Fodor's Expert Review Barrio San Diego
Originally known as the Barrio de los Jagüeyes (the ponds), being the neighborhood richest in fresh water (the city's most precious resource), San Diego was home to most of the gardens supplying fresh produce. These days, travelers are seeking out the peaceful streets of this enchanting north-end district lined with squat colonial houses and mansions painted white, ocher, and deep blue. Boutique and other hotels are opening, along with restaurants. Around the area, multicolored bougainvillea cascades over balconies, and open doorways reveal lush hidden courtyards. Plaza San Diego is a local gem, anchored by the Escuela de Bellas Artes (School of Fine Arts), based in a former convent. At the northern corner of the city walls you'll find Las Bóvedas (The Vaults), a row of storerooms built in the 18th century to hold gunpowder and other military essentials, now home to colorful, tourist-oriented souvenir shops.