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

    La Princesa is a walkway just outside the city walls down by the harbor that served as a market in the 17-18th century. Today it's a promenade for tourist with the La raices fountain at the end of the street.

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  • El Morro

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Fuerte or Castillo San Felipe Del Morro, commonly referred to as "El Morro", is a widely known landmark of Puerto Rico and its picture is often used in travel advertisements. El Morro owes its history and architecture to the Spaniards who began building it in 1539 (although its foundation was dates to 1539, the six-level fortification was not...

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  • San Cristobal Fort

    It was late afternoon when we finally were able to visit Castillo San Cristóbal or Fort San Cristóbal which is part of the San Juan National Historic Site. Some people are unaware that this historic site also encompasses various additional fortifications including Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal itself, most of the city walls,...

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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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  • Local Cuisine

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    La Jaquita Baya was recommended to us from one of the workers at the El San Juan Hotel and Casino. It's considered a local restaurant in Miramar with it's "farm to table" meal concept. The restaurant bases it's dishes on it's daily delivery of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, juices, breads and other items. The restaurant is quite charming...

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  • Hard Rock Cafe

    3 out of 5 stars

    There were many restaurants which were outlets of American chains. Besides Hard Rock, there was Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Burger King, Subway and Church's Chicken. And in addition there were others that were like or had the same names as American chains, like Pizza Pasta. We did not eat in any of them, but they are there.

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San Juan Nightlife

  • Dancing

    Wow, there are so many that I would like to recommend, following is a list and location of the hottest places in San Juan. Babylon: The crowd dresses up at this popular disco club, which is a lively place on the weekends. Open Thurs.-Sat. 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Credit cards: AE, MC, V. Wyndham El San Juan Hotel, Isla Verde; 791-2781 or...

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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

    Please don't do this....I am hoping that real soon this will be no longer an option of getting around Old San Juan. The horses are treated a bit better than those in other places (New York, Boston), but it's a cruel way of getting around.

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  • By Sea

    Arriving or departing by cruise ship is common and a very popular way to visitor Puerto Rico. There are many cruise lines that make Puerto Rico a stopping off point, or a starting and ending point. On my two most recent cruises aboard the Celebrity Summit and the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas we started the trip in the Port of San Juan....

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  • By Air

    American Airlines will always be my choice of airline when I travel for pleasure. Flying to San Juan is quite easy from the NYC area with direct flights from JFK and EWR and connecting flights (via Miami) from LaGuardia. Since I visit at least once a year, I try to find the best possible price on a direct flight. It's a quick 3.5-4 hour flight...

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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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  • Drugstores

    Located in a nice building with beautiful wrought-iron, green-painted balconies on the second level, Walgreen's Drug Store was actually the least likely of chain stores I thought we'd see in the heart of Old San Juan; but, it was also a welcome sight and it turned out to be a good shopping spot as well. As the thermometer climbed to 89 degrees,...

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San Juan Local Customs

  • language

    Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States but the main language spoken here 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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  • Local Beer - Medalla

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

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  • Graffiti and Other More Mainstream Art

    We saw a great many murals - some of them painted for the building owners, and occasional wall painting that was graffiti. There were also quite a few statues. I took photos of some from the car. One of the interesting ones had a man who appeared to be balancing children. This statue of Eugenio María de Hostos (The Citizen of the Americas), by José...

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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 years ago, there were some comments which 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...

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  • Eyes Wide Open

    Caution is always the key. Like any city you many visit, you should use common sense and avoid any area which is dark, isolated or unfamiliar. Be aware of your sorroundings and always have your money in a safe place (money belt, bra?). What I usually do is know exactly where I am going and how I am getting there. Pickpocketers are found in every...

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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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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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  • Absolutely None

    If I'd have to pick a tourist trap then it would be the casinos. Too many people don't venture out of their hotel and only stay at their hotel spending money at the casinos and don't really get out and explore San Juan. There are 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...

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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 List

    This is a tropical island, so cool easy to wear clothing is best. I try to take as little as possible and items that I can mix and match. I usually where something that can go from any weather (if it is winter in NY, then I wear a pair of jeans, walking shoes, t-shirt with a sweather on tope and my jacket). I also carry my tooth brush (no morning...

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  • 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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San Juan Off The Beaten Path

  • Luquillo Beach

    Luquillo Beach (Banareio de Luquillo) is a beach located in Luquillo, a town about 45 minutes east of San Juan along Route 3. What I enjoy about this beach is it's crystal clear calm waters which are protected by reef which is ideal for families with young children. The Banareio has plenty of shade, picnic tables, lockers and showers (at a fee),...

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  • The other municipalities that make...

    If you get a chance, have time or want something a little different than what San Juan has to offer, than I would recommend that you venture out to one (or as many as you can) of the other 77 municipalities that comprise Puerto Rico. Many of the towns are steep in history and culture, while many others are great towns to explore enjoying the...

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  • Bacardi Plant - Catano

    Located in Catano, this plant is the largest distiller in the world. Yes, you heard right!! The Bacardi Company is a family owned business in its 7th generation and the Bacardi's are hands on owners. Take the tour which lasts about 45 minutes, interesting the things that you can learn about this company. The Bacardi Rum is a well guarded secret and...

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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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  • Baseball

    For over 70 years, Puerto Rico has had its own baseball league. A number of the local athletes that have played in our league have gone onto bigger things, like the Major and Minor leagues in the States, and other divisions and leagues around the world. Puerto Rico is baseball mad and they are very proud of their native Puerto Rican baseball great...

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San Juan Favorites

  • 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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  • Walking

    A few pieces of general information might help make planning for your trip to Puerto Rico easier, so I have added a few tips here. I've never been to Puerto Rico when it wasn't hot and humid, and the sun can be fierce so be prepared with sun block, sunglasses and broad brim hats and plenty of water. Good pair of walking shoes is recommended for...

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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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Explore Deeper into San Juan
Bacardi Factory
Things to Do
Beach
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El Yungue Rainforest
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Cathedral
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Paseo de la Princesa
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Plaza de Colon
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Plazas
Favorites
Buses
Transportation
Parrot Club
Restaurants
Taxis
Transportation
Tropical Restaurant
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Dunbar's
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Luis Munoz Marin Airport
Transportation
El Jibarito
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Ajili Mojili
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Kasalta
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"Adoquines"
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Plaza de Ballaja
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Plaza de Rogativa
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La Princesa
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La Princesa
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La Princesa Fountain
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City Walls
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Local Cuisine
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Awesome food in a local atmosphere :)
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Good local dishes, open 24 hours
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Yummy Puerto Rican food
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Good food
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Mofongo is amazing
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Can a Restaurant be Sexy??
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SOLIDARITY!
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Mount Britton Tower - El Yunque Rainforest
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Plaza de Armas
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Fuerte San Felipe Del Morro
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Caribbean National Forest: El Yunque Rainforest
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For Cigar Aficionados in Old San Juan
Shopping
Nuevo Latino Cuisine
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A New Venture for Bacardi
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Plaza de Colon
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Legendary Distillery ~ A Tour of Casa Bacardi
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