Puerto Rico’s capital and largest city is the beautiful San Juan. This city is located on the island’s Atlantic coast and it has immense fortresses with magnificent ocean views. In early September 2017, San Juan was hit by the devastating Hurricane Maria that wreaked havoc on the island, but the spirit of the people and all of Puerto Rico remains strong and in solidarity to get back on its feet.
A Historic City with Modern Energy
San Juan is the oldest under European-founded settlement US jurisdiction. The city was inaugurated almost one hundred years before the Mayflower laid anchor in Massachusetts. Now, the beautiful town shows a juxtaposition of historical authenticity with vibrating modern energy.
Not only visitors can enjoy looking at colonial-era artifacts , but this destination it’s also a collage with ever-evolving neighborhoods such as Santurce, which has colorful street art and a wonderful culinary scene and nightlife.
The Everlasting Beauty of Old San Juan
With more than 500 years of history, the streets of this part of the city set the scene with historic forts and elegant colonial architecture. This seven-square-block area contains more than 400 skillfully restored 16th- and 17th-century colonial structures, many of which contain restaurants, museums, hotels, and other public buildings.
Named one of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old San Juan is the pulsating heart of the city where tourist can wander in the streets, admiring the rich history, or have a meal on an outdoor restaurant.
An Impressive Fort And A Fascinating Castle
Visitors of San Juan cannot miss the chance to go to El Morro, a fort that protects the entrance of Puerto Rico’s capital. El Morro, built in 1539, is one of the largest Spanish forts in the Caribbean. Currently this structure is a labyrinth of ramps, outposts, dungeons, barracks, and tunnels, all of them dotted with small, circular sentry boxes called “garitas”, which are unique to Puerto Rican forts and are a very special national symbol.
The history of San Cristóbal’s Castle is also worth a visit. This structure is even bigger than El Morro, and is the largest fort the Spanish ever built in the Americas. It was built between 1634 and 1790 to protect the eastern gate to Old San Juan.
The First Tourist Zone of a Premium Destination
San Juan’s Condado district is located between the Atlantic Ocean and Laguna Condado. It was developed as the first tourist zone of the city in 1950s. In Ashford Avenue, tourist will find major five star hotels and resorts.
In the eastern site is Ocean Park, a magnificent beach with surrounding residential homes and beach resorts. Visitors can also have a great time at Isla Verde, a perfect beach for water sports just a short 5-10 minute drive from the airport in San Juan.
Life In The Island After Hurricane María
Even though Hurricane María was a major natural disaster, it didn’t end the entrepreneurial spirit and vibrancy of Puerto Rico. Currently, hotels, resort communities and the travel industry have been working hard to restore the infrastructure and offer tourist the great experiences that the island was renowned for.
By the end of October, almost all hotels are back to fully operational and ready to take reservations for the forthcoming travel season. By December, the island expects it will be ready to embrace all the visitors that arrive to spend time during the holidays. But keep an eye on the status of San Juan’s power, which is still in the process of being restored. However, it’s expected that the beaches will be back to their usual splendor by the end of the year.