San Juan Travel Guide

  • San Juan
    by wilocrek
  • San Juan
    by wilocrek
  • San Juan
    by Jefie

San Juan Highlights

  • Pro
    el_ruso profile photo

    el_ruso says…

     beautiful architecture, beautiful sea vistas, beautiful fortreresses, beautiful lades... 

  • Con
    Jefie profile photo

    Jefie says…

     Many really, really bad drivers 

  • In a nutshell
    mxnxcx profile photo

    mxnxcx says…

     GREAT PARTY, Nice Beaches, BE a Tourist and Party and Relax 

San Juan Things to Do

  • Old San Juan

    After we got off the cruise ship, we were headed to the taxi ranks when a tour representative stopped us and advised us that the Festival of St. Sebastian was in progress and that traffic was a mess getting into Old San Juan. For $25 per person, they offered a tour of Condado, the ride into Old San Juan and a ride back to the airport for our...

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  • El Morro

    Castillo San Felipe El Morro protected San Juan's harbor, it was built by the Spanish over 250 years, one of the largest forts built by them in the Caribbean. It was attacked by the English in 1595 and 1598 and the Dutch in 1625. During the Spanish-American war in 1898, the US Navy attacked the fort. You can visit the fort on a self guided tour or...

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  • Beach

    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 of luxury condos and apartments, and even the glitzy Ritz is located here which we also took advantage of. Restaurants are aplenty, and mostly the...

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San Juan Hotels

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San Juan Restaurants

  • Metropol

    Metropol is the worst restaurant in Isla Verde. My husband, my son and me went there and they served us a fish full of worms. We notify them and they said nothing at all and after all this we have to pay 74.00 for the food. Not Recommended. NONE

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  • Local Cuisine

    Located in Old San Juan, where it seems no restaurant opens nowadays but posh and expensive "fusion" and "eclectic" restaurants, El Jibarito is a terrific landfall for those looking for some good traditional Puerto Rican food. The place is on the guidebooks and it is crowded with tourists and locals. Don't expect anything else than good food...

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  • Parrot Club

    Not having previously heard of the Parrot Club, we first noticed the attractive facade of this little gem while walking on Calle Fortaleza. It stood out from most others and since then I've seen its recognized for its innovative, neuvo latino cuisine. The narrow building front with large windows fortells of its shotgun-style interior which is...

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San Juan Nightlife

  • Dancing

    Where do locals go to have fun? One of the best places is at the Plaza del Mercado. This fresh produce market becomes the center of nightlife on Thursday and Friday nights. Most tourists don't know about it; I happened to hear about it from one of the tour guides. Most venues have no cover. Just have a few drinks and enjoy yourself. Come as you...

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  • Eating and Drinking

    One of the things I enjoyed the most about staying in the Condado area was the number of places we could go to in the evening just to grab a drink. Perhaps the two places we enjoyed the most were the Barlovento and Hacienda Don José, both located within easy walking distance from the Condado Plaza. The Barlovento (http://www.barloventopr.com) is...

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  • Casinos

    I don't frequent casinos, but our original schedule called for us to leave San Juan quite late and I was told this was so that we could utilize the casinos on shore. The blue building was identified as a former casino which is now a government building by another VTer. However another one of his IDs was wrong, and I can't find any confirmation of...

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San Juan Transportation

  • By land

    Free Trolley in Old San Juan! There is an amazing trolley that goes for free in Old San Juan and this has several points where you can go off, including the two famous forts. Departure points: Covadonga, La Puntilla, Plaza de Armas, and as mentioned the two forts….is you are not yet at a stopping station, try to wave at it for it to stop – it...

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  • Taxis

    I arrived at night in San Juan Airport andi tried to get a taxi. They have meters but the taxi drivers are hidding them. I took a first taxi and when i asked for the meter : i have been pushed out of the taxi. I took another one : same problem - no meter possible to get a fair price (normal price). I was forced to take it andi Asked an invoice at...

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  • By Sea

    Cruisng is a great way to sample many places before making the decision to make a longer visit. My wife and I enjoy cruising to new island to see if a week or more would suit us at that locale. I also enjoy cruising to a location for the sake of cruising. We both enjoy sea days and having the time to enjoy the ammentities that the ship offers. We...

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San Juan Shopping

  • Old San Juan

    I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to Puerto Rico my whole life and visiting Old San Juan is always a must do when I visit this beautiful island. There is so much to see and do while in Old San Juan. If you love to shop, then this is the place, not only can you find beautiful souvenirs but you can also find artwork and the latest...

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  • Plaza Las Americas

    Plaza Las Americas is San Juan's mall, located about 15-20 minutes from downtown and the cruise ship piers. It's a good thing, if you're homesick and craving to do some actual shopping. Plaza Las Americas boasts a lot of the American brands, as well as some local stores. The prices are typical for various things. I bought me my digital camera...

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  • A Nice Souvenir Opportunity!

    This company builds wall hangings out of clear acrylic plastic whch hold beautiful arrangements of dried butterflies. The sizes range from boxes that hold 2-3 butterflies, up to large displays with several dozens. They are not cheap, but you can usually find some with reduced clearance prices to make it a little easier on the pocketbook. The boxes...

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San Juan Local Customs

  • language

    Puerto Rico is a commenwealth of the United States but the main language spoken is Spanish. The majority of the Puerto Ricans also speak English and are very friendly. The only time you will actually need to know a little Spanish is if you travel outside the metropolitan area.

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  • San Sebastian Street Festival

    2nd visit to the festival January 2011The San Sebastian Street Festival takes place on the 3rd weekend in January, in 2010 we wandered into Old San Juan having no idea that a huge festival was going on that day, when we arrived into town around 11am they were just setting up for it and we didn't realize how big it would be. We took the ferry over...

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  • Local Beer - Medalla

    The local beer brewed in Puerto Rico is Medalla beer. It's quite good and the majority of the people who drink beer usually drink this one.

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San Juan Warnings and Dangers

  • Unsafe At Any Speed in La Perla

    We didn't venture there, but at the time of our visit some comments surfaced on travel sites warning against venturing into the area known as "La Perla". One quote from a cab driver stated that he would never take a tourist there. Some have said it's the worst barrio in Puerto Rico, stay out of the projects and neighborhoods and STAY IN THE TOURIST...

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  • About the green and red lights at night

    I am Puerto Rican, born and raised and I would like to elaborate on what another writer stated about people running red lights in the early morning or late at night. It is actually a local safety measure, that is allowed by law. When car-jackings became popular several decades ago, it was decided that after midnight and until daylight it is safest...

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  • Amazed about how you of Puerto Rico!!!

    In all places there is crime, it is incredible how people talk about such a wonderful place instead of talking about their own. First of all it's the caribbean, hello that is why you come in first place to get a real tan instead of an orange one in a tanning bed bring sunblock if u are not use to. What about spiders and rats when every place in the...

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San Juan Tourist Traps

  • Hard Rock Cafe

    Of course, there's a Hard Rock Cafe in San Juan, and so many gringos would rather stay with the tried and true (expensive hamburgers and beers) than dare to try other chow places. Too bad. There are actually very few true Puerto Rican restaurants in the Old City, and not too many souvenir stores run by locals. That's not bad, but there are one or...

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  • Don't Take The Cruises

    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...

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  • Please do NOT feed the cats!

    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. 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,...

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San Juan What to Pack

  • Packing for the heat

    It was hot, hot, hot when we were in San Juan so pack for warm weather, shorts or capri pants are appropriate during the day, bring along a hat to keep the sun off your head. A good pair of walking shoes is also a must I'm fair skinned so I slather on 50 SPF sunblock, the sun is pretty intense Bring small bills with you for cab fare, it's best...

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  • Some things u must have

    I brought 1 carry on and 1 large suite case, and it was too much! Depending on when u go, I went in June...thats not the best time at all to go. We did because we had no choice. anyways I wore alot of tank tops during this time. Clothes that your body can breathe in..linen, cotton, deffinately no clothes with spandex in them or silk...you'll be...

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  • Don't Leave Home Without It

    Mosquito RepellentSunscreenBenadryl (The best money we spent in Puerto Rico after being bitten by mosquitoes)

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San Juan Off The Beaten Path

  • Luquillo Beach

    We heard that this is Luquillo Beach - one of the most loved beaches in Puerto Rico (other than the Conde Nast winner: Flamenco), and so I was glad when it was included in the tour we got. Truly the beach is amazing – it was not cold at all. The waters were just lukewarm and the twins headed off right into the waters and I was running at them,...

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  • Luquillo Beach + Food+ Kayaking +...

    We heard that this is Luquillo Beach - one of the most loved beaches in Puerto Rico (other than the Conde Nast winner: Flamenco), and so I was glad when it was included in the tour we got.Truly the beach is amazing – it was not cold at all. The waters were just lukewarm and the twins headed off right into the waters and I was running at them,...

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  • El Portal Tropical Forest Center

    This place is worth a visit if not just for the building which has won international architectural acclaim. The white building has several pillars and looks very modern and well-suited for the surrounding rainforest. You may think there are holes in the roof (like they forgo it in some parts) but this is actually a part of the design. It did cost...

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San Juan Sports & Outdoors

  • Sailing and boating

    We came in on a cruise ship, escorted by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard station was near where our ship docked (photos 1 and 2). If I was coming on a smaller boat it would be important to me that Sector San Juan is responsible for all Coast Guard missions throughout the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands region. USCG Sector San Juan Hours of...

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  • Diving and Snorkling

    I went scuba diving nearly every weekend that I was in San Juan. My first weekend I went out to the Eastern coast and was somewhat disappointed in the visibility and fish (or lack there of). At the end of the dive, I ask the divemaster for recommendations on dives around PR. His immediate response was "go to Desecheo." Furthermore, he even highly...

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  • Coast Guard

    We came in on a cruise ship, escorted by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard station was near where our ship docked (photos 1 and 2). If I was coming on a smaller boat it would be important to me thatSector San Juan is responsible for all Coast Guard missions throughout the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands region.USCG Sector San JuanHours of...

    more

San Juan Favorites

  • Walking

    Walk, walk, walk. I would recommend that you park the car at the municipal parking lot located at the 'Paseo de la Princesa' and start your wandering through the wonderful streets in Old San Juan. Wandering around Old San Juan through the old cobblestone streets and the small quaint alleyways. For more pictures of streets found here in Old San...

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  • El Yunque Rainforest

    One of the main things I wanted to do when we were in San Juan was to visit this rainforest. It is unique in the Caribbean and in the National Park/Forest system of the US. You should stop at the Visitor's Center first to find out about the park. They have a film (both in Spanish and English) narrated by Jimmy Smits Unfortunately it is really hard...

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  • Forts

    El Moro is the predominant fort that most people notice as it is a big landmark in the harbor, especially if you approach or leave by cruise ship. It also has it's own site on Virtual Tourist. But there is another big San Juan fort and my guide convinced me that this fort was very worthy of a visit. It is not only a part of the a San Juan National...

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Explore Deeper into San Juan
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Cathedral
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Off The Beaten Path
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