San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. Its name in English means “rich port city” and since it was founded in 1521, it has been a central Caribbean hub for tourism, finance and cultural history.
Cruisers will sail into Old San Juan and will get an immediate feel for the rich historic features of the city. From the cobblestone streets to the bright-colored facades of its architecture, visitors will be treated to a first-hand look into the Americas of the 16th century. Most notably, the city boasts two impressive fortresses (Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobal) that are a must-see when in town. San Juan also features the oldest executive mansion, world-class shopping, The Casa Baccardi and some of the best food available anywhere in the Caribbean.
Just walking around Old San Juan is an experience in itself. It is a city that is very easy to navigate your way through and there is something fascinating around every corner. There are both local and corporate merchants all throughout the cobblestone streets of old San Juan, and when you are tired of shopping, there are endless options to dine or drink. Closest to the port you will find Fort San Cristobal. It is slightly uphill but the reward at the top is a breathtaking view of the entire city, the Caribbean Sea and your cruise ship. The other fort (San Felipe del Morrow) is a little bit further to get to but also a must-see. With its great lawn, incredible vistas and historic stone construction, you will be awe-inspired as you stand at the top and imagine what it was like 400 years ago to prepare for enemy invasions.
Top Attractions When Visiting San Juan
- Self-guided walking tour of old San Juan
- Visit “Barrachina’s Restaurant” the birthplace of the Pina Colada
- Fort San Felipe del Morrow and Fort San Cristobal
- Calle de la Fortaleza (Street where you can find the colorful umbrellas)
- Conado Beach
- El Yunque Rainforest
In addition to all of the above, there are plenty of options that include, city tours, zipline excursions, kayak tours, food tours and bar crawls.
When visiting San Juan, make sure you don’t skip the chance to have some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. The mofongo, palea, fresh seafood, and authentic pork dishes are all not to be missed and found anywhere along the rustic cobblestone streets of the walled city.
Best Restaurants in San Juan
- Sophia’s Italian Steakhouse
- Marmalade Restaurant and Wine Bar
- Puerto Criollo
- Tropical Taste
- Chocobar Cortes
- Sarai Restaurant
- San Juan Smokehouse