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City block in San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan Serenade

Article by Lupe Vázquez 06.20.2016

San Juan is as diverse as it comes. The Historic District’s blue cobblestones and colonial architecture contrast with high-end residential areas such as Miramar and Condado, where a long strip of hotels faces the ocean. With ecotourism adventures, a vibrant nightlife, an appealing art scene and the kind of restaurants that make it the culinary capital of the Caribbean, a weekend here reveals that Puerto Rico is much more than sun and sea.

Colorful buildings in old San Juan, Puerto Rico

All you’ll need is a pair of walking shoes to explore Old San Juan’s photo-ready facades. The city’s Historic District is small (only seven square blocks) and completely walkable. Cobblestone streets, snug boutiques, museums, restaurants — there is a lot to do, and you might want to stay here all day.

Photograph by Danita Delimont

City block in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Pastels enrich the city’s Spanish colonial buildings. For visitors who want an insightful look at the Landmark District once ruled by Spanish conquistadors, Old San Juan Heritage Walking Tours offers a variety of routes.

Photograph by Richard Ellis

Arepa Pulpo dish in San Juan

If you’re an adventurous diner, consider a gastronomic tour. Spoon Food Tours offers a package that takes you to five spots for a mix of sit-down and on-the-go tastings. At the end you’ll understand local dishes such as arroz con habichuelas and mofongo. Pictured here, a taste of one of Spoon Food Tours’ highlights.

Photograph courtesy of Spoon Food Tours

Fortress in old San Juan along the coast

Historic San Juan Gate, built around 1635, is framed by the old city walls.

Photograph by Efrain Padro, Padro Images

The beachfront at The Ritz-Carlon, San Juan

From the lobby and restaurants to the private beachfront loungers, The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan offers a plethora of fine spots to savor Caribbean views. Order cocktails at the Ocean Bar and Grill, a casual gourmet restaurant headed by Chef Ernesto Alvarado, who puts a fine twist on our local cuisine. If you want to raise the romance factor, the staff can set up a table for you right on the sand.



Restaurants in the streets in San Juan

In Old San Juan, Calle del Cristo offers sidewalk dining, shopping and authentic local

Photograph by Robert Fried    

Explore Resorts in Puerto Rico

  • San Juan

    Location San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Experience A resort offering a peaceful retreat near Old San Juan.

    • Eight beachfront acres in Isla Verde
    • El Yunque Rainforest inspired spa therapies
    • Al fresco dining with local flavors
  • Dorado Beach

    Location Dorado, Puerto Rico

    Experience Intimate luxury at one of the most exclusive Caribbean resorts.

    • Secluded on 1,400 acres of natural wonders
    • Two- to five-bedroom beachfront residences
    • Mi Casa restaurant by chef José Andrés