Old San Juan, the colonial walled city that protects the harbor of Puerto Rico (rich port) is the biggest, the best and the safest port city in the Caribbean. This blog will provide you with an opinionated, non promotional introduction to the town and what to do while here. Places to shop, to eat and sites to see are galore, and all of which are within walking distance. Inexpensive hotels, BnBs, and short term rentals have popped up all over OSJ. Together with large ‘brand name’ hotels, Old San Juan provides any tourist ample choices of pricing, comfort and convenience. No matter how you get here, plane or ship, you’ll treasure your visit. But please don’t pay for a Bus Tour of the old city. I’ll tell you why.
You can find general historic and cultural information about Puerto Rico and OSJ anywhere on the Net. Some official, some purely commercial, they all basically say the same. Tourism promotion has become ‘cookie cutter’. By just looking at the pictures and descriptions you couldn’t tell the difference between the Bahamas and Aruba. What I want to do in this blog is tell the difference. I’ve lived here for 40 years. I’m an expert.
What to do in Old San Juan?
The casual answer would be ‘depends’. If you disembark for only a few hours, there’s a lot you can do, but the city is too large to just wander around. Cruisers need to make the most of their time. So I’ve a written a section specifically for the cruise ship visitor. If you’re staying in town only for a few nights, you need to know some shortcuts to get around the city. Longer stays have time to really enjoy all OSJ has to offer. But we’ll get to that.