Overview San Juan

Visiting San Juan

Founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, San Juan’s fascinating history, beautiful rainforests and vibrant culture have made it one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destination for decades.

The blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan wind through buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th century, bearing testament to the long and fascinating history of this former Spanish colony. Tourists and locals alike flood its open-air cafes and plazas daily, taking in the sights or people-watching from spots like the Paseo de la Princesa on the south side of town, while history buffs flock to El Morro, the massive fortress that has stood guard over Old San Juan and the San Juan harbor since the 16th century.

San Juan’s vibrant landscape – from rainforests to beaches to mountains and caves – have long been a major draw for tourists, and a robust tour-guide industry has sprung up to service them. ... Read More
Founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, San Juan’s fascinating history, beautiful rainforests and vibrant culture have made it one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destination for decades.

The blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan wind through buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th century, bearing testament to the long and fascinating history of this former Spanish colony. Tourists and locals alike flood its open-air cafes and plazas daily, taking in the sights or people-watching from spots like the Paseo de la Princesa on the south side of town, while history buffs flock to El Morro, the massive fortress that has stood guard over Old San Juan and the San Juan harbor since the 16th century.

San Juan’s vibrant landscape – from rainforests to beaches to mountains and caves – have long been a major draw for tourists, and a robust tour-guide industry has sprung up to service them. Rain Forest Hikes are a popular day-trip for many visitors, as are the so-called “adventure tours” that take visitors ziplining and rapelling through the rainforest canopy, or spelunking and body-rafting down creeks and ravines.

Bargain hunters delight: San Juan is also a major retail center, home to many markets like the Mercado de Santurce, and the Caribbean’s largest shopping mall, Plaza Las Americas, which houses the world’s largest J.C. Penny.

So once you’ve booked your flight and found the right hotel, peruse our pages to create an itinerary inspired by fellow travelers to San Juan.    Close

Stories and Tips San Juan

4 Photos  
More Than A Lobby

Written by Ishtar on 10 Dec, 2001

The Marriott has done some interesting things in this lobby which are not found in its other locations; the first is the gambling Casino, as it needs to keep up with the Joneses. There you have a mini-rendition of let us empty your pockets slot…Read More


4 Photos  
Another Day in Old SanJay

Written by Ishtar on 13 Dec, 2001

We decided to catch the city bus to OSJ which costs $0.25 per person. That's 50 cents for both of us as opposed to $12.00 (quite a savings). On the way to town, we are the only tourists on the bus. Chuck gets an attack…Read More


4 Photos  
Old San Juan on foot

Written by Ishtar on 12 Dec, 2001

No matter how many times I come here, there are always new discoveries. On Saturday night, we wanted to go to OSJ for dinner and possibly some dancing. The concierge advised that everything was basically closed, and that there was only one restaurant which…Read More


4 Photos  
Ashford Avenue: San Juan's Park Avenue

Written by Ishtar on 15 Dec, 2001

Ashford Avenue is a ritzy address in the heart of the Condado area of San Juan. It is here that you'll find luxury hotels & casinos, high priced apartment buildings, elegant restaurants, and upscale shops. When the sun goes down, the lights go up all…Read More


4 Photos  
To Luquillo and beyond

Written by Ishtar on 16 Dec, 2001

Today was the day to visit the northeastern part of Puerto Rico. We were going to do the Yunque Rainforest, Luquillo Beach and Fajardo and decided we'd come back a different route to see something interesting. To get there, if you are coming…Read More


4 Photos  
Up Close and Personal

Written by Jose Kevo on 29 Sep, 2004

Well-rehearsed images are always enticingly the same: Sitting on the left, at an "A"-window seat of an American Airlines jet; beyond needing verbal queues from flight crew or feel of the plane's descent. Heart and mind racing with anticipation serve as the built-in…Read More


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Pimpin' the Plates

Written by Jose Kevo on 29 Sep, 2004

Often on a tight schedule and even tighter budget, food is usually the least of my priorities while opting to sate an appetite of a different kind. I'm a faithful patron to some, but there's also always a new find on the blocks that…Read More


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THE WALL - Kevo's Sunset Ritual

Written by Jose Kevo on 29 Sep, 2004

The few uphill blocks on Calle Tanca only escalate the beating of my heart after rushing in and out of the guesthouse to deposit luggage. There's a different type of baggage that always needs unpacking first. Once reaching Calle Norzagaray, what awaits has became my…Read More


La Paragua (Water Village?)

Written by lance73 on 20 Jun, 2002

On the South West corner of the Island is Puerto Rico is a cute little village named La Paragua, which I think means water village in Spanglish *(the mix of Spanish and English that the Puerto Ricans speak). Spanglish is not any kind of…Read More


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Puerto Rico Trip

Written by Pony Boy on 06 Dec, 2005

My girlfriend and I planned a 5-day trip down to explore the island of Puerto Rico. The trip was both relaxing and adventurous. It was a first time for both of us down in the Caribbean, and being from the Twin Cities, it was a…Read More


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