San Juan, Puerto Rico Travel Guide

San Juan, Puerto Rico

A year after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is back and ready to welcome travelers—and frankly, it needs them. The best way to support the island is by visiting. With a majority of reader and editor-loved hotels, restaurants, and sights back online (many just emerging from long-overdue renovations), now is the time to go.


Other amazing places to visit include South Africa and Nauru. And tips for when you lose your luggage while traveling.


Here are the top places to visit in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1. Isla Verde Beach:

As an island paradise, it would be pretty hard not to find a great beach among Puerto Rico’s 270 miles of coastline. Isla Verde Beach is the perfect spot to begin your trip to Puerto Rico. It is simply one of the best beaches on the island. From the brilliant views, the white to pink sand to the backdrop of San Juan behind you, Isla Verde Beach has everything that a beachgoer could want. Part of the area surrounding Isla Verde Beach was damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017. However, the beach itself remained untouched and is still one of the most beautiful sights on the island.

2. Old San Juan:

Much like Havana in Cuba, which was also ruled by the Spaniards, the capital of Puerto Rico has an older part of its capital city. Old San Juan is home to the castles that the Spanish attempted to use to defend the island. Namely Castillo de San Cristobal, the largest Spanish fort in the new world. And Castillo San Felipe del Morro, which was used in the Spanish-American War to attempt to defend Puerto Rico against the U.S. Elsewhere in the old city, you’ll find blue cobblestone streets and old architecture. These date all the way back to the 16th century and the time of Juan Ponce De Leon, who originally settled Puerto Rico. He chose Old San Juan as the spot to begin the settlement of the island. If you’re looking for some historical perspective, the old city is a must-visit.

3. The Forts:

Perhaps nothing captures the history of Puerto Rico more than Old San Juan’s massive fortresses. El Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal are among the most visited attractions on the island for a good reason. Their cannons, ramparts, and layered defenses have guarded the walled city for centuries. Even the governor’s mansion, La Fortaleza, is called “The Fortress” because it was one of the settlement’s early defensive structures.

4. Fortaleza Street:

Dining in Puerto Rico is usually a rewarding experience. Includes local classics, gourmet international cuisine, or a delightfully inventive fusion of the Caribbean and global flavours. In Old San Juan, Fortaleza Street has carved out a reputation as a Restaurant Row that includes some of the best restaurants in town. In fact, South Fortaleza, or “SoFo,” as it’s known, even has its own biannual culinary festival.

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