San Juan

TRAVEL GUIDE

Loading...

Fodor's Puerto Rico
Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes...

View Details
Read More

Puerto Rico's capital is most commonly associated with the colonial streets and forts of Old San Juan, but that's only part of the picture. San Juan is a major metropolis, radiating out from the bay on the Atlantic Ocean that was discovered by Juan Ponce de León. More than a third of the island's nearly 4 million citizens proudly call themselves sanjuaneros. The city may be rooted in the past, but it has its eye on the future. Locals go about their business surrounded by colonial architecture and towering modern structures.

By 1508 the explorer Juan Ponce de León had established a colony in an area now known as Caparra, southeast of present-day San Juan. He later moved the settlement north to a more hospitable peninsular location. In 1521, after he became the first colonial governor, Ponce de León switched the name of the island—which was then called San Juan Bautista in honor of St. John the Baptist—with that of the settlement of Puerto Rico ("rich port").

Defended by the imposing Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) and Castillo San Cristóbal, Puerto Rico's administrative and population center remained firmly in Spain's hands until 1898, when it came under U.S. control after the Spanish-American War. Centuries of Spanish rule left an indelible imprint on the city, particularly in the walled area now known as Old San Juan. The area is filled with cobblestone streets and brightly painted, colonial-era structures, and its fortifications have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Old San Juan is a monument to the past, but most of the rest of the city is planted firmly in the 21st century and draws migrants island-wide and from farther afield to jobs in its businesses and industries. The city captivates residents and visitors alike with its vibrant lifestyle as well as its balmy beaches, pulsing nightclubs, globe-spanning restaurants, and world-class museums. Once you set foot in this city, you may never want to leave.

Puerto Rico's capital is most commonly associated with the colonial streets and forts of Old San Juan, but that's only part of the picture. San Juan is a major metropolis, radiating out from the bay on the Atlantic Ocean that was discovered by Juan Ponce de León. More than a third of the island's 4 million citizens proudly call themselves sanjuaneros. Old San Juan is a monument to the past, but most of the rest of the city is planted firmly in the 21st century and draws residents island-wide and from farther afield to jobs in its businesses and industries. The city captivates residents and visitors alike with its vibrant lifestyle as well as its balmy beaches, pulsing nightclubs, globe-spanning restaurants, and world-class museums. Once you set foot in this city, you may never want to leave.

Fodor's Puerto Rico
Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes...

View Details

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Arecibo Observatory
Observatory/Planetarium
View Tours and Activities
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
Museum/Gallery
Santurce
View Tours and Activities
Castillo San Cristóbal
Historic District/Site Military Site Park (National/State/Provincial)
Old San Juan
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Historic District/Site Military Site
Old San Juan
View Tours and Activities
Catedral de San Juan Bautista
Religious Building/Site/Shrine
Old San Juan
View Tours and Activities
Arecibo Observatory
Observatory/Planetarium
View Tours and Activities
Jardín Botánico
Garden/Arboretum
Casa Bacardí Visitor Center
Information Center Winery/Brewery/Distillery

Find the perfect tours and activities in San Juan.

Powered by GetYourGuide

See All Filters

Quickly find San Juan hotels and compare prices.

Powered by Clicktripz

Language

Spanish, English

Electrical Outlets

120v/60 cycles; plugs are U.S. standard two- and three-prong

Currency

U.S. Dollar

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Language

Spanish, English

Electrical Outlets

120v/60 cycles; plugs are U.S. standard two- and three-prong

Currency

U.S. Dollar

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

During the high season, mid-December through mid-April, hotels tend to be packed, though rarely full, and rates are a bit higher than in the...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in San Juan with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

During the high season, mid-December through mid-April, hotels tend to be packed, though rarely full, and rates are a bit higher than in the...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in San Juan with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

During the high season, mid-December through mid-April, hotels tend to be packed, though rarely full, and rates are a bit higher than in the...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in San Juan with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Our worldwide travel correspondents bring you the best and most up-to-date coverage of over 7,500 global destinations.

Shop Now

Fodor's Puerto Rico
Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes...

View Details

Around the Web