Despite the fact that Puerto Rico has something to see and to do, the capital of San Juan should become a city that you simply must visit first. A vibrant modern destination with a long and fascinating history continues to enchant people from all over the world with the combination of high culture and amazing nightlife.
San Juan is primarily the capital of Puerto Rico, but it’s also an important administrative center. Founded in 1521, this is the largest port in the Caribbean and due to its excellent location it has left an impressive mark over the centuries. As for modern features, San Juan is a great holiday destination for tourists from all over the world. The reason for such a high popularity of the capital is a lot of attractions available both in the city and around it. Want to check them out? Then pick up Payless car rental in San Juan Puerto Rico and go on your dream trip!
Old San Juan
The part of the city, known as Old San Juan, was primarily of military importance – for many years there were barracks. However, today, Old San Juan is famous as a government and vibrant tourist center.
Visitors will be delighted with the cobbled streets of Old San Juan and they will want to stay there for a while in order to visit small restaurants and shops that the whole street is dotted with. The fans of Spanish architecture can enjoy more than 400 buildings of the XVI century, many of which have been painstakingly restored and are now maintained in excellent condition.
San Jose Square
The influence of historical events on the city can be seen almost everywhere, but this fact is especially visible on San Jose Square. This amazing place has become a meeting spot for both tourists and locals.
Also, it should be noted that this is one of the first places you see in the capital of Puerto Rico. It’s just soaked in the spirit of the city history, and if you visit San Jose Square for the first time, you will be amazed by a huge bronze Ponce de Leon Statue, which is located right in the center.
(photo by David Flagg)
Nature lovers need definitely walk through the Pigeon Park, known to locals under the name of Parque de la Palomas. In this park you can enjoy beautiful views of the city, including panoramas of the crowded harbor and the stunning mountains surrounding the capital of Puerto Rico.
Among other things, the park overlooks La Princess Prison, which is the infamous place of imprisonment. Now, this is a historical museum.
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Castillo San Felipe del Morro is also among the visitors’ must-visit destinations in San Juan. This formidable structure brings us back to the 16th century, when it played a large role in the defense of the city from enemy attacks.
The thickness of the walls of the fortress is 18 feet, and the height of the fortress itself is about 140 feet. Anyone interested in military history and architecture should certainly check out this unique building.
Capilla del Santo Cristo
(photo by lapie)
Those travelers who’re searching for religious inspiration may find it interesting to climb the Capilla del Santo Cristo. It keeps the centuries-old history of the city, and is its iconic landmark. This magnificent chapel is a great place for relaxation, providing the opportunity to touch something unearthly.
Caribbean National Forest
El Yunque, or the Caribbean National Forest, is the largest tropical forest in which nature is preserved in its original condition. Here, tourists can relax in the shade of trees, admire waterfalls and forest lakes, as well as see rare species of plants and animals. Among them are bright green Amazon parrots, which are threatened with extinction.
El Yunque is situated very close to San Juan, and after a noisy metropolitan life, it’s a very pleasant idea to relax and feel like a child of nature.
Camuy Caves is the third largest cave system in the world. They were officially opened only in 1958, although they were visited much earlier by local Indians.
On the territory of the caves there’s a picturesque underground river Camuy – it’s inhabited by rare species of fish, which are preserved only underground. Currently, 228 caves are open, but scientists assume that their number can reach 800. Interesting nightly excursions are held every week through the caves.
Alicia Sotomayor Gallery
The art lovers are recommended visiting the Alicia Sotomayor Gallery in San Juan, which keeps the best works of this painter. Her style is characterized by the use of only warm and bright colors.
The girl is a recognized master of watercolor painting and even teaches her drawing technique in a private art studio. If you want to join the beautiful – be sure to go to this gallery. But it’s worth remembering that a visit is possible only after an appointment.