Spend some of your happiest days here on United States’ very own Latin American island in the Caribbean Sea. Puerto Rico is not only stunning all around, there are so many things to do and the food simply can not be beat. We always reminisce about our Puerto Rican food encounters because it truly is indescribable. You shouldn’t sleep on the mofongos (mashed plantain dish) here… my mouth is watering as I am typing this. Check out what we think is a time well spent in Puerto Rico below and plan your very own trip to San Juan , Puerto Rico today!!
Old San Juan
Old San Juan is by far the most important part of the city because it is the oldest settlement of the island being established in 1521 and is located on the Isleta de San Juan. Come and admire the colorful buildings that have been beautifully restored to keep their charm and the original cobblestone streets. Enjoy a typical Puerto Rican meal at any of the delicious restaurants or open air cafes.
San Juan National Historic Site & Castillo San Felipe del Morro
For the sole fact that this Citadel and National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you should pay a visit here and learn how the Spanish built this MASSIVE fort in the 16th century and how they defended themselves against their enemies for hundreds of years to come.
Castillo San Cristobal
This fort is located close by the San Juan Historic Site and is considered to be part of the Site’s package. The purpose of this fort was to prevent land attacks from intruders and for this reason, 27 acres that wrapped around San Juan have been preoccupied since 1783. Castillo San Cristobal is known for being the largest fort built by the Spanish in the New World so stop by to complete the defense trifecta that has helped Puerto Rico stay safe.
Paseo Tablado La Guancha
On the other side of the island in the city of Ponce, is where you can find the Paseo Tablado La Guancha, which is a boardwalk overlooking the Club Nautico de Ponce. This boardwalk is known for its many restaurants serving local foods and it’s beautiful night strolls that can lead right onto the beach. Come and enjoy the delicious foods and second most visited city of Ponce next time you visit Puerto Rico.
Museo de Las Américas
On of the most historical buildings in San Juan now houses the Museo de Las Américas. Prior to being converted into a museum in 1992 the building had many uses. Built in the 1800’s by the Spanish army, the buildings original purpose was to house soldiers and their families. But, not only did it serve as a residence, but also storage, jail cells, stables, once bombed and even turned into a hospital. Now after all that history it have fittingly been converted into a museum showcasing the developmental influences of the Americas.
Puerta de San Juan
Puerta De San Juan is a large gate what was used as the main entry into the city during the colonial era that dates back to the mid 1600’s. This isn’t just some gate that you’ll take a picture of and forget. It’s a 20+ foot passageway that used to be only one of five ways to enter the walled off city. But before getting there and snapping photos and selfies immediately, take time to immerse yourself in the moment. Take yourself back into to what it must’ve been like to enter or exit the gate. From the city outward you’ll be greeted with a breathtaking view of the bay and notice the significance of the large red gate. From the bay inward it’s a welcoming to a vibrant city ready to welcome you with open arms. This truly is one of the hidden gems of Puerto Rico which had an extremely deep impact for us!
Everywhere in the world is known for having a go to alcohol, whether its having a nice bordeaux in Bordeaux, France or a Sweetwater 420 in Atlanta, Georgia, Puerto Rico is the land of Bacardi! Although it wasn’t founded or headquartered in Puerto Rico, the largest rum distillery in the world is here and that calls for a visit! Take a tour, have a taste, and grab a bottle to bring home! If in San Juan you have the choice to drive around Bahia de San Juan or you can take a ferry across the bay to get there.
El Yunque National Forest
On the east side of the island the El Yunque National Forest is waiting to be explored by the inner adventurer in you! This tropical rainforest offers breathtaking sights with plenty of waterfalls, rivers, trails and treetop walkways to venture off into. Around 30 miles (45km) outside of San Juan makes it easily accessible for a day trip out of the city. Our recommendation, rent a car for the day, explore the National Forest and then continue to go around the surrounding towns or to the east coast of the island
Isla Verde is located on the Northern Coast of the island just outside of San Juan. Know for its luxurious hotels that line it’s beautiful beach front make it the perfect place to stay outside of the city. Being right next to the airport, 15 minutes from San Juan, and only 3o minutes from El Yunque National Forest makes it the perfect place to be to enjoy all that Puerto Rico has to offer! On the beach there are plenty of water sport rentals for a reasonable price and if you like to test your luck the El San Juan Hotel and Casino isn’t far. If you’re looking for a more natural beach area and want to get away from all the beachfront high rises, head down to Piñones where you can be surrounded by plenty of mangroves and vegetation. And finally while in Puerto Rico there will never be a shortage of delicious, to die for food. Just keep and ear out for where the locals love to dine, that’s always a good bet!
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