• San Juan

Established in 1521, San Juan is the second-oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas (after Santo Domingo) and the oldest under US jurisdiction. Shoehorned onto a tiny islet that guards the entrance to San Juan harbor, the atmospheric ‘Old City’ mixes historical authenticity with pulsating modern energy in a seven-square-block grid of streets that was inaugurated almost a century before the Mayflower laid anchor in present day Massachusetts. Surreal sounds and exotic sights resonate everywhere. A stabbing salsa stanza in sonorous Calle San Sebastián, timid cats scurrying under winking lanterns in shady Plaza San José, and the omnipresent roar of Atlantic breakers battling mercilessly with the sturdy 500-year-old fortifications of El Morro.

San Juan Puerto Rico is the springboard for tourism around the island, and has made the rest of the Caribbean known throughout the world during the last fifty years. Today the capital features numerous hotels, museums, historical buildings, restaurants, beaches and shopping centers. In San Juan there are numerous tourist attractions, including: Old San Juan, Ocean Park, Isla Verde and Condado.

While the highlight of any trip to San Juan Puerto Rico is the Old Town, along with the magnificent beaches full of snorkelers and fishing enthusiasts, there are a number of other things to see on your San Juan tour that do not involve beaches or colonial architecture.  While Old San Juan is dedicated to the past, the greater San Juan area is clearly dedicated to the present. Looking every bit like a shiny urban metropolis, but still moving at a slower pace that the Caribbean is known for, San Juan is one of the most popular tourist spots in the entire sea. And why not? San Juan travel includes access to many sites of great cultural importance, not to mention a bustling night life that will wear out even the hardest partier.

San Juan Puerto Rico also proves that not all the wonderfully restored old buildings are confined to Old San Juan. All done up in marble, the capitol was built in the early 20th century, and provides some of the best views of the Caribbean Sea that you’ll find on the island. The neoclassical Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico is a vast art collection spread out over a converted hospital, featuring a nice overview of Puerto Rican art dating back to the 17th century. There is also a sculpture-laden garden full of blooming tropical flowers and singing birds along with a pond full of shy but colorful fish.

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