Founded in 1521 by Juan Ponce de Leon, San Juan was originally named Puerto Rico (Rich Port). The history of this beautiful city officially began in 1493 when Christopher Columbus landed in its coast and named the island after San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist). Sometime during the 1520s, confusion over the names led to a switch & the island took the name of Puerto Rico and the town became San Juan.
Today, San Juan is known as La Ciudad Amurallada (the walled city). Stunning historical buildings have been updated with bright & bold colors, gorgeous wood doors & the roads are lined in bricks. Take a day to walk around the city, sight see & explore this historical gem.
Go inside the Catedral de San Juan (the San Juan Cathedral) one of the oldest churches of the Unites States, build in 1521.
Be sure to walk around its narrow streets & enjoy every nook and cranny…
…if you are up to it, walk La Calle del Cristo, it is lined with shops, restaurants & bars.
A neat anecdote to the dinning and shopping is getting to check out the interiors of these amazing buildings. Many interior courtyards have been turned into cute little restaurants.
The stunning Spanish style architecture is beyond compare.
Tips for surviving Old San Juan:
Be sure to stay at boutique hotels around the city, like Hotel Decanter & Hotel Herencia. (Low season is during summer July-Aug)
Walk the city, don’t rent a car. (Parking is limited)
Bring a water bottle or two & be sure to stay hydrated. Water is over priced. However, be sure to try a Mojito at Cafe el Punto and a Pina Colada at Barrachina.
Wear comfortable shoes, brick streets and side walks are often uneven
Bring a stroller (the little ones will get tired of all the walking)
You will need 2 days to fully experience and enjoy the city