San Juan Travel Guide

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

San Juan Things to Do

  • Old San Juan

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Sightseeing in Old San Juan, just walking around, is one of the best activities while in Puerto Rico. Just wander the streets, peek into the church, some of the many cafes and bars and restaurants, and just be enchanted by the old city. It is reminiscent of pirate days when Old San Juan was the heart of the Caribbean and Spanish Empire. The whole...

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  • Bacardi Factory

    The Bacardi Factory is a fun little excursion if you're in San Juan, but I don't think it would top my list. First of all, be warned that it really shouldn't be called a "factory tour"--you don't see the actual factory at all or get to go into the building known as the "Cathedral of Rum." They do explain quite a bit of the history of the Bacardi...

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  • El Morro

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    El Morro is one of the two major forts in Old San Juan. The other is Castillo San Cristobal, and together they form the San Juan National Historic Site. If you are going to visit one, you should visit both. There is one entrance fee for both, which is $5/adult (children under 15 are free). It's a short walk between the two forts--maybe 15 minutes...

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San Juan Hotels

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San Juan Restaurants

  • Metropol

    4 out of 5 stars

    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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  • Parrot Club

    4 out of 5 stars

    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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  • Dunbar's

    4 out of 5 stars

    I was so happy to be able to visit this great restaurant/bar while I was visiting San Juan. Actually our guest house was about 2 blocks away. The food here was fantastic as were the drinks. They maKe a killer margarita. Watch out for the Armadillo Eggs, no they aren't really eggs, they are deep fried and stuffed hot, hot, hot peppers. Jason and I...

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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

  • 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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  • 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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San Juan Shopping

  • Old San Juan

    Old San Juan is a place with lovely architecture, lots of history, and quite a few shops selling souvenirs. A lot of these are along Calle del Cristo or Fortaleza Street. I would say that in general, if you go further away from the cruise port, the souvenirs become a bit less kitschy, and you start seeing more art, artisan crafts, etc. Typical...

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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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  • Tons of great souvenirs in a beautiful...

    Old San Juan is a place with lovely architecture, lots of history, and quite a few shops selling souvenirs. A lot of these are along Calle del Cristo or Fortaleza Street. I would say that in general, if you go further away from the cruise port, the souvenirs become a bit less kitschy, and you start seeing more art, artisan crafts, etc. Typical...

    more

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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  • 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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  • Gift shops

    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...

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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

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
Beach
Things to Do
San Cristobal Fort
Things to Do
Cathedral
Things to Do
El Yungue Rainforest
Things to Do
Cemetary
Things to Do
Plaza de Colon
Things to Do
Buses
Transportation
Tropical Restaurant
Restaurants
By Air
Transportation
Hard Rock Cafe
Restaurants
Ajili Mojili
Restaurants
Local Cuisine
Restaurants
Luis Munoz Marin Airport
Transportation
"Adoquines"
Favorites
Plazas
Favorites
Marriott Buffet
Restaurants
Stone Crab Alley and The Hurricane Room
Restaurants
Bacardi Factory
Things to Do
Birthplace of the Piña Colada
Restaurants
The best breakfast in OSJ!
Restaurants
Our favorite place!
Restaurants
Castillo San Cristobal
Things to Do
El Morro
Things to Do
Walking Old San Juan
Things to Do
Hiking El Yunque
Things to Do
Sailing in San Juan at Sail Old San Juan
Things to Do
Nice Half Day Activity
Things to Do
Visit on Foot, Take your Time
Things to Do
Cathedral of San Juan Bautista
Things to Do
A Word About Cruising
Transportation
A Nice Souvenir Opportunity!
Shopping
Apps and Mojitos STAT!
Restaurants
El Morro
Things to Do
San Cristobal fort
Things to Do
Puerto Rican food
Restaurants
Old San Juan tour
Things to Do
Condado-Puerto Rican/Cuban food
Restaurants
Puerto Rican food Old San Juan
Restaurants
Grabbing a Bite
Restaurants
Carnival Valor Cruise Ship
Transportation
Map of San Juan

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