Old San Juan – The village of Old San Juan in San Juan, Puerto Rico makes for one of the best stops in the Caribbean islands. Take a self-guided walking tour. Read our Old San Juan blog.
The Capitol Building – take a walk of about 5 blocks from San Cristobal in Old San Juan. The mosaics on the rotunda depict the 500 year history including the original Taino inhabitants and the arrival of Columbus on the island in 1493. The detail and the 24k gold are impressive.
Modern San Juan – shopping, the Condado resort area, Bacardi Rum distillery.
San Juan Harbor
Visit Puerto Rico – Hotels
Sheraton Old San Juan – in the old city of San Juan, near the Carnival cruise dock.
Condado Plaza Hilton – on Condado Beach, less than 15 minutes from the airport.
Courtyard by Marriott – Isla Verde Beach Resort – near the airport.
El San Juan Hotel by Hilton – near the airport.
Caribe Hilton – near Munoz Rivera Park, about 7 minutes from the cruise terminals.
Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Old San Juan
Visit Puerto Rico – More Sights
El Yunque Rainforest – the only rainforest in the US National Park system; Las Coca waterfall.
Take a night time kayaking trip and view the bioluminescent plankton in the waters of Fajardo.
Visit the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques – white sand beaches and water activities; accessible by ferry or by tour.
Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park – one of the longest zip-lines in the world; located in Orocovis.
Sea Wall, Old San Juan
Visit Puerto Rico – Transportation
San Juan is the capital and cruise port for Puerto Rico. Taxis in San Juan have standardized pricing from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport to the cruise ship terminal. Vans are commonly used. From the airport to the cruise ship terminal it’s a flat fee for the van. Share with others and it’s very inexpensive. Even if you are only a party of two, it’s still cheaper than a cruise ship transfer. Plus, you don’t have to wait for anyone else to arrive before your departure.
Visit Puerto Rico – Background
Columbus claimed Puerto Rico for Spain on his second voyage to the Americas in 1493. It was inhabited at that time by the Tainos. In Spanish Puerto Rico is known as Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico – the free state of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is one of the larger islands in the Caribbean, but one of the smaller islands in the Greater Antilles. It is 110 miles east/west and 40 miles north/south. The Dominican Republic is to its west and the Virgin Islands are to the east. The two forts in Old San Juan were built by the Spanish and successfully held out the British and the Dutch. In 1898 Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States as part of the treaty after the Spanish-American war. Puerto Rico has a permanent population of about 3.8 million.