We visited San Juan last year for a couple of hours as part of a cruise. We loved it so much we specifically planned a cruise that would allow us to spend a couple of days exploring. In one look you see the history of the island, it called to me to put on my walking shoes and see as much as possible while I was there.
I adore the old part of San Juan with it's cobble stone streets and small roadways. The homes are very close to one another, very quaint, charming and colorful. The iron work and details in the architecture took my breath away. One evening as we were walking around we heard church bells, the end of a perfect day. People were friendly and the food- oh my- the food! Based on suggestions by the locals we went to The Parrot Club just down the street from where we were staying, great atmosphere, cocktails and food! We also ate at the BEST pizza place ever- REALLY! We couldn't believe how amazing the pizza was and it was also right down the street! Pirilo Pizza Rùstica
San Juan is part of the United States (some people didn't know that). They are SO proud of that fact. You can see evidence of it everywhere and they speak of it all of the time. It makes me proud of them and not so proud of the way most of us take our citizenship for granted.
If you go to San Juan you must find the time to explore the forts and the old castle. This photo was taken from the top of Fort San Cristobal. You get a feeling of going back in history. It is rustic, mixed with modern in the background. The buildings are imposing and you can't help but imagine the hard work and sacrifice that went into building these amazing structures as well as living there and protecting the islands through the years.
The entrance to Castillo de San Cristobal that was used as a castle. Can you believe the ornate workmanship that went into this building?
And mixed with all of this history and charm are the beautiful oceans and vegetation. This photo was taken right across the street from some government buildings. There is no filter on the photo, it was really this beautiful.
As you stand at the top of the forts and take in the panoramic views, you can imagine the soldiers guarding the island from pirates and invaders.
This beautiful stretch of beach was literally sandwiched between two large hotels. It is very typical of San Juan to have the old and new, the classic and the modern mix together. The standard between it all is the natural beauty that surrounds the islands. This is truly one of my favorite places I have ever been.
This photo really captures what enchants me about this city. I took this photo from the balcony of our Airbnb on Forteleza Street. We were able to throw open the beautiful thick wood panels and stand on an ancient balcony surrounded by flowers and greenery and take in the romance and charm of the street. At night it turns into a big party. There is music and revelry that carry late into the night. There are bars about every 4-5 buildings serving island drinks along with your usual favorites. This is a place of opposites that fit perfectly together, the old with the new, the charming with the modern, the romantic with the party. I was once told by someone that I was one of the mellowest crazy people that they had ever met. Maybe, that is why this beautiful city speaks to my heart, a place of opposites just like me.