San Juan Viejo

Castillo de San Felipe del Morro

For only $0.50 and a 15 minute ride, you can take the bus to Old San Juan…

San Juan is known as “La Ciudad Amurallada” (the walled city). San Juan was founded in 1521. In 1508 Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement, Caparra, now known as Pueblo Viejo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present metropolitan area.

A year later, the settlement was abandoned and moved to the site of what is now called Old San Juan. San Juan is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean and is the second oldest European-founded city in the Americas (after Santo Domingo, which was officially founded on August 5, 1498.) *Magaly Rivera

*Things to See*

Castillo de San Felipe del Morro – Constructed to defend the San Juan coastline during the 17th and 18th centuries, this dramatic fortress rises 140 feet above the sea on a rocky promontory, and is composed of six huge levels of ramps, barracks, dungeons, turrets, towers and tunnels.

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico – More than just an art museum, the Museo del Arte hosts concerts and festivals as well.

Teatro Tapia – If you are a theatre person this would be your place.

Bacardi Rum Plant – (**drinking age is 18 in Puerto Rico**) Take a 45-minute tour of the world’s largest rum distillery, Bacardi Museum, and be rewarded with a multiple samples at the end of your visit.

*Places to Eat*

Puerto Rican Cuisine –
Aire Numo – 102 Calle Luna | corner of Calle Tanca, very well known not only for the food but also Sangria

Cafe Manolin – The Mofongo (smashed plantains) are to die for and the service is excellent.

Raices – Calle Recinto Sur 315, It is not the cheapest place in town but it will not disappoint. The Coconut Flan and Guava Cheesecake will not let you down!
Dragonfly – Calle Fortaleza 364, This is the island’s first Latin-Asian menu, and it remains one of the best anywhere.

Breakfast –
La Bombonera – Calle San Francisco 259, This family-run bakery and coffee shop was founded in 1902; Try the mallorca con mantequilla (a round, flat pastry dusted with confectioner’s sugar and served with butter).

Other Good Eats –
Ostra Cosa – Calle del Cristo 154, Eclectic; “eat up, dress down experience” – Romantic Dining Experience; Couples dine beneath a massive quenepe tree — waiters will tell you to hug the tree and make a wish — in a colonial courtyard surrounded by a 16th-century building that was once the home of the colony’s governor.

The Blessed Cafe – Next to Plaza Colon in Old San Juan. This establishment has some of the best Jamaican grub I’ve ever had. (Actually the only Jamaican grub I’ve ever had!) But it is delicious, none the less. The curry goat was amazing.

Bodega Chic – Calle Cristo 51, French; This small French/Algerian bistro blends delicious Mediterranean and Caribbean herbs and flavors, reasonable prices, and unpretentious friendly service.

*Things to Do*

San Juan Snorkel and Picnic Cruise – $85 for 8 1/2 hours; Relax and unwind on a leisurely catamaran sail to Icacos, a deserted island paradise off the coast of San Juan, with miles of white sand beaches and crystal clear water! You receive a picnic lunch and complimentary pina colada and rum punch served on board by the crew – what more could you ask for!

****View “All Around PR” for more things to do around the whole island.

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