Top Five Things To Do in Old San Juan On A Port Stop - (SJU)
San Juan is my favorite city in the Caribbean simply because it’s so spectacularly beautiful. Color - History - Heritage and Ocean Vistas form the fabric of the city - along with its wonderful people.
The whole place is magical - it's almost like stepping into a pirate adventure move. Here are my top five things to do.
(And note: The city is eager to welcome back visitors after the hurricane. Take this opportunity to explore the city and help the local economy bounce back.)
Top Five Things to Do in Old San Juan
Number 5: Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery
I couldn't think of a better place to be buried if you love the sun and sea!
Right beside the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, this heavenly cemetery has some of the best views, whether your dead or alive. Its a colorful final resting place, featuring a bright pink central building, aqua marines from the ocean, and lush greenery on the cliffs.
Number 4: Castillo San Cristobol
Make sure you visit at least one of the “Castillos” - which are crown jewels in the National Park system. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and on the National Register of Historic Places. You can't come to San Juan without seeing them!
Start with the Castillo San Cristobol which has gasp worthy views!
Interestingly, the fort has been in military service for most of its life. The Spaniards built this defensive post in 1783 – and it was in use until the end of WWII.
Make sure you pay a visit to the dungeon. There’s nothing goulash down there (it’s actually pretty plain) – but there’s fascinating graffiti on the walls from past prisoners awaiting execution.
Number 3: Castillo San Felipe del Morro
San Felipe del Morro is the bigger of the two forts in San Juan– and has more places to explore. Youngsters will love traversing the tunnels and hidden rooms….but be warned – there’s tonnes of stairs and the place is massive. You will burn enough calories on this visit for a cocktail or two!
Number 2: A Rum Stop
You can't leave San Juan without sampling its most famous export: Rum.
I highly recommend making a pit stop at "The Rum House" which is just outside the cruise port. The bar has a fabulous outdoor patio and a menu with two pages dedicated to local libations! You have to try the home town original of course: Pina Colada!
Number 1: Walking The Streets and Alleys!
The number one thing to do in Old San Juan is walking the streets! There's amazing architecture to admire around every corner! Make sure you dedicate time to just wonder - and get lost in this magical city.
You'll be amazed and wowed as you explore the blue cobblestoned roads and alleys. The colonial buildings are spectacularly preserved.
An eight hour port stop is not enough to explore this amazing city - but you'll get a fantastic sampling of what San Juan has to offer.
The Old City is a sensational historical site - full of colonial buildings, old forts, and places to soak in the heritage and culture of San Juan!