Hacienda Campo Rico Carolina Beach Pine Grove Beach Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena Isla de Cabras Joyuda Lagoon Cayo Luis Peña Casa Roig Ole Curiosidades Boqueron Beach San Juan Bay San Juan Gate Monserrate Beach La Mina Falls The Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe Gallery Galleon Punta Higuera Light House Coqui Water Park The Capitol of Puerto Rico Biaggi & Faure Fine Art Gallery Combate Beach Caguas Botanical Garden Guanica Dry Forest Shacks Beach Mosquito Pier Desecheo Island Plaza Palmer Brava Beach Vieques National Wildlife Refuge Guajataca Forest Reserve Casa Cortes Blue Beach Tropical Agriculture Research Station SailCaribe Yacht Charters Siddhia Hutchinson Fine Art Gallery Domes Beach Yokahu Observation Tower The Poet’s Passage Tres Puertas Gallery Blue Waters Caribbean Adventures Sandra Farms Coffee Tamarindo Beach Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park Isla De Vieques Playa Caracas Sandy Beach Sun Bay Beach Carlos Rosario Beach Media Luna Beach Caracas Beach Zoni Beach Flamenco Beach Tres Palmas Marine Reserve Icacos Island Humacao Nature Reserve Puerto Rico Convention Center Museo Del Niño Bioluminescent Bay Cueva Ventana La Cueva Del Indio Carabali Rainforest Park Playa Sucia JungleQui Rainforest EcoAdventure Park Museo De Las Americas Castillo de San Cristobal San Juan Cemetery Cruz Del Vigia Plaza Las Delicias Parque de Bombas Isla Culebra Teatro La Perla Caja De Muertos Museo De Vida Silvestre Isla De Ratones Isla Palominos Teatro Fox Delicias Jobos Beach Condado Beach Castillo Serrallés Casa Cautiño Fortín De San Gerónimo Guajataca Lake Tanamá River El Pozo De Jacinto Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center Crash Boat Beach Piñones State Forest Paseo De La Princesa Albergue Olímpico La Guancha Boardwalk Casa Blanca Museum Puerto Rico San Juan National Historic Site Ponce Cathedral Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo Las Cascadas Water Park Hacienda Buena Vista Museum of Art of Puerto Rico Camuy Caves

Places To Visit In Puerto Rico

Old San Juan in Puerto Rico

old san juan
November 6th, 2013

Any visit to a foreign land needs to include exposure to local culture and society. To be complete, a traveler has to take in the sights, sounds, and even the smells that are inherent in the destination. In Puerto Rico, Old San Juan is the area that contains the best of the territory’s culture, history, and architecture, as this short review of Old San Juan will show.

Cats, Pigeons, and Cobblestones

There are three things that are immediately noticeable about Old San Juan:

• Cats are profuse and are warmly accepted by the locals, even as the felines wander in and out and around Old San Juan’s streets.
• Pigeons are also plentiful, sharing Old San Juan with the cats and humans who generally regard them with affection.
• Blue cobblestones abound – known as “Aquinas” owing to their color, the cobblestones that were originally baked in Spain more than two centuries ago are a testament to the days of European colonization, a nostalgic reminder of a bittersweet past.

Getting Around Old San Juan

To enjoy Old San Juan fully, it’s recommended that you choose a medium of transportation that best agrees with you and your physical condition. Here are some methods for getting around:

• Walking tours – this can be done with a tour guide, on your own, or with local friends (assuming that you are visiting them, and are not entirely a stranger to Puerto Rico). If you go on a self-guided tour, you will of course be able to save on the cost of a tourist guide, but you may inadvertently skip on some out-of-the-way or “hidden” scenic goodies.

• Taxi tours – as is the case with any other destination in the globe, taxicabs may provide comfort and save your feet and legs from aching, but there’s always the risk of spending more than you had expected in cab fares.

• Free trolley services – these are ideal for those who do not have a specific special destination in mind, because you can just hop on and off these trolleys as you see sites that interest you.

• Taking the Segway – Segway tours are guided tours, but with a twist: instead of walking with your tour guide in a group, you ride on a Segway and “drive” it to where you need to go.

Don’t worry if you feel intimidated by the contraption. Easy and short riding/driving lessons are included in the package cost, along with your own recorded audio guide that tells you where you are and gives special tidbits of information about it, picture taking opportunities, and a live Segway guide for a group tour.

Where Should You Go?

It would be silly to pinpoint only certain tourist destinations in this review of Old San Juan, because there are just so many, it would be a shame to sacrifice some in favor of the others.
So, to be sure that you get what you want and avoid going to places that you’d rather not be in, just choose which of the following general points of interest appeal to you:

• Historical Monuments, Castles, Dungeons, and Forts
• Food sampling – tapas in local restaurants or cafés
• Plazas and Street Views
• Ocean Views, Sunsets and Nature Tripping
• Nightlife, Shopping, and Casinos

Once you’ve made your choice, you can ask for recommendations from your hotel. Don’t be shy about exploring Old San Juan – it will always have something that will appeal to you!

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