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0ec24135e4dd079e9e064d297b27d6f8 catedral de san juan

Introducing San Juan

Established in 1521, San Juan is the second-oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas and the oldest under US jurisdiction. Shoehorned onto a tiny islet that guards the entrance to San Juan harbor, the old town was inaugurated almost a century before the Mayflower laid anchor in present-day Massachusetts, and is now a historic wonderland that juxtaposes historical authenticity with pulsating modern energy.

Beyond its timeworn 15ft-thick walls, San Juan is far more than a collection of well-polished colonial artifacts – it’s also a mosaic of ever-evolving neighborhoods such as Santurce, which has a raw vitality fueled by galleries, superb restaurants and a bar scene that takes over the streets at night.

And then there's the beaches. Silky ribbons of sand line San Juan's northern edge from swanky Condado to resort-filled Isla Verde. You can land at the airport and be out splashing in the azure waters an hour later.