A city's most defining characteristics are its food, architecture and cultural traditions. I suggest checking out Favors of San Juan (http://www.sanjuanfoodtours.com) if you're going to be spending... more
The El Morro fort is one of the things that has to be done in San Juan. The large structure makes you feel safe and protected from any pirates. There are multiple levels to the fort and many artifacts... more
This area is east of the Condado, en route to the airport..AND IT IS CONSIDERED AMONG THE BEST BEACHES IN Puerto Rico and we were fortunate to have it right across our Marriott Hotel!
There are lots... more
When we walked off the ship we went to catch the ferry to old San Juan then a public bus to the Bacardi Rum Factory. Once we reached the factory we joined a group for a tour. The tour was interesting... more
There is another fort included in the ticket we bought from El Morro (adult $3 for El Morro plus $2 for Cristobal = total of $5)--- the other famous fort is called the San Cristobal and is a one-mile... more
The El Yunque rainforest is located about 1h east of San Juan, near the town of Rio Grande, and it therefore makes for a great day-trip destination. It's also very easy to book a guided tour from San... more
This cemetery is described by some tour guides as San Juan's "Pere-Lachaise". Located between El Morro and Castillo San Cristobal, many of Puerto Rico's most notable citizens were buried at Santa... more
El Capitolio de San Juan was built in the 1920s just outside of the old city, close to Fort San Cristobal. It was built in an effort to officialize the position of Puerto Rico as part of the American... more
To the south of Old San Juan, just outside the walls that surround the city, you'll find the Paseo de la Princesa. It's worth making the quick detour to walk along the short promenade and see the... more
La Fortaleza is the Governor's mansion. It's located in Old San Juan at the western section at the end of Fortaleza Street and faces the bay.
The Fortaleza is the home of several governors since the... more
Christopher Columbus "discovered" Puerto Rico in 1493, during his second voyage to the Americas. However, as many people in the country will quickly remind you, others had discovered it before him.... more
Jason and I planned to hit the caves only because they were so close to the Arecibo Observatory. I'm glad that we went, I was expecting something like Howe's Cavern's like we have here in NY, but I... more
Palque de las palomas was a great and fun place to visit. I say was because unfortunately it has closed. I was there with my son on June of 2012 and we found out it was closed due to health reasons. I... more
Like the Capitolio, the San Juan City Hall is open to all visitors from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Located on the Plaza de Armas in a beautiful building dating back to the 17th century, the... more
This Chapel built in 16th century has a few interesting stories surrounding the history of which conflicts wildly except on one point.
Someone on horseback took a terrible spill off the cliffs at... more
Right next to the Cuartel de Ballaja (the former Spanish barracks, the most massive building in all of Old San Juan), you'll find the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. This plaza was inaugurated on October... more
The Paseo de la Princesa takes you to the San Juan Gate, which is the city's oldest. Here, you can pick up the Paseo del Morro. This hike, only about a mile, follows the walls of the old fortress of... more
The Cuartel de Ballajá, or "Ballajá Barracks," once housed Spanish troops during the 1800's and later becoming the the quarters for American soldiers following the Spanish-American War. This building... more
El Convento is the most famous hotel in San Juan, and probably the most popular as well although not everyone can afford to stay there. Even if you are not one of the lucky few, you can still take a... more
The city of San Juan was officially established in 1521, making it one of the oldest cities in all of the Americas. As you stroll down the streets of Old San Juan, you can't help but be amazed at the...
So my Top Things To Do in Puerto Rico based on what we experienced, whether you're coming off a cruise ship or not:
1. Visit the Fort of El Morro at least (swing by Cristobal if you can)
I first visited San Juan in the later 1980's when we sailed from the wharfs in Old San Juan twice on the old Cunard Countess. Although a somewhat "strange new land", San Juan failed to leave a lasting...