San Juan AntiguoPuerto Rico

Photo provided by Puerto Rico Tourism Company
Photo provided by Puerto Rico Tourism Company
Explore tropical San Juan Antiguo: its history, beaches, food, and more!

Old San Juan, the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico, occupies a small island off the coast of the main island. Get there by driving across one of three bridges, and you’ll find yourself in a world dating back to 1508.

This historic city is a stunning example of colonial heritage in Central America and features over 400 restored buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries. A great way to discover the quaint beauty of the walled city is on foot. The cobblestone streets of Old San Juan are lovely to explore and the distance between attractions isn’t far. Be forewarned, though: the afternoon heat can be taxing. Luckily, there’s some shade to be found and cafes to stop in for a cool drink.

The San Juan National Historical Site houses all of the major historical attractions in the city. See the Castillo San Cristobal, an enormous fortress built by the Spanish in the 18th century. Make your way to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture for a great education in the customs, traditions and culture of the diverse local people and their shared history.

Old San Juan is home to many traditional Caribbean restaurants and bars where you can sample the local cuisine and cocktails. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening for two or a family-style meal, this is a great evening destination.

Old San Juan is located approximately 35 miles (55 kilometers) from the main island’s eastern tip. No public transportation services the walled city, so come by rental car or taxi. Be aware that the cobblestone streets are narrow and often one way, so the best way to sightsee is on foot. Old San Juan can be visited daily, and the shops and restaurants are open during normal business hours.

Known for

Beaches, Historical Buildings and Excursions

Top Hotels in San Juan Antiguo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel
Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel
4 out of 5
100 Brumbaugh Street, San Juan
$134
per night
Sep 22 - Sep 23
4.1/5Very Good! (2,514 reviews)

"The staff was amazing and the room was spectacular"…"

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2019

Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel
Image for CasaBlanca Hotel
CasaBlanca Hotel
3.5 out of 5
316 Calle Fortaleza, San Juan
$109
per night
Sep 23 - Sep 24
4.3/5Excellent! (1,150 reviews)

"The front desk staff was always extremely helpful and accommodating. I’m a big fan of Casa Blanca (the film) and enjoyed learning about the Moroccan influences on Puerto Rico. The location in Old San Juan also can’t be beat."…"

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

CasaBlanca Hotel
Image for Caribe Hilton
Caribe Hilton
4.5 out of 5
1 San Geronimo Street, San Juan
$175
per night
Oct 8 - Oct 9
4/5Very Good! (2,515 reviews)

"Caribe Hilton was amazing, the room had a great view and the amenities on the property were great. The pool was huge with a swim up bar, also on the property was a private beach."…"

Reviewed on Sep 3, 2019

Caribe Hilton

Popular things to do in San Juan Antiguo

San Juan Gate
Image for San Juan Gate

San Juan Gate

4.5/5 (1,067 Ratings)

Enter San Juan through the last remaining gateway from the city’s walls and discover the military history of its atmospheric Old Town. 

San Juan Cathedral
Image for San Juan Cathedral

San Juan Cathedral

4.5/5 (846 Ratings)

Discover the curious relics and gorgeous stained-glass windows of Old San Juan’s religious treasure, a 16th-century cathedral with a colorful history.

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina
Image for La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina

4.5/5 (878 Ratings)

The official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico is a vast mansion and fortress that is open to the public on guided tours.

Castillo de San Cristobal
Image for Castillo de San Cristobal

Castillo de San Cristobal

4.5/5 (963 Ratings)

Marvel at a Spanish fortification on the edge of Old San Juan, a place full of haunting myths, fascinating history and stunning photography spots.

Escambron Beach
Image for Escambron Beach

Escambron Beach

4.5/5 (183 Ratings)

Swim in calm waters among colorful fish at a picturesque beach that is regularly voted one of the best in Puerto Rico. 

Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Image for Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

4.5/5 (751 Ratings)

This walled fortress was once used to protect Puerto Rico from invading colonies, and today offers visitors a dramatic reminder of that history.

Top activities in San Juan Antiguo

Bioluminescent Bay Night Kayaking Experience -Fajardo
Image for Bioluminescent Bay Night Kayaking Experience -Fajardo

Bioluminescent Bay Night Kayaking Experience -Fajardo

$50

Join our Night Kayaking Adventure and experience Bioluminescence! Paddle through the mystical Mangrove Forest Nature Reserve on your way to the unique Laguna Grande in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Our experienced and knowledgeable local tour guides will host you all the way.

El Yunque Rainforest Guided Hiking with Waterfall Tour
Image for El Yunque Rainforest Guided Hiking with Waterfall Tour

El Yunque Rainforest Guided Hiking with Waterfall Tour

$88

Come visit El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System and a must-stop for all visitors of Puerto Rico! The Forest covers over 28,000 contiguous acres, with peaks, escarpments, myriad steams and waterfalls, and lush green vegetation housing various forest types.

Old San Juan Food & History Tour with Tastings
Image for Old San Juan Food & History Tour with Tastings

Old San Juan Food & History Tour with Tastings

$108

Become a foodie insider on a tour to 5 locally loved haunts in Old San Juan. With a local leading the way, stroll between mom-and-pop shops to sample some of Puerto Rico's most mouthwatering food and drinks such as artisan coffee, fresh ceviche, fried plantains, and iconic rum punch.

El Yunque National Forest Half Day Tour
Image for El Yunque National Forest Half Day Tour

El Yunque National Forest Half Day Tour

$65

Take time to escape to heaven on Earth in this half day tour and let the natural beauty of El Yunque Rainforest captivate you with its lush green vegetation, amazing flora, huge boulders, cascading rivers and scenic views.

Catamaran Sail & Snorkeling in the Caribbean with Lunch
Image for Catamaran Sail & Snorkeling in the Caribbean with Lunch

Catamaran Sail & Snorkeling in the Caribbean with Lunch

$112

An awe-inspiring array of sea creatures await beneath the turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea. Sail to a secluded island for an unforgettable beach day. Bask in the sun, collect seashells, snorkel in the warm water, and savor a scrumptious lunch before sailing back to San Juan.

Half Day Wall Diving Tour at La Parguera
Image for Half Day Wall Diving Tour at La Parguera

Half Day Wall Diving Tour at La Parguera

$128

Explore spectacular “La Parguera Wall"a on this half-day tour . First Stop at Paradise Scuba & Snorkeling center Headquarters! Our staff of PADI Professionals will welcome you with a cup of coffee while filling up all paperwork and a regular equipment inspection.