. The vibrantly colored buildings paired with the lively music, food and people we encountered made for a very fun day exploring Old San Juan. With the Castle and Fortress (on the shoreline), Old San Juan is a delight for any history buff as well.  We recommend spending at least a day exploring Old San Juan.  Here is our guide for 1 day in Old San Juan.  For more Puerto Rico tips, see our 1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary and El Yunque National Rainforest Guide.

1Day Old San Juan

FYI: This post is based on a trip taken in early March.  We took this trip with our 7 month old daughter.  For more baby travel tips, see Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


1 Day in Old San Juan: Walk Around Old San Juan

If you do nothing else in San Juan, be sure to do at least this. We highly recommend walking around the entirety (a couple miles of walking) of Old San Juan, including the waterfront, to experience the culture and see all it has to offer.  Simply park at one spot (see below where to park for FREE) and make a big loop.  Be sure to also pop down random streets, not always walking on the main roads.  We found some of the cutest spots when we were off the beaten path.  If you love photography like Natalie, you will love finding these quaint and colorful spots.  We also found some fun murals tucked away on less trafficked streets. 

1 Day in Old San Juan

Castillo San Cristobal and El Morro Fortress 

Beyond the cobblestone streets and colorful buildings, be sure to visit El Morro Fortress and Castillo San Cristobal on the coastline with 1 day in Old San Juan.  El Moro was constructed in the 1400s to protect San Juan from pirates. The architecture here is really spectacular and provides for some awesome photo ops. Castillo San Cristobal is located just south of the fortress on the shoreline and has similar cool old architecture.  

1 Day in Old San Juan

Tip: America the Beautiful pass will get you into both Castillo San Cristobal & El Morro Fortress for free.

Otherwise, entrance to each is $10/person (as of March 2022 when we visited). If you have 2 or more people in your family and plan to visit any other National Park Service site in the year, buying the America the Beautiful pass is completely worth it as it pays for itself and gives you access to all the other National Park Service sites for free.  We buy this pass every year if we plan to visit 2 or more National Park Sites.  

Also, you do not have to buy the America the Beautiful Pass at the beginning of the year as it is valid for a year from the month of purchase. The pass is actually good for 13 months if you time it right.  For example, we bought our last pass in the very beginning of October 2021 and it will be good through the end of October 2022. 

IMPORTANT: You have to get the physical pass to use it so be sure to see how long it will take to ship (typically about 2 weeks unless expedited) to make sure you get this pass in time for your trip. 

La Fortaleza/Calle Fortaleza

Another spot you want to make sure you visit with 1 day in Old San Juan is La Fortaleza/Calle Fortaleza, the Governor’s Mansion and the street in front of it.  Typically Calle Fortaleza is very picturesque and has umbrellas hanging above the street but when we visited, this was not the case.  A local told us the objects hanging above the street rotate throughout the year so do not expect to necessarily see this decor. 

Tip: Park near El Morro for FREE

Across the street a couple blocks east, we were able to park on a Sunday morning for free.  Here is the location we parked at for free.  Be sure to read all signs, as this could change at any time.  Signs are in Spanish so either ask a local or use Google translate if you do not speak Spanish to be sure it is OK to park there

Old San Juan

Tip: Arrive early as it gets busier throughout the day 

We were able to drive into Old San Juan quickly without any traffic but when we were leaving in the afternoon, the traffic to get into Old San Juan was bumper to bumper.  The National Park Sites were also quite crowded at that time.  We like people, not crowds!  

Parent advice: You can navigate Old San Juan with a stroller but ideally would babywear  

It is a bit tricky but doable to use your stroller in Old San Juan. In Old San Juan, the roads are mainly cobblestone but you can roll your stroller on the sidewalks.  The sidewalks are not always continuous and sometimes we had to lift our stroller up or carry it briefly.  However, it worked and was worth the extra effort for us.  We prefer to have our stroller, when we can, as it serves as a portable napping spot for our baby. Having our stroller allows the baby to sleep quite well almost anywhere. A well rested baby is a happy baby!  For more on this and all our baby travel tips see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby and Flying with a Baby posts.

Check Out Barrichina, Home to the Original Pina Colada

Be sure to get some traditional Puerto Rican food or check out one of the many other types of restaurants in Old San Juan.  We recommend eating at Barrachina (specializes in traditional Caribbean food).  It has a beautiful enclosed outdoor dining area and is, allegeddy, home to the “Original” Pina Colada.  There is debate between two restaurants (Barrichina and Caribe Hilton Hotel) as to which establishment the Pina Colada was first created in the 20th century.  Regardless if it is the home to the Original Pina Colada or not, the Pina Colada at Barrachina sure was delicious. Maybe try Pina Coladas at both spots and determine which one you think is the original?!  If you have time for another meal, consider checking out Jose Enrique’s Restaurant, a casual establishment known for great Puerto Rican food, while in Old San Juan. 

1 Day in Old San Juan: Walking Map of Old San Juan

1 Day in Old San Juan Walking Map

Where to Stay when Visiting Old San Juan

Stay East of Old San Juan

We recommend staying at the The East Point P.R. Airbnb we stayed at in Ceiba (East of the Island) just south of Fjarado and about 50 minutes from Old San Juan.  

We loved this Airbnb for many reasons.  For one, the patios at this Airbnb are amazing. The front patio has hammocks under a gorgeous tree and the back patio has stunning mountain views.  The hosts at this Airbnb were so kind and helpful as well. Our daughter also loved the swimming pool which is shared. However, we always had it completely to ourselves. When we visited, there was a reservation system in place to only have one family at the pool at a time. Further, this Airbnb is not a resort and allows for a more local experience as the other people at the complex reside there. 

Luquillo and Fjarado are also good areas to stay in while visiting the island. They are far enough away from the city yet close enough for a day trip to Old San Juan and with convenient access to El Yunque and some of the best beaches/beach hiking.  You may also consider staying in Old San Juan if you want to spend more than one day exploring it. 


We hope this guide helps you plan your one day in Old San Juan Puerto Rico.  For more Puerto Rico tips, see our 1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary and El Yunque National Rainforest Guide. Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide


El Yunque National Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest in the US National Parks system.  It is one of the smallest national forests yet one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.  El Yunque has stunning rainforest hiking and plenty of scenic waterfalls to explore.  This National Rainforest is only about 45 minutes outside of historic Old San Juan making it an easy day trip for anyone staying there.  We recommend spending 1-2 days exploring the El Yunque National Rainforest.  Here is our complete El Yunque National Rainforest Guide.  

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide

FYI: This post is based on a trip taken in early March.  We took this trip with our 7 month old daughter.  For more baby travel tips, see Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Two Entrances to El Yunque National Rainforest

There are two separate entrances to El Yunque National Forest.  The east entrance (PR 191 and 988) is the more popular entrance. PR 191/988 is where you will see the main attractions including all but one of the hiking trails we discuss below.  The west entrance (Road 186) takes you on a very rough remote road, past several waterfalls, and to the El Toro trailhead.  Our favorite activities were on the east side of the park. We recommend spending at least two days on the east side of the park prior to exploring the west side of the park.  Read our full guide below for more details and use the maps in each section to help you navigate each enterance.  

IMPORTANT: You Need Reservations to Enter El Yunque National Rainforest  

Currently, you cannot enter El Yunque National Rainforest without a reservation.  You can book these reservations 30 days in advance at recreation.gov. We recommend you set an alarm to get these tickets as soon as they become available.  These tickets are not as competitive to get as some tickets for entering other National Parks like Zion National Park, Arches National Park or Rocky Mountain National Park, but we still recommend getting them as soon as possible otherwise you may be SOL.  We encountered numerous people at the entrance to El Yunque who did not have reservations and could not get in.  You also cannot give or sell your ticket to someone else needing one, even if you are not going, because the park rangers check IDs to make sure ticket names match your ID.  

Tip: If possible, get morning entrance tickets because there will be less people in the park 

In the morning, you will only encounter other people with morning entrance tickets whereas in the afternoon, twice the number of people can be in the park at that time.  The mornings are a bit cooler and better for hiking as well. 


East Entrance El Yunque PR 191

In this part of our El Yunque National Park Guide, we will outline attractions and trails from south to north. Use the map here for guidance of the East Entrance.

East Entrance El Yunque National Rainforest Map

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide: Stop at La Coca Falls

At this brief stop, you can see a waterfall off the main road (191) as you enter the park from the east. Our daughter loved looking at this waterfall. She was memorized by the waterflow! 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide: Hike La Coca Trail

This hike is very serene, peaceful and pretty. We hiked this trail on a Saturday at 9am, and we were the only people on the trail. 

3.2 Miles, 947 feet of elevation gain, out & back

Slippery but not Strenuous Conditions 

Reviews we had read, and speaking with a park ranger we encountered, advised us that this hike was very strenuous due to steep, muddy and slippery conditions. We found the hike itself to not be very strenuous, but the rocks on the trail were indeed very slippery.  The rocks on the trail will likely always be slippery as it is a rainforest, and it has always recently rained.  The initial descent was more slippery and tedious than the climb back up. 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide

Slick River Crossings

We had to turn around at about 0.6 miles (1.2 miles roundtrip) on this trail because there was a river we needed to cross. However, the rocks were too slippery to cross with a baby.  Sam attempted to cross the river on his own but since he slipped 3 times without the baby, we deemed it too unsafe to cross with the baby.  We would have attempted to do it on our own but would not advise planning to do it if you have a child strapped to you.  Regardless of how far you go and the sometimes slippery conditions on the trail, this trail was a slice of rainforest heaven.  We took this trail slower than usual and got to soak in even more of the rainforest magic it had to offer. 

Vereda La Coca Trail AllTrails 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide: Stop at Yokahu Tower

You can simply look out from the spot right next to the parking lot or climb up the Yokahu Tower to look out over the park from even higher up.  Regardless of what you decide to do, it is certainly a pretty spot. This stop is short but pretty. 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide

Note: La Mina Falls/Trail, near Yokahu Tower, is currently closed.  It was set to reopen in 2021 but was still closed when we visited in 2022. 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide: El Yunque Trail to Los Picachos via El Camilito Trailhead

This hike takes you through the rainforest and into the clouds!  This trail ends at a cement landing that you climb onto affording you panoramic views of the park.  It is a steep climb to the top but 100% worth it. This trek was our favorite hike and overall activity we did in Puerto Rico.  It was so peaceful, and our 7 month old daughter (at the time) babbled the entire hike. 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide

About 5 Miles Roundtrip, 1,748 feet of elevation gain, out & back

Los Picachos AllTrails

Tip: Try to go on a more clear day or in the morning (less likely rain) to have better views without cloud coverage (sometimes you cannot see anything with full cloud coverage)

Along the trail, there are several small waterfalls and plenty of very pretty rainforest flora to keep this hike interesting.  Also, despite having quite decent elevation gain, the elevation gain was well spread out and the hike did not feel overly strenuous. 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide

Note: You can hike to Los Picachos overlook and El Yunque from the same base via the El Camilito Trailhead.  See Map.  During our visit, the El Yunque Peak was closed.

Mount Britton Tower Trail

This trail takes you up to Mount Britton Tower that affords you panoramic views across the park. To access it, drive further up road 191 from the Vereda La Coca Trailhead (same road you access La Coca Falls)  

1.6 Miles, 649 feet of elevation gain, out & back 

The Mount Britton hike is along a well maintained trail and mostly paved with rocks.  We advise wearing hiking boots for this trail though as it was a bit slick.  The slickness was nothing our hiking boots could not handle but we saw people in regular shoes struggling (slipping all over the place). 

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots

Tip: Hike Mount Britton on a clear day and in the morning if able.

Try to go on a more clear day for better views from the top as cloud coverage can completely obstruct your views.  The cloud cover can change in a matter of minutes and go from clear skies for miles to complete cloud cover (it did when we were there). Also, try hiking the trail earlier in the day for the best views/weather as it typically rains in the afternoon in the rainforest (per park ranger). There are also less people on this trail in the morning.  We saw at least a dozen other people while hiking this trail on a Saturday late morning/early afternoon. 

Mount Britton Trail AllTrails

Stop at La Murella for Lunch 

This roadside stand is located just prior to La Coca Falls.  The food here is delicious and freshly prepared.  It is quite overpriced, but you are paying for the convenience of warm Puerto Rican Food in the middle of a rainforest.  This is the best food we have ever had at a National Park site. Typically the food at the National Parks does not match up to the views, but this time it did!  Be sure to bring cash to pay for it! 


East Entrance El Yunque PR 988

Hike the Angelito Trail

The Angelito trail takes you through the rainforest to a river where you can go swimming.  The highlight, for Natalie, at this spot was the rope swing. She had fun attempting to master swinging into the river.  On the trail, you’ll pass through some bamboo adding to the biodiversity you see through the park. 

0.7 miles, 127 feet of elevation gain, out & back

Located on Road 988, Angelito Trail AllTrails

Tip: Go right after it rains or on a weekday to beat the crowds 

We had this normally very busy spot almost completely to ourselves after a short downpour. Everyone else had cleared out due to the rain.  Also, try to go here on a weekday as it gets packed on weekends. 

Tip: Bring a compact umbrella into El Yunque in case it does rain  

We almost always carry an umbrella with us when we hike (mainly because it can serve as quick sun protection for our baby when she is too young for sunscreen), and this definitely came in handy during this downpour. 


West Entrance El Yunque Road 186 

West Entrance El Yunque National Rainforest Map

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide: Drive Road 186

This is a very peaceful and serene drive on the west side of the park. There are several pretty waterfalls along the road and plenty of rainforest flora to adore. In comparison to the east site, this area of the park is rarely visited.  We only saw one other car while driving on the entirety of this road. 

El Yunque National Rainforest Guide

It is important to note that this is a VERY rough road. Park maps indicate it is a rough road and they are not kidding.  We only recommend driving Road 186 if you have a 4 x 4 vehicle.  We did not have a 4 x 4 vehicle and are lucky we did not damage our rental car.  The potholes were filled with water so to access the best route to drive, Sam would get out of the car and use a stick to estimate the depth of each hole. It was a less than ideal situation. It took us almost 2 hours to drive less than 15 miles with the rough road conditions. Again, we do not recommend driving this unless you have a 4 x 4 high-clearance vehicle.  We recommend visiting the east side of the park several times before you venture here. 

Hike El Toro Trail

This hike is located in the west El Yunque National Forest, and you access it by driving Road 186 (at the end of this road).  Based on reviews we read, it is very muddy, some people said they would not do it again and it took most people 5 hours to hike.  We did not hike this trail because at the trailhead, located near the edge of the park, there was a pack of large, aggressive stray dogs.  Based on the reviews we read, we did not think the hike was worth doing to potentially get bit and contract rabies.

El Toro Trail AllTrails


Other El Yunque National Rainforest Observations 

No Bug Bites

None of us got any bug bites while in El Yunque National Rainforest. Normally, Natalie gets eaten alive in Wisconsin so we figured the mosquitoes would be much worse in the rainforest but this was not the case. This was a real win.

Plenty of Shade

On the trails we hiked in El Yunque, there was plenty of shade on all of them.  This made all the hiking much more comfortable and more fun to complete with a baby.  See our How to Hike with a Baby post for more tips on hiking with your little one.  You know you are getting older when you rate something more highly based on the amount of shade and lack of bugs.  Seriously though, trails with no bugs and shade are the best.


Where to Stay when visiting El Yunque National Rainforest

Stay East of Old San Juan

We recommend staying at the The East Point P.R. Airbnb we stayed at in Ceiba (East of the Island) just south of Fjarado and about 30 minutes from the east entrance to El Yunque.  

We loved this Airbnb for many reasons.  For one, the patios at this Airbnb are amazing. The front patio has hammocks under a gorgeous tree and the back patio has stunning mountain views.  The hosts at this Airbnb were so kind and helpful as well. Our daughter also loved the swimming pool which is shared by others at the complex, but we always had it completely to ourselves.  When we visited, there was a reservation system in place to only have one family at the pool at a time. This Airbnb is not a resort and allows for a more local experience as the other people at the complex reside there. 

Luquillo and Fjarado are also good areas to stay in while visiting the island. They are far enough away from the city yet close enough for a day trip to Old San Juan and with convenient access to El Yunque and some of the best beaches/beach hiking.  See our 1 Week in Puerto Rico Itinerary for all our tips on spending more time in Puerto Rico.  You may also consider staying in Old San Juan if you want a lively, city feel and taking a day trip to El Yunque from there. 


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to El Yunque National Rainforest.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

How to Hike Kjeragbolten Guide


Hike Kjeragbolten

Kjerabolton is one of the most scenic and exhilarating hikes you will ever complete.  The views and challenge (requires the use of chains) to reach the summit, combined with stepping out onto the terrifying yet electrifying Kjerag rock (boulder in between two large rocks with an over 2400 foot drop into the fjord) makes it a hike you will never forget.  The adrenaline rush from it is truly invigorating.  Here is our guide on how to hike Kjeragbolten in Norway.  

Kjeragbolten Hike

FYI: This post is written based on a hike taken in late August.  See our Two Week Fjord Road Trip (coming soon***) guide for all the details on this trip. We took this trip with our 12 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post. 

Note: Kjerabolton is one of our top 5 favorite hikes we have ever completed.  That is saying a lot too as we have hiked more miles than we can count all over the world including many US National Parks and Europe.  Definitely add Kjeragbolten to your bucket list! 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Hiking Kjeragbolten FAQs


How long of a hike is Kjeragbolten? How much elevation gain on the Kjeragbolten hike? 

Kjerabolton hike is 7.5 miles (12 km) with 1870 feet (570 m) of elevation gain.  It is an out & back hike. 


How do I hike Kjeragbolten?  What are the Kjeragbolten hike logistics? 

The Kjeragbolten hike has 3 steep and strenuous climbs, mostly completed in the first half on the way out.  During these climbs, there are chains to hold onto to help you hike up/down.  We really used these chains to help us stay upright on the steep rockside during our descent and ascent.  Kjeragbolten is a total of 7.5 miles (12 km) with 1870 feet (570 m) of elevation gain.  

Hike Kjeragbolten

The first climb is the most technically difficult and steep while hiking Kjerabolten.  You do not need technical climbing skills per se but must be very careful with your footing while climbing these areas with the chains, especially on your descent.  Many people turn around during the first climb as they find it to be too strenuous and scary.  However, if you can complete the first climb while hiking Kjerabolten, you can complete the whole hike.  Don’t give up!  Natalie hiked these ascents and descents with our daughter in the backpack carrier.   

When not completing these steep climbs, you hike into valleys and over ridges.  You will feel like you are on top of the world at times! The views are spectacular.  

After the third climb, you enjoy a relatively easy hike for about a mile until you reach Kjerag.  


Tip: Be sure to follow the red T’s painted on the ground while hiking Kjeraboton.  During foggy conditions, people have lost their way and had to be rescued.  Even on a very sunny day, we were sure to stay on track with the red T’s as it would be easy to get off the path on the boulders.  


Can I hike Kjeragbolten in the rain? 

No! Caution: Do NOT hike Kjeragbolten if it is going to rain or recently rained. 

When we hiked Kjeragbolten, it had not rained in over a week.  Yet, there were still some slightly damp spots on the rocks that were VERY slippery.  With only a couple spots like this, it was manageable taking these spots very slow and using the chains to aid us.   However, if all the rocks were wet, this would not be safe to hike.  You are hiking up a large smooth slick boulder with chains in several sections.  One big slick smooth rock is not conducive to staying upright even with the chains. 

Hike Kjeragbolten

Tip: Check weather prior to attempting to hike.  Avoid foggy or rainy weather at all costs.  People have needed to be rescued after losing their way in the fog. 

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Womens Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots


How far is the drop from Kjerag into the Fjord?

Sources vary on exactly how far the drop is but we can verify, it’s far!  It is at least a 2400 foot (750 meter) drop from the iconic Kerag boulder between the two rocks into the Fjord. 


How is stepping onto the Kjerag Boulder when hiking Kjeragbolten?

Standing on Kjerag Boulderawae

It is scary.  Like really scary!  We are not going to sugar coat it.  Stepping on to Kjerag is terrifying yet exhilarating.  About a ⅓ of the people we saw who attempted to walk onto the Kjerag couldn’t do it.  Sam was almost one of them.  He made the mistake of looking down (at the 2400 foot fall) on his first attempt before stepping onto the boulder.   He just gave a cute little wave from the side of the boulder instead of stepping onto it (see picture) with his  first attempt.   After Natalie persuaded him that we were not hiking Kjerabolten anytime soon again, he decided to try it again and was able to go out onto the rock.  Natalie got onto the rock with her first attempt.  Our best advice, take it slow and don’t look down! 

Here are pictures of what the Kjerag boulder looks like from behind:

Stepping onto Kjerag Boulder

Off to the left of the boulder is where people line up to step onto it one at a time.  There is a chain link drilled into the rock you can grab onto to help you get down to the boulder that we both did use.  See our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram for footage of us walking on the boulder versus the shot on the boulder.  

The boulder is actually bigger than it looks in pictures. We both agree that Kjerag is stable and plenty big for you to step onto. However, despite being able to see this clearly with our own eyes, we were both scared to step onto the boulder. We still think this hike is worth it even if you do not step onto the Kjerag boulder because the views along the hike and at the boulder are truly stunning.  Stepping out onto the boulder is just the adrenaline rush icing on the cake!   


Has anyone died hiking Kjeragbolten/stepping onto Kjerag?  

No! At the time of writing this post, no one has died hiking Kjerabolten.  We actually find this surprising as one wrong step on this boulder would send you plummeting to your death in Lysefjord.   Stepping onto this boulder is, in our opinion, scarier than Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park where 10+ people have died in the chains section.  However, fewer people hike Kjeragbolten and only stepping out onto the Kjerag boulder itself has a dangerous drop.  The rest of the hike is not along steep drop offs, differing from Angel’s landing whereas wrong step throughout the chains section may send you falling to your death.


How long does it take to hike Kjeragbolten?   

It takes about 6-8 hours to hike Kjeragbolten.  It took us about 6.5 hours total to hike Kjeragbolten, including stopping at the summit for about an hour taking pictures and a break.  If you do not have 35 extra pounds strapped to your back and/or a 12 month old with you, you may be able to hike it faster.  


Is the Kjeragbolten hike busy?

In comparison to other Norway hikes, such as  Pulpit Rock Hike (post coming soon***), no.  We hiked Kjerabolten from approximately 9:30 AM-4PM on a Sunday.  There were definitely other people on the trail but there was plenty of space on the trail to have our own room.  We never felt crowded or traffic jammed on this hike.  The number of people was similar to that we saw while hiking Trolltunga (post coming soon***).  

Hike Kjeragbolten

When to hike Kjeragbolten?  

Only hike Kjeragbolten in the summer as the road leading to the trailhead is closed in the winter. Ideally, hike it June 1st-September 1st.  Outside of that window, it is likely the road to the Kjeragbolten trailhead will be covered in snow/closed and the trail will be covered in snow as well.


How much does it cost to hike Kjeragbolten? 

Parking fee 300 NOK that you pay to the attendant when you arrive. 


How to find Kjeragbolten Hike? 

Type in Kjerag parking to Google Maps to locate the Kjeragbolten Trailhead


What is the closest town to Kjeragbolten? 

Closest town is Lysebotn (15 mins away), 7.5 hours from Oslo, 2.5 hours from Stavanger (many people set up base here and also hike Pulpit Rock (post coming soon***)).  


Where to stay while hiking Kjeragbolten? 

We highly recommend staying at Fidjeland Hytteutleige between Stavanger and the Kjeragbolten Trailhead.  These cute cabins are located less than an hour from the Kjeragbolten trailhead. They are just off the main road yet in a peaceful farm setting.  This was the perfect cozy cabin for us.  There also was a fun swing in the backyard our daughter enjoyed. 


What else should I do while at the Kjeragbolten trailhead? 

Make sure your driving route takes you on the whirlwind road Lysevegan either before or after your hike to Kjeragbolten.  This road has 32 hairpin turns and a 9.4% gradient.  To access, turn left out of Kjerag Parking lot.  


Can you hike Kjerabolton with kids? 

Yes! We completed this hike with our 12-month old daughter in a backpack carrier.  We would not recommend front carrying on this hike though as it is very steep in spots, making the decent while front carrying dangerous.  However, we felt comfortable with her in the backpack carrier the whole time.  We saw one person carrying a baby that was maybe 3 months old (in a front carrier, again would not recommend) but other than that, we saw no kids under 10.  We did see about 5 kids likely between 10-15 years old on this hike who did not seem to have any problem with completing it.  If not carrying your child, we’d recommend kids be 10+ years old and have a decent amount of hiking experience to complete this hike.  It is long, strenuous and requires some skill using the chains.  

For all our tips on hiking with a baby, see our How to Hike with a Baby post. 


Can kids step out onto the Kjerag Boulder?

We would say no but that is up to you as the parent.  We did see a boy who was about 10 years old step out onto the boulder with a rope tied around his waist that his mom held.  We both stepped out on to Kjerag separately without our baby and were terrified enough without our child.  


Can you step onto the Kjerag Boulder with someone else? 

Yes, but we do not recommend it. We both stepped out onto the boulder alone and would advise stepping onto it one at a time.  The boulder is large enough that two people could step out on it together but it is certainly safer to do it one at a time. 


Is Kjeragbolten one of the best hikes in Norway? 

Yes!  WE LOVED hiking Kjerabolten.  We highly recommend you complete this hike at some point in your life.  It is a challenging hike with the chains on the climbs and exhilarating with stepping out onto the rock.  In comparison, we both did like hiking Trolltunga a bit better than Kjeragbolten but it is hard to compare both as they are very different hikes.  Hike both and let us know your thoughts!  

Note: You have to be on your A-game at most times during this hike due to using the chains and the steep nature of the climbs.  It is not a flow state hike. 

Kjeragbolten Hike

Hiking Kjeragbolten was one of the highlights of our Two Week Fjord Road Trip (post coming soon***).   See this guide for all the details on planning an epic fjord road trip of your own.  


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Kjeragbolten.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Where to Stay in Old Town Alexandria


When researching where to stay in Old Town Alexandria, we wanted to be sure to find a place that matched the area’s picturesque charm.  We were so pleased when we found this mid-century modern Airbnb in the heart of Old Town Alexandria to stay at while visiting Old Town Alexandria.   This Airbnb has the perfect location. We were able to walk everywhere we wanted to visit in Old Town Alexandria.  Further, the apartment’s unique features and comfortable size provided us with a really nice place to call our home base in Old Town Alexandria for our extended weekend visit.  If you are trying to decide where to stay in Old Town Alexandria, look no further!  Here’s a run-down on why we think this mid-century modern Airbnb in the heart of Old Town Alexandria is the perfect place to stay when visiting Old Town Alexandria. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Walk Everywhere in Old Town Alexandria

This Airbnb is located on King Street, truly in the heart of Old Town Alexandria.  It is within walking distance of everywhere we wanted to visit in the area.  From this Airbnb, it is less than a 10 minute walk down to the waterfront and to many other restaurants and shops in the area.  It was so nice to just be able to walk out of our Airbnb and get to all the places we wanted to be without the hassle of a car.  And if you don’t want to walk, there is a free King Street Trolley you can take too.  One of our favorite restaurants, Taverna Cretekou (authentic Greek restaurant), we visited here is actually located just below the apartment, right out the front or back door. 

For all our recommendations on what to do in Old Town Alexandria, see our What to do in Old Town Alexandria post.

Comfortable Space

The space here was really nice and large.  For less than the price of most small hotel rooms in the area, we were able to have a large living area, kitchen and master bedroom/bath at this Airbnb.  This space was able to accommodate 3 adults (Sam, Natalie and Grandma) and 1 baby (14-month-old) very comfortably.  There is a master bedroom with a queen bed here and then a twin sofa bed in the living room.  You could likely fit one more adult in here if you wanted to but we would recommend this apartment for a family with 3 or less adults for the most comfortable experience.   This place also has a washer and dryer which is a HUGE win when traveling with a very cute, yet messy, baby. 

Note: If you are room sharing with a baby here (like we did), we do recommend using the SlumberPod for the best experience.  The bathroom is located through the bedroom and without it, you may feel like you can’t access the bathroom while your baby is sleeping.  The SlumberPod allowed us to room share with the baby and all get sleep.  It was also nice to not have to worry about using the bathroom while our baby was napping or sleeping.  Use ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED$20 for $20 off your SlumberPod order today.

Unique Antique Decorations 

This apartment has some really unique antique decorations and wall hangings from the middle of the 20th century.  Our favorite decor was the old movie chair seats in the hallway.  We got to chat with one of the hosts, Boyd, and he gave us a run-down on the antique decorations in the apartment and it was really cool to hear their history.  The decorations here really added another fun layer to our stay.

Great Host and Hostess 

Tessa and Boyd were fantastic at communicating with us and so accommodating for our stay. They allowed us to check-in early and check-out late, which was very helpful, especially while traveling with what felt like everything but the kitchen sink.  Tessa and Boyd allow you your space but are available for any questions you may have about your stay at the place or visiting the area.  

Other Units in the Area

If the unit we stayed in is booked for the dates you are looking at, don’t fret.  Tessa and Boyd have a total of 8 listings in the heart of Old Town Alexandria.  Visit their profile here to see all of them. They have different sized properties and likely have a size and price point to meet your needs.   Although we have not stayed at the other listings, we are certain they are all well-maintained/managed and uniquely decorated based on our lovely stay at their mid-century modern Airbnb in the heart of Old Town Alexandria


We hope this guide helps you plan where to stay in Old Town Alexandria. Book the same mid-century modern Airbnb in the heart of Old Town Alexandria we did or another one of Tessa and Boyd’s properties here. Please reach out to Tessa and Boyd with any questions on the area, they are a great resource for visiting the area during your stay.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Where to Stay near Shenandoah


Where to Stay near Shenandoah

When researching where to stay near Shenandoah National Park, we knew we wanted to stay somewhere tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the National Park but also with a view, conveniently located near the park and with all the amenities we needed.  We were excited when we found exactly what we were looking for at this Charming Chalet Airbnb in Blue Ridge Wine Country.  This spacious chalet was the perfect retreat to the countryside from the city and had everything we needed (and more) for a very comfortable stay while exploring Shenandoah National Park.  Here is a full break-down of why we think this is the perfect spot to stay when visiting Shenandoah National Park. 


Plenty of Space for Everyone

The large spacious main living area and big bedrooms make this Airbnb perfect spot for you to relax with your family yet have your own space as well.  The main living space is inviting and there are many spots for you and your family to gather and relax including the stunning screened-in patio, the grandiose living room and the large kitchen island.   We particularly loved the views of the backyard from the screened in-patio.  We also loved being able to spread out in our own rooms.  The large kitchen was a huge plus too as it allowed us to cook all our own meals.  There is a grocery store, Food Lion, located about 7 minutes south of the Chalet that had everything we needed for cooking during our stay.  

Baby, Toddler and Kid Friendly

This place was so accommodating to our daughter, who was 14 months old at the time of our visit.  The Airbnb had a pack n play, high chair and stand alone baby seat for us to use.  It was really nice to have all these things here ready for us and not have to bring them while traveling.  Bonus–there also was plenty of books and toys for our daughter to enjoy.  As you can see from the pictures, she really loved ‘reading’ all the books.  The open concept of the main living area here also is a very baby/toddler/kid friendly floor plan.  It was easy to keep an eye on our daughter from the kitchen and other parts of the main living space. 

Close to Shenandoah National Park

This Charming Chalet Airbnb in Blue Ridge Wine Country is close to the National Park yet far enough away from it to avoid the crowds.  Unless you are staying in Shenandoah National Park itself, where there can be a lot of traffic, there are not a lot of great close lodging options. From our Airbnb, it was less than an hour to most spots we wanted to explore. We particularly liked being only 30 minutes away from the White Oak entrance on the outbounds of the park.  This area of the park sees less traffic than others and was truly our favorite spot in Shenandoah National Park as it was scenic and felt secluded on our early morning hike.  For a full breakdown of our Shenandoah National Park recommendations, she our One Day in Shenandoah National Park guide. 

Fantastic Host

Connie is a fantastic host.  She is very responsive, kind and accommodating.  Her attention to detail was well appreciated too.  For example, when we arrived, each of our beds had chocolate on them.  Little touches like this made a huge difference.  She also allowed us to check-in a little early and this was so appreciated while traveling with our baby.  She also has lived in the area for over 30 years and is a great resource for exploring the area.  When you arrive, she has a printed guide of things to do in the area, beyond Shenandoah National Park, and we found it very helpful.  


We hope this guide helps you plan where to stay when visiting Shenandoah National Park. Book the same Charming Chalet Airbnb in Blue Ridge Wine Country using the link here.  Please reach out to Connie with any questions on the area. As mentioned before, she is a great resource about the area during your stay.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

One Day in Shenandoah National Park


When planning our trip to Shenandoah National Park we knew we were only going to have one full day to explore the park, so we wanted to make the most of it.  We reached out to friends who live near the park and read many other blogs about the area.  Through this research, we are confident we have put together the best one-day Shenandoah National Park itinerary out there.  Although you could spend upwards of a week in the park with its over 500 miles of hiking trails, we felt one-day was enough to get a good feel for the park by hiking several highlight trails and driving through the park.  Here is our One Day in Shenandoah National Park guide. 

FYI: This post is written based on a hike taken in mid-October.  We took this trip with our 14 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, Flying with a Baby and How to Hike with a Baby posts. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Fun Facts about Shenandoah National Park

Before we get into our One Day in Shenandoah National Park itinerary, here are some fun facts about Shenandoah National Park. 

  • 50 species of mammals live in Shenandoah National Park
  • Shenandoah National Park has one of densest populations of black bears in US
  • Over 199,100 acres are encompassed by Shenandoah National Park
  • Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of hiking trails including 101 miles of Appalachian Trail 
  • The park was established 1935 but had a controversial start. About 500 families (about 2500 people) were uprooted to establish this National Park leaving many abandoned settlements. 

Best Hikes to Do with One Day in Shenandoah National Park

During our one day in Shenandoah National Park, we hiked 3 different trails to get a taste of the waterfalls as well as experience the expansive Blue Ridge mountain views Shenandoah offers.  The first trail, the Lower White Oak Falls Trail, we hiked in the morning. Then, we headed back to our Airbnb before driving into the main drive of the park to hike the Stony Man and Upper Hawksbill Trails.  We picked each of these trails because of the views they offer as well as their location in proximity to our accommodations.  These trails give you a good overview of what the park has to offer and are also manageable to hike in one day.  Here are the 3 trails we recommend hiking with one day in Shenandoah National Park.   

#1 Lower White Oak Falls via White Oak Canyon Trail

Start your day hiking to the scenic Lower White Oak Falls. This out-and-back trail leads to a stunning and serene waterfall in Shenandoah National Park.  We hiked here on a crisp fall morning and did not see another soul on our hike out.  It was exactly the peaceful hike we were looking for that morning.  This was our favorite hike we did in Shenandoah National Park despite not offering classic Shenandoah Blue Ridge Mountain Views.  Soaking in the serenity of nature helps us rejuvenate.   

Park at the White Oak Boundary Parking Lot

To access this trail and waterfall, park at the White Oak Boundary Parking Lot.  Be sure to park at the White Oak Boundary parking and not the White Oak Canyon Parking. The hike will be significantly longer from the Canyon Parking, which is on the main drive of the park and MUCH busier than the Boundary Parking.  From the White Oak Boundary Parking lot, it is a 2.8 mile round trip hike with 400 feet of elevation gain.  It took us about 1.5 hours to complete, including stopping to take pictures and relaxing at the waterfall for a bit. 

2.8 miles round trip, 400 feet of elevation, out & back, see map below 

AllTrails Lower White Oak Falls via White Oak Canyon Trail

#2 Stony Man Trail Shenandoah National Park

Next, hike the Stony Man Trail. This hike can be accessed from the Stony Man Parking Lot right off the main drag of the parkway (Mile 41.7).  This 1.5 mile loop hike with 318 feet of elevation brings you to an overlook of Shenandoah Valley and Massanutten Mountain.  From this spot, we could see part of the parkway we had driven on and some of the contrasting fall colors well.  This is a good bang-for-your-buck hike as you are able to see great views on a relatively short hike. 

1.5 miles, 318 feet of elevation gain, loop, dogs are not allowed on this trail, see map below

AllTrails Stony Man via AT

#3 Upper Hawksbill Trail Shenandoah National Park 

Next up is the Upper Hawksbill trail.  This trail can be accessed from the Upper Hawksbill Parking Lot off the main drive of the parkway (Mile 46.5).  The Upper Hawksbill trail leads you to the highest peak (4,050 feet) in the park and offers 360 degree views of Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Virginia Piedmont.   If you only have time for one trail, do this one as it is another great bang- for-your- buck hike, giving you expansive views at the Summit on another relatively short hike.

2.1 mi, 488 feet of elevation gain, out & back, see map below

AllTrails Upper Hawksbill


Tip: Stop at Lookout Points while driving on the Shenandoah National Park Parkway

There are so many pretty lookout points in the park that you can enjoy right from your car or a short walk from your car.  Stopping at these spots along the main drag of the park will help break up your drive as well.  There are SO many to stop at.  Our favorite lookouts were ones where we were facing east in the park.  

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots


Other Hikes to Consider with a Day in Shenandoah National Park

Below are some other hikes we considered doing with our one day in Shenandoah National Park. You may consider adding on or exchanging for one of the trails above depending on the time you have on your trip. 

Doyle River Falls (Mile 81.1)

This hike takes you through the woods to two unique waterfalls. This beautiful trek through Wilderness takes you along cool, clear mountain streams to two unique waterfalls. It is a 3.4 mile out & back hike with 1181 feet of elevation gain. See this AllTrails Doyles River Trail link for more information on this trail. 

Blackrock Summit (84.4)

This is a 1.1 Mile loop hike with 180 feet of elevation gain.  This is another hike, on part of the Appalachian Trail, that leads to expansive views over Shenandoah Valley and Massanutten Mountain.  It offers similar views to the Upper Hawksbill Trail and the Stony Man Trail.  See this AllTrails Blackrock Summit via Trayfoot Mountain and AT link for more information on this trail.  

Old Rag Trail

This 9.4 miles loop hike with 2582 feet of elevation gain is one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the park.  The Old Rag hike affords you sweeping mountain views after a tough rock scramble.  You need a permit to hike Old Rag since 2022.  Use this link, Old Rag Day Use Ticket,  to book a permit. These permits were in ample supply during our weekday early fall visit and less competitive to get than at other National Parks.   We had permits booked but opted not to hike this trail as you can get very similar and even higher views from some of the shorter trails we hiked.  If you want to avoid the rock scramble, you can hike to this same lookout from Berry Hallows. See this AllTrails Old Rag link for more information on this trail.  

For a breakdown of all the trails in Shenandoah National Park, see our friend Anna’s Blog Post– 15 Best Hikes in Shenandoah National Park.  She helped us plan our trip and pick out the best trails.   We are so grateful to Anna for all her advice! 


Where to Stay Shenandoah National Park

We recommended staying outside of the park at this Charming Chalet Airbnb in Blue Ridge Wine Country.  This spacious chalet was the perfect retreat to the countryside from the city and had everything we needed for a very comfortable stay while exploring Shenandoah National Park.  The serene views from the screened in patio were stunning.  See our Where to Stay Near Shenandoah post for a full breakdown on why we loved this Airbnb


Did you fly into DCA to visit Shenandoah? If so, be sure to check out the charming and picturesque Old Town Alexandria when in the area too. See our What to do in Old Town Alexandria and Where to Stay in Old Town Alexandria posts for some inspiration.


We hope this guide helps you plan your one day in Shenandoah National Park. Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

What to do Old Town Alexandria


What to do Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria is one of the most charming cities we have ever visited.  The alluring architecture, unique shops and restaurants as well as the abundant history here make it the perfect place for an extended weekend trip.  We loved exploring this city and think you will too.  Here is our ‘What to do in Old Town Alexandria’ guide.  

FYI-This post is written based on a trip taken in early October.  The fall colors were at peak at this time. We took this trip with our 14 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, Flying with a Baby and How to Hike with a Baby posts.   

What to do Old Town Alexandria

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


#1 What to do Old Town Alexandria: Explore King Street & Beyond

Brick sidewalks and buildings along with cobblestone alleys make Old Town Alexandria, particularly King Street, quintessentially charming.  King street is lined with many one-of-a-kind independently owned shops and restaurants, making your stroll on this street each time completely unique.  Most of our favorite restaurants were located on this street (see below for recommendations).


#2: Visit the Skinniest House in America

Stop by the Spite House (523 Queen Street) to see the skinniest house in America. This house was built ‘in spite’ between the two other houses to keep loiterers out of the alley.  This house, as well as many of the other houses on Queen Street are nothing short of picture perfect.  Be sure to stroll Queen Street to see these gorgeous row-houses when you visit here too.

What to do Old Town Alexandria

The Spite House, and other houses on Queen Street, reminded us of some of the houses in Amsterdam.  See our Visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands on a Budget guide for all our tips on visiting Amsterdam. 


#3 What to do Old Town Alexandria: Walk Captain’s Row

The 100 Block of Prince Street is arguably the most picturesque spot in Old Town Alexandria.  We were visiting Alexandria for very good friends’ wedding and took wedding party pictures here.  The charm of the houses, arched tree canopy and cobblestone here is undeniable. You feel transported to early post-Revolution America. The first picture in this post is of Captain’s Row.


#4 What to do Old Town Alexandria: Explore Wilkes Street Tunnel

This former railroad tunnel is now a picturesque passageway leading to the Windmill Hill Park.  With overgrown ivy on the tunnel’s wall, the allure here is indisputable.  When we visited during peak fall colors, Wilkes Street Tunnel was even prettier than we imagined.  Our 14-month-old daughter thought running through this tunnel was SO fun!


#5: Dine at the Local Restaurants 

There are so many independently owned restaurants in Old Town Alexandria. There were so many good authentic ethnic restaurants to choose from as well.  Some of our favorites included:


#6: Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum  

This apothecary was operational from 1792-1933 when it was then turned into a museum.  There are over 15,000 herbs, including potion ingredients, and medical devices to view here. It is really cool to see all the ingredients from a non-modern day pharmacy. 

Tip: Check the hours closely before planning a visit here. They are very limited and variable.


#7 What to do Old Town Alexandria: Torpedo Factory

This former World War II Torpedo Factory is home to the largest compilation of art studios in the USA. With 83 different artists’ studios, there is something here for everyone to experience and support local artists, including seeing them at work.  We attended a wedding at the Torpedo factory, and it was such a cool and unique venue.  See our instagram post from the wedding for some pictures.


#8: Old Town Alexandria’s Farmers Market

We are always suckers for a good farmer’s market as it is a great way to get a more local experience and the Old Town Alexandria farmer’s market did not disappoint.  Every Saturday morning, more than 70 local vendors offer fruits, vegetables, flowers, ready-made food, art and more at this farmer’s market. This is a great spot to grab a morning coffee and explore.  

Fun fact: The Old Town Alexandria farmer’s market is the longest continuously operating farmer’s market in the USA.


#9: Walk the Potomac River Waterfront

The waterfront has some stunning views of the Potomac River.  Stop at the iconic ‘I Love You’ sign, relax at one of the waterfront parks or grab a bite to eat at one of the many waterfront restaurants.  Our daughter loved running around the waterfront parks where there was more green space than elsewhere in Old Town Alexandria.  


#10: What to do Old Town Alexandria: Mount Vernon Trail

This nearly 18 mile trail is a great spot to go for a run, walk or bike ride.  The Mount Vernon Trail parallels the Potomac River and is a nice retreat from the more bustling parts of Old Town Alexandria.  Natalie found this spot to be the best place to access the trail, although there are many points along the waterfront to access it. 


#11 What to do Old Town Alexandria: Mount Vernon

For the history buff in your group, head 8 miles south of Old Town Alexandria to George Washington’s former estate, Mount Vernon.  Here, explore the riverside estate including the mansion that has been turned into a museum, the operational farm, the extensive gardens, the first presidents tomb, the distillery, the gristmill and more. 


#12 What to do Old Town Alexandria: Day Trip to the National Mall 

Located only about 6 miles north of Old Town Alexandria, a day trip to the National Mall is as easy as calling an Uber.  The monuments and museums are always so fascinating to see.  We started at the Lincoln Memorial and worked our way towards the Smithsonian Museums. Choose your own adventure when it comes to what you explore here! 

Kudos to the CoziGo (in first picture in series above) for helping our daughter take a nap while out exploring the National Mall. We love this portable blackout curtain that creates a dark space for our daughter in her carseat and/or stroller.  Use this link for the CoziGo for a discount.


Where to Stay in Old Town Alexandria

When researching where to stay in Old Town Alexandria, we wanted to be sure to find a place that matched the area’s picturesque charm.  We were so pleased when we found this mid-century modern Airbnb in the heart of Old Town Alexandria to stay at while visiting Old Town Alexandria.   This Airbnb has the perfect location and we were able to walk everywhere we wanted to visit in Old Town Alexandria. For more information on this Airbnb please see our Where to Stay in Old Town Alexandria blog post. 


Looking to extend your trip from Old Town Alexandria? Check out our One Day in Shenandoah National Park and Where to Stay Near Shenandoah posts for some inspiration. Shenandoah National Park is only about 2 hours from Old Town Alexandria and a nice little escape from the city.


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip and what to do in Old Town Alexandria.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

SlumberPod for the Baby Travel Sleep Win


If you are looking to travel with your baby/toddler AND sleep, the SlumberPod is a must.  This portable blackout pod makes traveling with a baby more restful and less stressful.  We recently started using the SlumberPod, and it has been a game changer for room sharing while traveling. After over a dozen trips with our daughter in less than a year, we know the SlumberPod is a travel essential for room sharing situations and/or instances where you are without blackout curtains. Continue reading on for all the reasons we have deemed the SlumberPod a baby travel sleep essential. 

Use code ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED$20 for $20 off your SlumberPod order today

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


SlumberPod

SlumberPod is a Baby/Toddler Travel Essential 

If you are planning on traveling with your baby and doing any room sharing, or staying somewhere without blackout curtains, the SlumberPod is vital for you having a good experience.  The SlumberPod truly solves the problem of trying to get a good night’s sleep while room-sharing with your baby or toddler. The SlumberPod allows you to room share with your baby while they sleep in their crib or pack-n-play undisturbed. After many times when we were room sharing (and not using the SlumberPod) and accidentally woke our baby up (who proceeded to the be awake the rest of the night), we will never room share again without using the SlumberPod.  It has been a true lifesaver in any room sharing situation. 

Travel AND Sleep

We really wish we would have found and started using the SlumberPod sooner.  It is especially useful for frequent trips back to Sam’s childhood home where we room share and there are no blackout curtains.  Sleep has always been a struggle in environments like this but now we don’t have to worry about not being able to sleep thanks to the SlumberPod.  

Features we love about the SlumberPod

The SlumberPod is a high-quality product designed with stellar attention to detail.  The mother/daughter duo that came up with this product really designed it right! 

Features we love about the SlumberPod include: 

  • Dark yet breathable fabric
  • Fan pouch to help create air flow in more warm environments
  • Bottomless structure that fit over standard sized pack-n-plays and cribs
  • Ventilation panels and air vents 
  • Baby monitor pouch
  • Zippered window to access baby
  • Portable & compact 

All of these features make it easy to travel with and use the SlumberPod.  It is also ideal to use at home if your baby’s napping area is not dark or you want to be able to access the room without waking them.

We love this product so much that we reached out to SlumberPod to become a SlumberPod partner and get our readers a discount. Use code ALWAYSHAVEATRIPPLANNED$20 for $20 off your order today! 
SlumberPod is a portable & affordable solution for getting a good night’s sleep while room sharing. The SlumberPod is truly a lifesaver in any room sharing situation.  Make travel and sleep both possible, buy your own SlumberPod today!


Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Where to Hike near Puerto Vallarta


As avid hikers, we always look for the best hike in every area we visit. When we visited Puerto Vallarta, we were thrilled to find the nearby Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas Beach Hike. This hike, near Puerto Vallarta, is the perfect combination of scenic beaches and jungle. The best part? It leads to a beach with a hopping restaurant scene where you relax after your hike. We really enjoyed this hike and it was our favorite activity we did while visiting the Puerto Vallarta area of Mexico. Here is our guide on hiking from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas Beach near Puerto Vallarta.

Where to Hike near Puerto Vallarta

FYI-This post is written based on a trip/hike taken in early April. For more on our Puerto Vallarta trip and for all our tips when visiting this area, see our What to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico guide.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas Beach Hike Overview

This hike starts in the quaint and colorful local fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan and leads you to the lively Las Animas beach. This hike takes you along stunning coastline and through green jungle to several beautiful secluded beaches south of Puerto Vallarta before reaching Las Animas.  The Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas Beach hike is 2.25 mile with 705 feet of elevation gain one-way.

Where to Hike near Puerto Vallarta

Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas Beach Hike Specifics 

This hike took us about 2 hours one-way. This is longer than we expected as we had to be more careful with our footing than we anticipated. The trail is very peaceful and makes the extra effort worth it though.

To start your journey from Boca, you cross a makeshift boardwalk over the water (first picture in trio below) to get on the trail on the southern side of Boca de Tomatlan.  If you are having trouble finding it, ask a local (in Spanish ideally) where it is and they should be able to show you the way.

Where to Hike near Puerto Vallarta

We only saw a handful of other people on the path, and it was easy enough to follow. You will pass by some nice houses right outside of Boca and then alternate between hiking through the jungle and across beaches. When in doubt, hug the coastline and cross the several beaches you encounter, paralleling the water, to get back to the trail.

Beware: There is barbed wire fence on parts of the trail.  It is usually simple to avoid but be mindful of where it is (especially if hiking with a baby who likes to touch everything and put everything in her mouth). 

Where to Hike near Puerto Vallarta

Las Animas Beach

When you reach Las Animas, stop and relax at one of the beachfront restaurants for food/drink before taking a water taxi back to Boca de Tomatlan. Alternatively, you can hike back the same route if you are feeling refreshed after a relaxing stop.

The restaurants on Las Animas all have nice beach atmospheres and are very accommodating for you to step-up camp for the afternoon.  We particularly recommend eating on the beach at Mariscos Tinos.  We had not only a table on the beach to sit at while dining but also lounge chairs for us to relax on in front of our table (use of both included with dining).  The staff at this restaurant also provided very attentive service. We had a fun afternoon here with our 8-month-old daughter!

After grabbing a bite on Las Animas, you can take a water taxi back to Boca for 100 pesos per person (baby was free).  Our waiter helped us coordinate by calling the boat but can also coordinate yourself from the main pier on the beach. Alternatively, you could hike back to Boca de Tomatlan as stated above.

Las Animas Beach

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 7+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots


How to get to Boca de Tomatlan from Puerto Vallarta

To get to Boca de Tomatlan, you can easily take a local bus from downtown PV to this southern fishing village. It takes about 30 minutes.  The ride is bumpy, due to speed bumps, but goes by quickly as you hug the scenic coastline. The bus costs 15 pesos per person each way.  Alternatively, you can take a cab, but it will be over 10x the price and takes the same amount of time as there is only one two-lane road that connects the two areas. We rode the local bus several times during our trip and found it to be both a local and cultural experience. We figured out where to catch the bus through asking locals and recommend doing the same. The people who regularly use the bus are the ones who know it best.


We took this hike with our 8 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post.


We hope this guide helps you plan your hike from Boca de Tomatlan to La Animas Beach near Puerto, Vallarta Mexico.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! For more on our Puerto Vallarta see our What to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico guide.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

error: Content is protected