San Juan & Around
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 it 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-era artifacts – it’s also a mosaic of ever-evolving neighborhoods such as Santurce, which has a raw vitality fueled by street art, 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 splashing in the azure waters an hour later.
In early September 2017, San Juan was hit hard by Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm that formed hot on the heels of record-breaking Hurricane Irma; it was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico in 89 years. While many buildings and roads sustained wind and flood damage, this city has endured wars, pirates and storms for centuries – with the help of its energetic and resourceful citizens, it will rebuild and remain the beautiful and captivating place it's always been.
Golden rules to keep in mind when traveling to this destination.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout San Juan & Around.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in San Juan & Around.