The largest capital in the Caribbean, San Juan, also a popular cruise port, welcomes 5 million yearly visitors. And it’s no wonder — the city is a leading seaport and a manufacturing, financial, cultural and tourism hub for the Caribbean. Nearly 400,000 call San Juan home. Offering more than just nightlife and casinos (but entertaining for both!), the various districts of San Juan are well worth exploration. Start in Old San Juan, a charming walled city with colorful colonial architecture and a number of noteworthy attractions. Visit Ocean Park and Santurce and experience the shopping of Condado and the nightlife of Isla Verde on your next venture.
Luis Muñoz Marín Airport (SJU), one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean, is three miles southeast of San Juan. Car rentals, hotel shuttles and shared shuttles are available from the airport. The 10- to 20-minute taxi ride will cost around $20. An AMA Bus is also available; the ride can take up to an hour for about $1.50.
San Juan operates flat-rate taxi service. The Metropolitan Bus Authority offers several routes of interest to visitors, which run to and from Santurce, Ocean Park, Isla Verde, Ashford Avenue, downtown, the convention center and other areas. A one-way trip is 75 cents. The Tren Urbano, opened in 2005, runs every eight to 12 minutes along its elevated track for 75 cents. It is best to explore Old San Juan by foot. Rental cars are also convenient for travelers.
La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site
The UNESCO World Heritage site is a series of defensive structures built from the 15th to the 19th centuries to protect the city and Bay of San Juan. The most famous of the defensive structures are La Fortaleza, San Felipe del Morro, San Cristóbal and San Juan de la Cruz.
San Juan Cathedral
One of Old San Juan’s 400 restored Spanish colonial buildings, San Juan Cathedral was built in 1540; Ponce de León is entombed here. The medieval architecture is worth a gander at the second-oldest cathedral in the Americas. From here, explore the rest of all that Old San Juan has to offer.
El Yunque National Forest
Approximately 40 minutes outside of San Juan’s city center is El Yunque National Forest. Trek through — either hiking or driving — and spot parrots and frogs, among other wildlife, and lush flora. Stop by any of the small waterfalls and pools for a swim.
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Started in 1956 by Pablo Casals, the Casals Festival is the largest celebration of classical music in the Caribbean. Important musicians and artists from around the world attend.
Since the 18th century, the Ponce Carnival is San Juan’s celebration of Mardi Gras. The week before Ash Wednesday each year, the fun event culminates with the burial of a sardine in a coffin.
San Sebastian Festival
This four-day event, yearly since 1970, is a gala festival of live music and parades. Numerous artisans are present for event-goers to indulge in some authentic shopping.
For more information, visit seepuertorico.com
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
There’s an aspirational rustic chic/farm-to-table restaurant genre often associated with Northern California’s wine country. When you drive down the main street of Napa, Sonoma or any of the other towns, it appears there are as many of them as there are vineyards. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this genre, as the quality of the food is consistent and ambitious chefs earnestly endeavor to elevate home-style dishes to a higher standard.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco announced a new amenity for guests in collaboration with Porsche. Porsche electric vehicle charging stations will now be located in the valet area of the hotel’s parking deck, allowing guests and visitors to top off the batteries of electric vehicles while enjoying a cocktail at Top of the Mark, enjoying farm-to-table fare at Nob Hill Club or staying overnight at the property.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Reykjavik with us.