The colorful streets of Previous San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Vibrant Streets of Previous San Juan

Among the best surprises from our journey to the Caribbean was discovering Previous San Juan, the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico. This historic colonial part of San Juan, it’s capital metropolis, is a should go to for all first time guests to Puerto Rico.

WOW – what an unimaginable place!

Our analysis on Puerto Rico did nothing to put together us for the way a lot we’d fall for Previous San Juan. Most of our analysis highlighted San Juan’s former defensive forts, Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobal, because the prime vacationer sights in San Juan.

Whereas these historic forts are undoubtedly value a go to, the clear spotlight from our time in Puerto Rico was wandering its cobblestone streets and admiring the colorful buildings and European-influenced structure.

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Many individuals are shocked to be taught that San Juan is the second most populous metropolitan space within the Caribbean (following Santo Domingo within the Dominican Republic). It definitely took us without warning. We couldn’t consider our eyes when we appeared out the airplane window as we approached town. It’s big!

Don’t make the error of assuming that San Juan is a quaint Caribbean city sheltered by palm timber. It’s a full blown metropolis that’s extra similar to Miami or Panama Metropolis.

San Juan can also be the second oldest European-established capital metropolis within the Americas, based by Spanish colonists in 1521. Town’s wealthy historical past is on show as you stroll up and down its historic streets.

In 1983 the outdated fortified metropolis was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, a properly deserved designation.

The attractive Plaza de Armas within the San Juan Historic District. It dates again to Spanish colonial occasions when it was designed as town’s principal city sq.. 

Free Trolley Service in San Juan

On our first day within the metropolis, the plan was to first go to Fort San Felipe del Morro, also referred to as Castillo San Felipe del Morro or Morro Fort (see above picture).

This sixteenth century citadel, together with the fortified partitions and gates that encompass the outdated metropolis, have been declared a San Juan Nationwide Historic Web site, so it’s usually the primary cease on most first time customer’s sightseeing record.

We stayed on the Sheraton situated on the waterfront close to the cruise ship port. We deliberate to stroll from the Sheraton to the doorway of the fort grounds as a result of our map confirmed that if was pretty shut. Resort concierge knowledgeable us that, whereas the gap from the resort to the fort will not be far, it’s principally uphill.

She advisable that we hop on the free trolley service as an alternative of strolling uphill within the blistering warmth. Conveniently, there’s a trolley cease in entrance of the Sheraton and cruise ship terminal.

Free trolley service? That’s a good shock.

There are 4 routes to select from with 26 marked stops all through Previous San Juan (just like a bus cease). There are two forms of trolleys – an open-aired trolley that appears like a prepare of over-sized golf carts and one other trolley that appears like a small bus.

The longest route takes about half-hour to finish. The circuit passes many of the standard sights on the way in which, so you possibly can hop on and off as you please.

It’s not a tour and there are no tour guides supplying you with data, nevertheless it’s an effective way to see the sights, particularly while you’re touring with two little ones and their grandparents.

Have you ever ever seen such a very good wanting Subway restaurant?

Not your common wanting Walgreen’s pharmacy both!

Each nook reveals extra vibrant structure and road artwork. 

The tile on the facade of this constructing jogs my memory of the tile in Porto Portugal. 

I like this lengthy row of tall palm timber. 

Views of the Caribbean from Fort San Felipe del Morro.

Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is without doubt one of the oldest buildings in San Juan and the second oldest cathedral within the Americas.

Plaza de Armas in San Juan’s historic Previous Quarter.

Most roads are a technique visitors, which controls the quantity of autos within the outdated quarters. The sidewalks are large and it’s a pedestrian pleasant space, however you continue to want to concentrate to passing autos.

The place to remain in Previous San Juan

We stayed on the newly-renovated Sheraton (extra pictures right here). It’s situated straight on the waterfront promenade, throughout the road from the cruise ship port. The resort is inside strolling distance to the San Juan Nationwide Historic Web site.

The free shuttle we talked about earlier is situated proper in entrance of the resort, which is good for sightseeing.

There are many eating places and outlets inside a 5 minute stroll of the resort. Nonetheless, we advocate the resort patio restaurant on the Sheraton. It overlooks San Juan Bay and provides pleased hour specials. We loved many Medalla beers on that patio – right here’s proof.

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