Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

Lonely Planet review

While the old town’s historic attractions are universally famous, fewer people are aware that San Juan boasts one of the largest and most celebrated art museums in the Caribbean. Housed in a splendid neoclassical building that was once the city’s Municipal Hospital, MAPR boasts 18 exhibition halls spread over an area of 130,000 sq ft.

But there’s far more to this cultural tour de force than just a collection of paintings. Adding distinction to diversity, the facility also boasts a 2.5-acre sculpture garden, a conservation laboratory, a computer-learning center, a 400-seat theater and a museum shop.

The artistic collection traces paintings, sculptures, posters and carvings from the 17th to the 21st century, chronicling such renowned Puerto Rican artists as José Campeche, Francisco Oller, Nick Quijano and Rafael Ferrer.

Do not miss the opportunity to take a walk through the gardens, where winding paths invite visitors to stroll past 16 sculptures and more than 100,000 plants in a scene reminiscent of Monet’s water lilies.