In Old San Juan Again
Old San Juan is a favorite of mine and can be the perfect weekend trip or day in port if you happen to be cruising in and out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our day in San Juan was the last day of the cruise portion of our Caribbean Winter Adventures. Next up on the agenda is Vieques, Puerto Rico- a small island with incredible beaches. But today is all about forts and colonial architecture.
My Lonely Planet guidebook had a section with a short walking tour throughout Old San Juan, hitting the major sights. It was really warm, maybe 90 degrees, so we did some sidewalk dancing and crossed the street often to find shade.
Just like these cats!
Old San Juan was a gated city and fort so there were only a few entrances inside. This is the only surviving gate into the city:
The two main forts- El Morro and San Cristobal- are part of the US National Park system but my annual pass just expired and I had seen them both twice before so I did not end up going all the way in. My claustrophobia flared up last time I was in El Morro so I was perfectly content not hiking through the tunnels. The outsides of both forts are pretty awesome anyway.
Sights on our little walking tour:
Fun, pointy statue garden:
The San Juan Airport is pretty big and has a lot of flights from the mainland U.S., if you ever find a good flight, I would recommend that you stay in or near Old San Juan. The beaches on the main island near San Juan are nothing special so make this a pool trip and stay in Colonial Old San Juan.
That will be my plan for a long weekend getaway!
And make sure to pack a picnic lunch to eat on the grass outside of El Morro. The expansive grassy areas are perfect for relaxing. I bought a Diet Coke from a vendor and sat in the grass taking photos and soaking up the views.
On the other side of the El Morro fort were a lot of school kids and families flying kites! It was super fun to watch. You can buy a kite from a vendor too if you don’t have your own. The breeze in this section of Old San Juan keeps the kites flying high and keeps tourists cool(ish). Wear your sunblock!
As I continued my walk in the hot, hot sun, Mom ditched me for the free tram ride around Old San Juan. It is a good option for tired walkers. I was melting and a Starbucks appeared and lured me in with air conditioning, iced coffee, and free WIFI. I was a happy girl.
Next up is a short flight on a tiny, tiny plane to Vieques, Puerto Rico for some relaxing time on the most gorgeous beaches. Stay tuned!
Reader Question: Do you have claustrophobia ever? I rarely do but every once in a while it sneaks up on me! Do you like flying kites?