San Juan Journals

Stop Over in San Juan

Best of IgoUgo

A July 2002 trip to San Juan by books

El Canario Inn Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico More Photos
Quote: Puerto Rico is a land of waving palm trees, clear blue water, and abundant greenery. The San Juan area is peppered with high-dollar glitzy hotels, but you can see a different side of Puerto Rico if you want.

Stop Over in San Juan

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Don't pass up a trip to the rainforest, El Yunque. A not-too-rigorous hike will bring you to La Mina Falls where you can take a dip in the very cool water flowing here. We were all totally amazed at the gorgeous mall, Plaza las Americas, in San Juan.Quick Tips: We made a stopover in San Juan each way in our flights from Houston to St. Maarten. We saved enough on airfare by doing this to pay for our total stay of 3 days in San Juan. Some said not to fly LIAT, but we did for much less than American. They had a nonchalant attitude about time (always a little late), and the planes were older, but they got us from San Juan to St. Maarten and back without any mishaps. We enjoyed flying and talki...Read More
El Canario Inn Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
This inn is pink stucco and right on the street -- Ashford Avenue in the Condado. The office is open air. Through it you can access a cheerful sitting room with tiled floors and a walled patio garden area with tables. The inn is 3 stories and has no elevator. It is rated ** by AAA. The rooms are off interior hallways. They are quite basic with tile floors and air conditioning. The bathroom in our rooms had only a shower--again quite basic. There is cable TV. While the rooms are definitely not like the rooms in a luxury American hotel, the place has a certain charm. We enjoy traveling "like a local," and enjoyed our stay. I most enjoyed having breakfast (continental breakfast plus in...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 25, 2002

El Canario Inn
1317 Ashford Avenue
Condado, San Juan, PR
(787) 722-3861

Promenade

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Promenade"

Promenade Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Walk along a paved sidewalk with La Muralla (city wall) on one side and the blue Caribbean on the other. The walkway is lined with huge, old trees, street lamps, and benches. We started at the magnificent fountain/bronze statue near the docks where the cruise ships come in. The tourist office in the building across the street from the statue will give you a map of Old San Juan.The view is absolutely beautiful. You can continue all the way to El Morro (and perhaps beyond), but you cannot get into El Morro from this walkway. You must enter the old city through the Puerta de San Juan. They were doing some much-needed maintenance at the old gate when we walked through.This would be a very...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 26, 2002

Promenade
Old San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Luquillo Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Luquillo Beach Photo, Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Luquillo has a beautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach with palm trees that stretches more than a mile. The water is calm and clear. The girls were a little disappointed that there were no waves.Families were here having a good time together. Children were everywhere, but none were obnoxious.On a summer weekday, the beach was not crowded. I was told that it is very crowded on weekends. Judging from the large parking lot, I assume this is a popular weekend spot for people from San Juan. It does cost a few dollars to park.We situated ourselves under some palm trees for shade. As the sun moved, we had to resituate ourselves. There were some shelters, but they were all taken.Th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 26, 2002

Luquillo Beach
Off Highway 3
Luquillo, Puerto Rico

El Yunque National Forest

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque)"

El Yunque National Forest Photo, El Yunque, Puerto Rico
Quote:
El Yunque, (also the name of the tallest peak in the forest), is the only tropical rain forest in the United States. The area receives 200" rain each year, but it didn't rain the day we were there.There are huge trees, vines, ferns, moss, and impatients blooming by the thousands. Numerous streams run down the mountainsides making waterfalls and pools.Don't miss the visitor center, El Portal, at the entrance. There are many displays, a short film in English and Spanish explaining the forest, restrooms, and a gift shop. There is also a nature trail with plants labeled. The breadfruit tree was one interesting plant along the boardwalk--also orchids growing.Near the main road is La Coca F...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 25, 2002

El Yunque National Forest
Road 191, Off Highway 3 To Luquillo Beach
Palmer, Puerto Rico 00721
(787) 888-1880

El Morro/Castillo de San Felipe del Morro Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Fuerte San Felipe del Morro was the guardian of the Spanish Main. It rises dramatically from the Atlantic Ocean and San Juan Bay. The U.S., Puerto Rico, and Spanish military flags fly from its walls. It is more striking than Fort San Cristobal.The fort is a national historic site and is operated by the National Park Service. There is a small admission fee which also allows you to visit Fort San Cristobal on the same day.There are six levels of batteries which are all connected by ramps and stairways. You can explore as many levels as you have energy to climb. Numerous cannon and guard towers adorn each level. The old tunnels and passageways have been blocked off to visitors. There are beauti...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 27, 2002

El Morro/Castillo de San Felipe del Morro
On San Juan Bay Calle Norzagaray
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
(787) 729 6960

Plaza Las Américas

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Plaza las Americas"

Plaza Las Américas Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
What a delightful mall! It is 3 stories in places, with shops on 2 levels and an eating area on the third. Plaza de Americas is beautifully decorated with hanging sculptures and fountains. The fountains feature sea animals with moving parts.Macy's and Sears are the two anchor stores. The Macy's is as large as the one in Houston, and Sears is spread over the mall with departments such as hardware in their own separate store. Numerous smaller shops feature European brands, home decor items, candy, etc. One little candy shop sold Puerto Rican coffee, stuffed animals, souvenirs, and the most beautiful desserts I have seen. We were so sorry that we were flying out the next morning--although one of ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2002

Plaza Las Américas
Fd Roosevelt Ave Po Box 363268
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
+1 787 767 1525