FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Jul 15, 2013
Destinations / North America

SAN JUAN

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.

GETTING THERE

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.

GETTING AROUND

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.

TOP ATTRACTIONS

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

Casals Festival
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.

Ponce Carnival
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.

RESOURCES

For more information, visit seepuertorico.com

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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