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.
Beaches, Historical Buildings and Excursions
Enter San Juan through the last remaining gateway from the city’s walls and discover the military history of its atmospheric Old Town.
Discover the curious relics and gorgeous stained-glass windows of Old San Juan’s religious treasure, a 16th-century cathedral with a colorful history.
The official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico is a vast mansion and fortress that is open to the public on guided tours.
Marvel at a Spanish fortification on the edge of Old San Juan, a place full of haunting myths, fascinating history and stunning photography spots.
Swim in calm waters among colorful fish at a picturesque beach that is regularly voted one of the best in Puerto Rico.
This walled fortress was once used to protect Puerto Rico from invading colonies, and today offers visitors a dramatic reminder of that history.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.