San Juan Journals

Sunny San Juan

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A December 2008 trip to San Juan by travelswithkids

Embassy Suites Hotel Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico More Photos
Quote: A mellow, Christmas-time holiday to San Juan and other spots on Puerto Rico

Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort

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Hotel | "Couryard Isla Verde --- A Very Nice Beachfront Hotel"

Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Overall, we enjoyed our stay very much. Let me start by saying every staff member we met was just great here --- helpful and friendly, even when working on Christmas day when they might have wanted to be with their family. The Courtyard sits directly on a very nice stretch of sandy beach, with one restaurant having outdoor tables beside the beach. There is also a pool and bar area adjoining the beach. The long Isla Verde beach is very pretty with nice smooth sand, although there was a mild seaweed zone you had to get through to get out into body-surfing depth water. The beach wasn't hugely over crowded and you can easily stake out your space for relaxing.The Courtyard hotel ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 14, 2009

Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort
7012 Carr. Boca De Cangrejos
Carolina, Puerto Rico
(787) 791-0404

Arecibo Observatory

Attraction | "Arecibo -- Super Sized Science"

Arecibo Observatory Photo, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Arecibo Observatory is the world's largest telescope. It's huge dish for collecting radio waves is set in a hollow in the karst landscape of north-central Puerto Rico, about two hours west of San Juan. The main spherical reflector, fixed in place, is 305 meters across and is composed of over 38000 individual aluminum panels. The telescope's super-cooled receivers are suspended in the air above the dish on a mobile platform which is moved to pick-up the signals coming off different directions from the reflector.Arecibo has been a tool in many significant discoveries in radio astronomy, such as measuring the rotation rate of mercury or determining the periodicity of the crab pulsar, and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 14, 2009

Arecibo Observatory
Route 625
Arecibo, Puerto Rico
(787) 878-2612

El Morro/Castillo de San Felipe del Morro

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Attraction | "El Morro, the Awesome Historical Fort in Old San Juan"

El Morro/Castillo de San Felipe del Morro Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
El Morro guards the entrance to San Juan harbor. The imposing stone fort was begun in the 1500s and was used as a military post up through WW II. You're free to wander around the forts multiple levels and take in the gorgeous views of the sea from just about anywhere within the structure. The bathrooms here probably have the most stunning views of anywhere in the US National Park system.We didn't have a guided tour, but the leaflet you get with your admission does a nice job of explaining the function of various rooms and giving a little historical background. We enjoyed exploring the whole structure, marveling at the thickness of the walls.El Morro is at the far west end of...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 28, 2009

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

Casa Bacardi Distillery and Visitor Center

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Attraction | "Yo Ho Ho! Tour the Rum Factory!"

Casa Bacardi Distillery and Visitor Center Photo, Catano, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Bacardi has a huge rum distillery just outside of San Juan, billed as the world's largest. They offer a free tour of it, complete with two free rum drinks.We were driving back towards San Juan from Arecibo and decided to stop off for the tour. Even though it is not very far off the freeway, it took us a long time to get there because we must have driven past the place 3 times before we finally figured out where to turn. (And this was before having any of the rum!) Plus we had to wait for some odd parade of every police vehicle belonging to the Catano locality (and they have dozens!).Yes, we took our teenage daughters through a rum factory.While waiting on our tou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2009

Casa Bacardi Distillery and Visitor Center
Road 165, Km. 6.2
Catano, Puerto Rico
(787) 788-1500

Embassy Suites Hotel

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Hotel | "Very Nice, Fun Hotel, off the beach"

Embassy Suites Hotel Photo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Quote:
The Embassy Suites is a few blocks off the beach in the Isla Verde area of San Juan. It is a big place, with the typical Embassy Suites architecture of the big central atrium.The three walk block to the beach wasn't really a big deal for us. The hotel provides pool/beach towels that we took along, and we felt comfortable walking back inside this very nice hotel even after spending a couple hours in the sand of Isla Verde.There's a nice pool behind the hotel also. Not really deep or any good for swimming laps, but with a few little areas and waterfalls that make it fun for kids to play in.You get the standard suite her, with a main bedroom and a living room with a ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 27, 2009

Embassy Suites Hotel
8000 Tartak Street
San Juan, Puerto Rico
(787) 791-0505

Holiday Inn Express San Juan

Hotel | "Great Value in San Juan"

Quote:
The Holiday Inn Express is in the Condado district of San Juan, which is about midway between the historic Old San Juan and the beaches of the Isla Verde area. It is too far to walk to either of those, so you'll need either a car or the local bus to get around.Our room was very standard USA Holiday Inn stuff: 2 nice double beds, very clean, nice clean bathroom. The rate included a nice enough self-service breakfast. We found the front desk staff were pretty friendly and nice as far as check in and out, and were helpful with driving directions and tourist information questions.We were driving in. It is a little tricky to get to the HI Express and Condado in genera...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 27, 2009

Holiday Inn Express San Juan
1 MARIO RAMIREZ BAGES
San Juan, Puerto Rico
787-724-4160