San Juan is a popular destination for cruise passengers, as it is a departure point for most Caribbean cruises. Don't take one. They are stupid. You can't make your own itinerary, and they don't give you enough time to see the islands. You only have about 7.5 hours. That is nothing. 7.5 hours goes by fast, and travel time is longer then it should be. I was in Copenhagen for 7 hours, and barely got to see Nyhavn, before I had to head back to the airport. These islands are too big, and have too much to see. It's not possible to see everything in 7.5 hours, especially on the large islands, like St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, and the other large islands. Even tiny St. Martin and St. Kitts, have so much to see. By the time you see everything you can, you have to leave. All you do is rush, and you don't have time to sink it all in, or enjoy yourself. Cruises are perfect for people who only like to stay in one place, but if you are someone like me, who wants to see as much as possible, cruises are not for you. My advice is forget the cruises, and travel on your own, so you can explore each island more thoroughly, and at your own paste. Visit just one island, or island hop, spending a few days on each one. Some of them are close enough, and small enough to visit for a day trip. It'll cost more then a cruise, but you will see more things, and you will actually be able to relax, and enjoy yourself. I like to have flexibility in my travels, and not be limited to where I can, and can't go.
Unique Suggestions: Take a taxi tour. They will show you the most interesting sites on the islands.
Fun Alternatives: Do it yourself. Most of the islands can be reached by ferry or airplane, so island hopping is easy. I also read that you can hitch a ride on cargo ships, or pay fishermen to take you, though this option is costly, and not very common. It'll be more expensive, but you can see more stuff.
Puerto Rico, especially the areas around El Morro, is full of stray cats. Many are obviously domestic; some may even approach you. Do not feed any of them, unless you want to take it home.
Unique Suggestions: An organization called Save a Gato is dedicated to helping the stray cats. If you donate $28.00 to this worthy cause, it will cover the cost of catching, neutering, vaccinating, and re-releasing a stray cat. Go to:
And make a difference in a cat's life.
Dont be in a big hurry to just spend top dollar on Items in the first shop in San Juan u come across. As most major cities, prices are always higher, u can find the same gift in surrounding smaller cities or road side sales.I went to one shop a dress was near $30 and walked a block further it was $8...same dress, handmade...same color and so on...this was one example. And this dress was for my 2 year old girl. I bought alot of things from a shop called UTOPIA. They were pretty reasonable, and thats the place I found the dress that was alot cheaper at compared to other shops in old San Juan. Just as always dont be in a big hurry if your on a budget to get the first thing u see. They have identical things everywhere...oh and I looked for things actually made there not china..
Unique Suggestions: I didn't really have to deal with too many traps, I had a local as a friend to show me around. Just be aware of your surroundings, obseerve, check out more then one place to get things...they have things alike everywhere around. Just try to take your time...if your in a big hurry well, I guess u get whats coming to ya!
Fun Alternatives: I guess it depends on what your trapped in...I would say again...alternatives are everywhere...again it was easy for us because we knew people..they are generally warm friendly people there. I just know browse keep looking...enjoy!
It seems like there's an exit by use of a map, but there isn't. My family and I walked from la Puerta Roja, expecting to be able to end up at El Morro. We ended up beneath El Morro, but little did we know that there was no way to GET to the fort from the walkway, so we had to turn around and walk back. There's no shade and it's miles of walking that you shouldn't do, unless you're exercising. And to be honest, if you have three little kids with you, they will be hollering by the end of the first half-mile. It was a BIG disaster!
Unique Suggestions: Walk a little bit and turn around when you think you've had enough.
Fun Alternatives: Get a gelatto by the Puerta Roja and sit in the benches where the foliage is. Go out to the walkway, take pictures of the view, and go do things worth your time.
The tour is very long, boring, and if you notice one thing: I don't have a travelogue on El Morro because everything looks the same on the inside as it does on the outside. Other than the yellow pavillion in the center, it's all the same brown walls. Everything is dragged out as if it were really worth the money to sit and hear someone talk about a fort. If you want to know about El Morro, read a book about it in a library, and save yourself the money, honestly.
Unique Suggestions: Do like we did, and explore on your own - it's allowed. And if a tour guide comes in while you're scoping the dungeons, you can listen in on it and gain some valuable information.. for free! Then, if you feel so inclined, you can join them for the next spot, and so on.
Fun Alternatives: Have a picnic in the open field with your friends and/or family. There are vendors on the streets selling anything from drinks to gelattos, but be careful, the prices may be a little (a lot) unreasonable. You can go over to the other smaller fort, and experience the same thing as El Morro. If you want to take a historical tour, go to La Fortaleza. It's airconditioned, there's a movie, and it also has a dungeon.!
Really, I can't think of none. I LOVE THIS ISLAND!!
But, if 'I' had to pick one, in my opinion it would be the casions. Too many people only visit their hotel casino and don't really know Puerto Rico. There are so many things to see and do that a trip would be waisted in hanging out at the hotel casino.
Some people would say that the shops in Old San Juan are over priced. I don't think so, I love the shopping done there and you really can bargain here as well. I would stay away from the jewelry shops, but I would definitely pay a visit to the outlet stores like Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Polo, to name a few. You can really get some darn good bargains here.
I'm not exactly a fan of these structured floating cities.... I prefer more personal flexibility in my travels
Unique Suggestions: Try to control how much you eat... Many people add a few inches to their waistline on Cruises
I found PUERTO RICO is like another US state...same traps. This shop named TOURIST TRAP, so, I do not know why, there was nobody in this shop... ha ha ha!
in Puerto Rico, you will find lot of shops for dress, and some stuff from Latin America...I did not see any local products ?