San Juan Journals

Old Town San Juan

A travel journal to San Juan by wvbluerock

Horned Festival Costume Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico More Photos
Quote: Brief day tour of San Juan, and environs, starting in Condado.

Old Town San Juan

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

San Juan Cathedral Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Buy a cheap package; you can usually get airfare plus room for less than the "standard" room price. Diamond Palace is adequate. In front of the Japanese restaurant a block away, you can get a bus to old town for a quarter. Go to Casa Don Q Serralos rum museum, and get a couple of great pina coladas for free. Go down San Sebastian Street, and visit the shops and galleries. Walk to the Parca del Palomas, and have lunch on the walking street. Best Mexican meal I've had in years (and cheap). San Juan Cathedral. Hard Rock Cafe. El Morro, if you have time. On the way back, gamble at the fancy casino by the docks. Another couple of free pinas at Don Q, and bus back to Condado.Quick Tips: ...Read More

Diamond Palace Hotel Casino

Hotel | "Diamond Palace Hotel and Casino"

Diamond Palace Hotel Casino Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
There are fancier, newer and more glamorous places to stay in San Juan, but the Diamond Palace has relatively spacious and clean rooms (with few amenities). The upper rooms offer a good view of the area, and the beach is less than 2 blocks away. Staff is friendly and helpful. They have a small, unassuming pool, but close it in the early evening, so we didn''t get to use it much. There is also a nice rooftop Italian restaurant at the hotel, and a restaurant downstairs. The casino downstairs is small and informal. Slots seemed very stingy, and the table games were limited. I''d stay at Diamond Palace to save money, but gamble at the Ramada, a block away, if I really wanted to gamble. Not a great...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 16, 2001

Diamond Palace Hotel Casino
55 CONDADO AVENUE
San Juan, Puerto Rico
787-721-0810

The Red Snapper

Restaurant

Quote:
We were looking for a good Puerto Rican seafood restaurant close to the Ramada Hotel. I had the Red Snapper, creole style, with the usual accompaniments of plantain and rice and beans, and thought it was good but overpriced. Unfortunately, I chose a local beer as a beverage, which was bad enough to diminish the experience. The fish was fresh, but not much care was taken with the service or the presentation. The rice and beans were disappointing. Staff was distant, but not quite rude, as they carefully avoided eye contact if they suspected we wanted something.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 16, 2001

Don Q Serralles Rum Museum

Attraction | "Don Q Serrales Rum Museum"

Don Q Serralles Rum Museum Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
This little Rum Shop sells the most popular rums in Puerto Rico. You can taste several great rums neat, after viewing the exhibits, or have a truly great pina colada or two. It's only a few hundred feet from the bus station, and across the street from the Wyndham. Rum prices are as good as we found in Puerto Rico, and the staff wants you to have a good time as well as answer all your questions. I recommend taking back a bottle of Don Q gold on your return from Old Town. This place is a treasure!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2001

Don Q Serralles Rum Museum
Near Wyndham Hotel
San Juan, Puerto Rico
(787) 259-1774

Barefoot II - Sailing

Attraction | "Barefoot II"

Barefoot II - Sailing Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
We were picked up in front of the Ramada, and driven in a crowded bus to Fajardo, where we doffed our shoes and boarded the catamaran "Barefoot II", with about 20 other passengers. Captain Martin and his competent crew motored us to an umimpressive snorkeling spot, where we swam for about 40 minutes, then we assembled cold cut sandwiches on good bread, and drank tropical punch (beer available for $2). There was a Regatta that day, so we got to see a lot of other neat sailboats. We sailed to the next snorkeling spot, near Vieques, which was a lot better and had many more fish and huge brain corals. Coming back we unfurled the balloon sail and sailed without motor through the regatta and back up the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 16, 2001

Barefoot II - Sailing
Fajardo Marina
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Haitian Gallery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Haitian Gallery Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Calle de San Francisco and Fontaleza Street have several fine craft shops. Some, like Haitian Souvenirs on Calle de San Francisco, tend to be cheaper, and are good for gifts to bring home. I thought the Haitian Gallery was nearly museum like in quality, and enjoyed it even more than Puerto Rican Arts and Crafts on the same street. Haitian Gallery's items are attractively displayed and obviously selected with great care. The wood carvings were amazing, and they had some great fine art as well. Mendoza almost talked me into buying the charming Philemon panther painting (shown), despite the rather high but somewhat negotiable price. I plan to spend at least another couple of hours there next time I ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2001

Haitian Gallery
206 Calle Fortaleza
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901