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San Juan

Known for Beaches, Historical Buildings and Excursions

Visit Puerto Rico’s capital to sunbathe on white-sand beaches, shop in stylish boutiques and explore historic buildings dating back to the 16th century.

How do you get to San Juan?

Enjoy a tropical beach vacation in San Juan and explore the many historic sites in one of the oldest cities in the Americas.

The oldest part of the city, known as Old San Juan (El Viejo San Juan), is a small island connected to the mainland by bridges. Here, you’ll find many of the city’s most popular attractions, historic buildings, restaurants and shops.

Visit the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, which has a wide range of exhibits, regular cultural events and a beautiful botanical garden. Just a short walk away is the Catedral de San Juan where you can attend a Spanish mass or view the final resting place of Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer and the first Governor of Puerto Rico.

No trip to the area is complete without a visit to the San Juan National Historic Site. This massive complex is World Heritage listed and includes many of the city’s defensive walls and fortresses. Plan to spend several hours here as you can explore dungeons and tunnels, and climb towers for 140-feet-(42-meter) high views of the city.

San Juan is well known for its excellent shopping, so make the time to wander along the Calle del Cristo, Old San Juan’s popular shopping street. You’ll find famous international boutiques alongside merchants selling local goods.

Those looking to relax on the beach should head east of Old San Juan to Isla Verde. This beach is close to the main attractions, but far enough away to be a good place for some peace and quiet. For those with children, Luquillo Beach, where coral reefs protect a lagoon, is a great option.

Despite severe traffic congestion, residents and visitors to San Juan primarily travel by car, although a free tourist trolley runs in Old San Juan. Some areas offer a metro system and public buses, but the best option for visitors is usually either walking the shorter distances or taking advantage of a local trolley or taxi service.

Best neighborhoods to visit in San Juan

Things to do in San Juan

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

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

San Juan’s hub of civic life is also one of the most popular social destinations, where locals come to drink coffee and trade stories. 

Sample local street food or doze under a palm tree on this picturesque stretch of coast.

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

This beach within the bustling city of San Juan is the perfect place to relax for a few hours.

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

Tickets & Tours

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.

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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.

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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.

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This is one adventure not to be missed while in Puerto Rico! Join this fully-guided nighttime BioBay kayak adventure into one of the most amazing excursions of your life. Paddle your way through the mystical mangrove channels leading to “Laguna Grande”.

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Take a nightly excursion aboard the powered double-pontoon boat through the amazing glowing waters of La Parguera in Lajas. First, enjoy a comfortable ride to the Southwestern area of Puerto Rico and learn from its culture and history along the way.

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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.