This week, our blog is following the Celebrity Eclipse, as it sails across the Western Caribbean, and our rep onboard, Nancy. Today Nancy finds herself on a shore excursion in San Juan, the colorful capital of Puerto Rico.
The port of San Juan is the third busiest cruise port in the world, and as such enjoys a flux of tourists and travelers every year. Founded in 1521 by Spaniards, the city is known for its vivid colors, galleries, Colonial-era architecture, and historical sites in and around the port district of Old San Juan.
The town has a decidedly antiquated feel, with timeworn but vibrant architecture. Don’t miss the Castillo San Cristobal, one of the largest Spanish fortresses in the new world, or the impressive Castillo San Felipe del Morro overlooking San Juan Harbor.
The history buff can also explore the Casino built pre-WWI and the Teatro Tapia, one of the oldest theaters (1832) in the Western Hemisphere, and which is still in operation. Other major attractions include Casa Blanca, La Fortaleza, San Juan Church, San Juan National Historic Site, Ballaja Barracks, and La Casa del Libro, a collection of books spanning five centuries. For a relaxing experience, check out the La Marquesa Forest Reserve and its canopy zip line. For the liquor connoisseurs, don’t miss the 127-acre Bacardi Rum Factory, informally dubbed the Cathedral of Rum.
Image from Cruisingpower
San Juan is the hometown of many artists and musicians who have influenced art and culture throughout the world. Grammy Award winner Ricky Martin, Academy Award winner Benicio del Toro, and José Enrique Pedreira, renowned composer of the very Puerto Rican and passionate dancing style Danza, were all born here.
For travelers who wish simply to relax and recline, head over to Isla Verde or the more upscale El Condado districts for their beautiful beaches and parks.
Side Bar: Travelers’ Tips
Be aware: sunscreen and good walking shoes are imperative when exploring the city.
As the streets are often cobblestoned in the old town, it’s best to get around on foot or via the free trolley marked with yellow banners.
The stormy season runs from July to November, so it’s best to travel in the late winter or early spring, when temperates range from low 80s during the day and low 70s at night. If festivities draw your attention, head over in January, during the popular San Sebastian Festival.
Today’s forecast reads 86 degrees Fahrenheit, so hope you’re staying cool, Nancy!
Join us this week as we follow Nancy and take a closer look at the ports she’ll be sailing into. Tomorrow: Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
Interested in Celebrity Cruises? Like to take a trip to Puerto Rico? Contact us, your travel agents at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503.224.0180.