Old San Juan sits on a small island guarding the entrance to the Bahía de San Juan, the “rich port” which gave Puerto Rico its name. Its strategic position was backed up by fortifications include the forbidding San Felipe del Morro fort at the tip of the island, as well as San Cristóbal fort and La Fortaleza, now the Governor’s residence.

Inland, the compact grid of hilly, narrow streets, with their colorful houses and elegant wrought-iron balconies, represents one of the oldest and best-preserved town centers in the Western Hemisphere. Two historic houses of worship bookend the center: in the north, the simple white exterior of the San José Church and the comparative grandeur of the older Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, built in 1521, in the south. The latter contains the tomb of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León.

Practical Info

Old San Juan is connected to the rest of the city via a bridge. Buses stop just outside the historic center, which is best navigated on foot.

Tours & Tickets

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Rum Distillery and Old San Juan Half-Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 220 Reviews

Enjoy a guided tour of Bacardi, the world's largest rum distillery, where you can sample the goods or buy some liquid souvenirs. Then, visit one of the best ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $60.99

San Juan Small-Group Sailing Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Sail on San Juan Bay and enjoy views of the colorful Caribbean as you recline on deck during a two-hour cruise! Sip complimentary drinks and taste fresh ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $121.99

San Juan Premium Rum Tasting Tour

If you’re interested in learning more about high-end rum than what you might discover on a typical Bacardi tour, don’t miss this intimate rum tasting at a ...  Read more

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $45.99

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