San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Photo © paperix72

Travel Guide Caribbean Puerto Rico San Juan

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Introduction

Streets in old San Juan

Streets in old San Juan

© All Rights Reserved Jibaro

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and its largest city. The city was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, making it the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico and the oldest city under the jurisdiction of the United States. This history is evident in its many old buildings, in particular in the Old San Juan neighbourhood. Highlights include the fortress of Castillo San Cristóbal, the city hall Alcadia (1602), San Jose Church (1532) and La Fortaleza, the oldest governor's mansion in the New World to have been in continuous use.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Old San Juan - The historic part of the city, home to most historic attractions, galleries and museums.
  • Puerta de Tierra - Situated right in the middle of Old San Juan and Condado, this largely residential area is home to a few hotels and attractions.
  • El Condado - This upscale residential neighborhood is also the beach resort part of the city and has many hotels and restaurants along its main drag, Ashford Ave.
  • Isla Verde - This area of San Juan, more in the city of Carolina than of San Juan itself, is closest to the international airport and has nice beaches and parks.
  • International Convention Center District - now has the new Convention Center which includes a fountain that plays traditional Puerto Rican music and Occidental classical music and in the near-future will also include a hotel, restaurants and shopping centers.
  • Hato Rey - the business center, hosting the main banks, Hiram Bithorn Stadium, Roberto Clemente Coliseum, Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot and Plaza las Americas the largest shopping center in the Caribbean featuring many American chains including the world's largest Sears and JC Penny's department stores.
  • Rio Piedras - home of the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico. It is a former municipality and is now part of the city of San Juan.
  • Santurce - a historical part of Puerto Rico and the cultural capital, having two art museums and a performing arts center
  • Miramar - near El Condado, known for expensive and historical houses

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Sights and Activities

Bay of San Juan

La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico is the only site on the island that is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here, a series of defensive structures was built during the period between 1400 and 1900 at a strategic point in the Caribbean Sea to protect the city and the Bay of San Juan. They represent a fine display of European military architecture adapted to harbour sites on the American continent. The site includes Fort San Cristóbal, Fort San Felipe del Morro, Fort San Juan de la Cruz (called El Cañuelo as well), and bastions, powder houses, and three quarters of the city wall surrounding San Juan.

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Events and Festivals

Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian

Starting off the year in January is Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian. Held annually in San Juan, this festival offers residents one last holiday party. Lasting three nights, the event is a celebration of the saint Sebastian with a huge street party. Visitors will be treated to vibrant music, colorful dancing and, invariably, a great deal of drinking.

Carnival

One of the most anticipated festivals in Puerto Rico, Carniva, is a hallmark of February each year. Taking over the central plaza of all major cities, Carnival is a brilliant display of Puerto Rican culture at its finest. Visitors will see everything from street parades to masked dances. Although not as flamboyant as some other countries, this event is still highly enjoyable and worth engaging in.

Festival Casals

Also in February is Festival Casals which has been taking place in San Juan for over 50 years. This event is entirely dedicated to the life and work of Pablo Casals, the world-famous cellist and honorary Puerto Rican. Music spans almost an entire month and showcases some of the best classical and jazz performers from around the globe.

Heineken JazzFest

Another beloved music festival, the Heineken JazzFest takes place in March every year in the trendy San Juan metropolitan area. JazzFest showcases both local and international talents and is an institution that has been happening for over 20 years. The main focus, unsurprisingly, is Latin Jazz, which provides a great deal of entertainment for everyone who chooses to go.

Saborea Culinary Festival

There are many food festivals in Puerto Rico throughout the year, but by far the most popular is the Saborea Culinary Festival in San Juan. Held annually in April the weekend is a feast of flavors, influences and styles. Top local and international chefs make appearances and there are a plethora of workshops to keep visitors entertained. Anyone planning on attending will definitely not leave hungry.

International Salsa Congress

An amazing display of one of the finest cultural activities in Puerto Rico, the International Salsa Congress takes place in July. Held annually in San Juan, the congress brings together dancers and salsa lovers from around the world to celebrate this vibrant and exciting form of dance. Lasting for two weeks, there are several live music shows and the main event – a piping hot dance competition.

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Weather

San Juan has a hot and humid climate with temperatures rarely dropping below 18º C at night. Average daytime temperatures hoover around 30º C, a bit cooler from December to April and a bit warmer between June and October. This latter period also is the rainy season with a chance of hurricanes from late July onwards. Obviously, this is not the best time to visit.

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Getting There

By Plane

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) is where all international planes arrive and depart. It serves as the Caribbean hub for American Airlines and American Eagle and there are connections to almost every island nation in the region with these two airlines.

Many other airlines based in the United States serve Puerto Rico from numerous cities. These include Delta Air Lines and US Airways.
Destinations further away include Frankfurt, London and Madrid in Europe and several cities in South America like Bogota.

American Eagle, Vieques Air Link and Cape Air all provide domestic services between San Juan, Vieques and a few other towns.

By Boat

Ferries del Caribe operates an international passenger and vehicle service from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The overnight journey requires WHTI-compliant documentation and there are strict rules regarding vehicle transportation. Fares payable in USD.

Today the port of San Juan annually accommodates nearly 1.4 million passengers in cruise ship travel alone, making it the third busiest cruise port in the world, according to the Cruise Industry Statistical Review published in 2000. The busiest docks are on the south side of the area near a large city bus station. Another pier adjacent to the old Pan American airport handles mostly Royal Caribbean cruise ships for beginning or ending their cruises; it must be reached by car or taxi. Otherwise, all cruise ships dock at Old San Juan.

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Getting Around

By Car

Getting around various parts of the city, and the rest of the island, as well as to and from the airport, will be much more convenient with a car. Though some road signs may be in Spanish, on the plus side driving is almost a universal language, and with this being an American territory, the road sign shapes are going to be as familiar to you - if you are used to American road signs. And after all, when you see the word norte sitting above a numbered-road sign enough times, it won't take you long to realize that means north. However, a car could entail parking fees as you travel around to your destinations so you will need to budget for that, and if you go to Old San Juan, parking will be quite difficult.

Taxis can be found hanging around hotels and the east end of Calle de la Fortaleza in Old San Juan.

Set rates have been established for travel between San Juan's major tourist zones.

By Public Transport

If you're planning on staying in and around a general area of San Juan and have plenty of time, you may be able to get by on public buses. The system is inexpensive at only $0.75 a ride, and will eventually take you near to where you want to go. To ride the bus, first find a stop for the correct routes (see below for some ones useful to tourists). The bus stops are marked "PARADA". When you see your bus coming, be sure to wave/flag it down otherwise it may just pass you by! When the door opens, toss your $0.75 into the fare box near the driver. Only coins are accepted on board so stock up on those quarters! ($0.05 and $0.10 coins are also accepted.) Then, pull the cord to get off at your destination.

Be sure to pack your patience. Contrary to some bus schedules (even ones posted at the bus stops themselves) stating buses arrive every 15 minutes, service can be infrequent and very unpredictable; you may wait anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes for a bus to arrive. You may find that bus routes directly to and from places of interest around San Juan do not exist, and that a transfer with additional waiting times are involved. Rush hour buses may be very full. Further, buses generally may stop running around 8:00pm, and may not be extremely safe after dark.

There is not any direct bus route from the airport to Condado or Old San Juan. Also, keep in mind, if you are planning to get back to the airport by bus, some bus drivers may not let you board the bus with carry-on baggage. You may want to plan in advance to take a taxi back to the airport if your hotel has no shuttle. Carrying baggage on the city bus tends to be less of an issue when you initially head from the airport.

In Old San Juan, there is a large bus terminal near the harbor front that serves as the terminus of many buses. If you take public transit, you will probably end your day waiting here. To get around Old San Juan, there is a free trolley bus - look out for the numbered signs. Though, keep in mind that traffic in and around Old San Juan gets very heavy, so once you board the bus (or trolly) you still are not guaranteed a quick trip.

Useful routes include:

  • B-21 connects Condado, the convention center, Old San Juan, and the Sagrado Corazon Tren Urbano station. Most buses on this route are fairly new.
  • A-5 connects Isla Verde to Old San Juan via Mirimar.

San Juan now served by a rapid transit rail line called "Tren Urbano" (Urban Train) [5] . The train starts about a mile south of Condado in southern Santurce with the station of Sagrado Corazón. It then continues south through Hato Rey, Rio Piedras before leaving San Juan proper to the west for the suburbs of Guaynabo and Bayamón. While it does not connect popular tourist locations like Old San Juan, El Condado or the airport, it is a useful way to see more of the city.

The stations are very large, new, and seem to have English speaking attendants. They have fare-purchase machines like New York City (in both English and Spanish) that give you a fare card. Save your fare card because you need to swipe it to exit! Rides were $1.50 each way regardless of distance. There are discounted fares for students, children and elderly people on both the buses and the train, though your US mainland ID showing you are either old or a student does not seem to work to get you a discounted ticket.

The Cataño Ferry (La Lancha de Cataño) is a public ferry serving Old San Juan and Cataño. It crosses San Juan Bay every 15-30 minutes.

By Foot

If you are not afraid of a 3-mile walk, you may be inclined to walk between various points of interest in San Juan. This can be a good way to see the cityscape and the places that tourists do not always go. As with any large city, you should be alert for cars and such. You should also pay attention to where you are going. The recession has not been kind to Puerto Rico, and tourist areas in San Juan are interspersed with areas that may look a bit rough to a suburbanite's eye. Be alert and you should be fine, but before planning any long walk, you might want to search for information about areas in San Juan to avoid as a tourist.

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Eat

  • Al Dente, Calle Recinto Sur 309, Old San Juan, ☎ +1 787-723-7303. M-F 12PM-3PM; M-Sa 6PM-11PM; Sun 12:30PM-4PM and 6PM-10PM. The oldest continuously operated Italian restaurant in Puerto Rico.
  • Café Puerto Rico, Calle O'Donnell 208, ☎ +1 787 724-2281. 11:30AM-11PM. Creole cuisine. On the Plaza de Colón, enjoy the view along with a great meal. Great spot to stop for a drink, snack & conversation too. Live music weekends & some weekdays. Best meal: stuffed snapper (fillet & lobster, crab, shellfish in a flavorful broth), rice & beans, and sweet plantains. $9-21 main course but order side dishes too.
  • El Alcázar, 1013 Ave. Roosevelt. New Spanish restaurant which serves a variety of tapas, seafood and several meats. Also has a variety of Wines. The ambience is romantic and live music is offered several times a month.
  • El Asador, The Grill Old San Juan, 350 San Francisco St (Old San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902), ☎ +1 787-289-9966. 10AM - 4AM 7 Days a Week. Puerto Rican cuisine at the entrance of Old San Juan, the heart of nightlife in the Old City. It is a two-level restaurant with an exterior patio.
  • La Bombonera, ☎ +1 787-722-0658. Calle San Francisco, west of Tanca. 7:30AM-8PM. Authentic local cuisine in an unassuming landmark atmosphere unchanged for decades. Serves lunch and dinner. Fresh pastries. Superlative coffee. Inexpensive.
  • Luigi's Restaurant, 104 Diez de Andino, Condado, +1 787-722-2672. M-Sa 11:30AM-3PM and 6PM-10PM; Su noon-5PM. Serves Italian and Genovese cuisine.
  • Margarita's, Several locations including 3rd level at Plaza las Américas and 1013 Ave. Roosevelt, +1 787-792-0283. A traditional Mexican food restaurants.
  • Milagros y Sean's, Isla Verde. Delicious traditional home cooked Spanish food and half-edible Irish cuisine if you're not in the mood for good tasting things. Bartender makes great cocktails and pours a terrible Guinness. Lounge area with 1990s hip-hop, R&B classics, and semi-tolerable fiddle.
  • Ostra Cosa, Calle del Cristo 154, Old San Juan, +1 787-722-2672. Daily noon-10PM. Reservations recommended. The ambience here is one of the most sensual and romantic in Old San Juan.
  • Pamela's restaurant, +1 787 726-5010, Calle Santa Ana 1. Traditional Caribbean and Puerto Rican dishes are prepared by a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. You have the choice of eating inside or outside on the beach. Lunch runs around $15 while dinner is a little more ($20-25).
  • Parrot Club, Calle Fortaleza 363, Old San Juan, +1 787-725-7370. Daily noon-3PM; 6PM-11PM. Live music, either Brazilian, salsa, or Latino jazz, is offered nightly and during the popular Sunday brunches.
  • Ramiro's, Av. Magdalena 1106, Condado, +1 787-721-9049. M-Sa noon-3PM & 6PM-11PM; Su noon-3PM & 6PM-10PM. Creole" style cooking pioneered by owner and chef Jesús Ramiro.
  • San Juan Hard Rock Café, Old San Juan.
  • Tantra, 356 Calle Fortaleza, serves international cuisine. Great creative and nightlife atmosphere. A warm, candlelit environment with great food and great martinis. Moderately priced, entrees run from around $13-17. +1 787 977-8141.
  • Tierra del Fuego, 3rd Level at Plaza las Américas, +1 787-294-7019. One of the best Argentinean restaurants where you will be able to savor a tender, juicy cut of meat prepared by chefs and cooks who work together with a warm staff of waiters and hostesses.
  • UVVA Restaurant, +1 787 727-3302, 1 Calle Tapia, Ocean Park. International creative cuisine by Chef Jose Vicente is served from 8AM-11PM. The ambiance is elegant and casual.
  • BUNS Burger Shop, 1214 Ashford Ave. (In front of Marriott Hotel). 11:30AM-4AM. Great burgers with high quality beef. Over 40 beers, some on tap.
  • Punto de Vista Restaurant, Plaza Covadonga (across from cruise pier 3/4), ☎ +1 787-729-7575. 11a to late. Excellent Puerto Rican Food. Traditional Mofongo, Arroz y Habichuela (Rice & Beans), Churrasquitos (steak tacos). The staff is bilingual & friendly. Mojitos are made by hand with fresh mint. Great prices on drinks & featuring Medalla the local beer fo $1.50 all day every day. The owner is originally from New Jersey.
  • Al Dente, Calle Recinto Sur 309, Old San Juan, ☎ +1 787-723-7303. M-F noon-3PM; M-Sa 6PM-11PM; Sun 12:30PM-4PM and 6PM-10PM. The oldest continuously operated Italian restaurant in Puerto Rico.
  • La Bombonera, Calle San Francisco, west of Tanca, ☎ +1 787-722-0658. 7:30AM-8PM. Authentic local cuisine in an unassuming landmark atmosphere unchanged for decades. Serves lunch and dinner. Fresh pastries. Superlative coffee. Inexpensive.
  • La Mallorca, Calle San Francisco 300 (east of Tanca). Called "the Platonic ideal of a diner" by the New York Times, this local cafe is operated by the owners of La Bombonera and has the same time-warp atmosphere. Serves breakfast and lunch. The Mallorca pastry and the sandwiches are recommended. Superlative coffee. Sandwiches around $5, mains under $10.
  • Dragonfly, Calle Fortaleza. By far one of the best places to eat if you want a Cuban Asian Fusion. Great food right across from Aquaviva in Old San Juan. No shorts or sandals allowed.
  • El Meson Sandwiches at the intersection of C. San Francisco and C. San Jose, has a large selection (including many vegetarian items) at very reasonable prices.
  • Mojito's, Calle Recinto Sur 323. Despite the Cubanesque name and its location on the cruise ship trail, this restaurant serves up big portions of no-nonsense pork, rice and beans local fare at reasonable prices. Try the chuletas (pork chops). Mains from $10.
  • Ostra Cosa, Calle del Cristo 154, ☎ +1 787-722-2672. Daily noon-10PM. Reservations recommended. The ambience here is one of the most sensual and romantic in Old San Juan.
  • Parrot Club, Calle Fortaleza 363, ☎ +1 787-725-7370. Daily noon-3PM; 6PM-11PM. One of the better Latin fusion restaurants: it's expensive, but at least the food is good, the decor bright and the service friendly. Live music, either Brazilian, salsa, or Latino jazz, is offered nightly as well as during the popular Sunday brunches.
  • Siglo XX, Calle O'Donell (just south of Plaza Colón). Local cuisine. Good Cuban sandwiches and beans and rice. Serves lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.
  • El Jibarito, 280 Sol Street, Old San Juan, ☎ +1 787-725-8375. This is a moderately-priced restaurant serving authentic criolla food. $10.
  • Pieria Restaurant & Lounge, 310 Fortaleza St (SOFO Culinary District), ☎ +1 787-774-3742. Pieria offers a combination of local dishes like their Paella Artesanal and Stuffed Mofongo, as well as international tapas, such as Yakitori, Chorizos al Vino. Their sangria is excellent.

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Drink

  • Brava, At Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino, Isla Verde. Cover $15, free for residents of El San Juan Hotel. Open Th-Sa from 10PM-4AM.
  • Club Brava (In the El San Juan Hotel), ☎ +1 787-791-2781. Large and popular nightclub. (updated Jul 2017 | edit)
  • Cigar Bar, At Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino, Isla Verde. Daily 6PM-3AM.
  • Club Laser, Calle del Cruz 251, near the corner of Calle Fortaleza. Cover $8-12 (free cover for women before midnight on Sat) The club is usually open Th-Su from 10PM-4AM.
  • Dákiti, Calle San Sebastián, Pub with two floors. Idilic for the San Sebastián Festivities.
  • Dragonfly, Restaurant and bar on Forteleza Street in Old San Juan.
  • El Patio de Sam, Calle San Sebastián, Old San Juan. One of the most popular late-night joints with a good selection of beers. Live entertainment is presented here M-Sa.nOpen daily noon to 1AM.
  • Logan's Irish Pub, Calle Bori 496, Río Piedras. Daily 11:30AM-1AM (closes at 2:30AM F-Sa). A sports bar with TV monitors and high-energy rock 'n' roll.
  • Rumba, Calle San Sebastián 152. The site for the filming of many of the crowd scenes within Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Cover $15.
  • Shannon's Irish Pub, Marginal Martínez Nadal, Guaynabo. Daily 11:30AM-1AM (closes at 2:30AM F-Sa). A sports bar with TV monitors and high-energy rock 'n' roll.
  • Nuyorican Cafe, ☎ +1 787-977-1276. Calle San Francisco #312. Good live music venue in Old San Juan. Salsa, Latin jazz, folkloric music.
  • Barrachina, 104 Calle Fortaleza (on Calle Fortaleza between Calle del Cristo and Calle San José), ☎ +1 787 725-7912. Su-Tu Th 10AM-10PM; W 10AM-6PM; F Sa 10AM-11PM. Home of the original Piña Colada, a stone marker on the outside wall marks the location. Some bloggers report most "Coladas" have compromised flavor because they are held in and served from automatic machines. $$. edit
  • La Taberna Lúpulo, 151 Calle San Sebastian (just south of the Museo de Arte e Historia de San Juan in Old San Juan), ☎ +1 787-721-3772. M-F 6PM-2AM; Sa Su 1PM-2AM. Probably the best place in San Juan to grab a beer that's not Medalla or Coors Light. 50 taps and 150 bottles of the finest Belgian, English, German, and American Craft Beers and great pub food! On historic Calle San Sebastian in an open air colonial setting.

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Sleep

San Juan has a wide range of accommodation, but few budget options of any kind. European-style youth hostels do not exist in the city. Colonial-style city hotels are clustered in Old San Juan, while the big beachfront resorts are mostly out in Condado and Isla Verde.

You'll be looking at $100/night for even a basic hotel room, and well north of $300 for a five-star resort. However, discounts are available in summer (low) season.

There are a number of vacation apartments which are walking distance to the beach, comfortable with fully equipped kitchen for saving money meals. You can find these individually-owned apartments in either condos in front of the beach in Isla verde or in areas in Ocean Park and Condado walking distance to beach. You might not have the daily housekeeping service but this option is good to receive a more authentic stay rather than in the sterile unchanging hotel. These accommodations can vary from $50-80.

  • The Palace Hostel, Miramar district, ☎ +1 720-432-0712. 15 minutes from Condado beach and Central Park. In the area there are restaurants, bars, graffiti, a Muy Thai gym, and access to a bus stop that can take you directly to Old San Juan. Dorms $16.50-19.50; double/twin $29.50.
  • San Juan International Hostel, 1452 Calle América. Santurce (San Juan Arts District; downtown area), not a traditional tourist hub like Condado, Old San Juan or Isla Verde (short ride to them). One the 5 best hostels of the Caribbean according to USA Today. On the other side of the highway from Condado. Free Broadband Internet and one computer terminal; various communal areas and rooms equipped with 24/7 high-speed air fans, electric sockets by bedsides, mosquito screens and repellent. Complementary fresh linens and towel (bath and beach). Not a party but a good sleeping hostel. Two full washrooms with toiletry and hot water at showers 24/7. No charge for local coffee; pancake mix, syrup and tea. Outdoor terrace, full kitchen with stove, refrigerator and freezer, microwave, toaster, pots and utensil, extra large lockers, free (outgoing only) calls to Puerto Rico and to mainland USA. Dorms $23/$19, double $46/$42 with/without AC.
  • Posada San Francisco. with private room guest house, and traditional hostel dorms Dorms $17-25 per person; private rooms with shared bath: single/double/triple $35/52/66.
  • Castro Guest House, ☎ +1 787 722-5436. 205 Calle de Tanca. Small guest house with rooms from $20-40 per night. Shared bathrooms, can be a little grotty. No air-con, and cheapest rooms have no windows, but balcony rooms are breezy. Between Calle de la San Francisco and Calle de la Forteleza on the Eastern side of the street. Transportation from the airport is $19.50 plus $.50 per piece of luggage.
  • Posada San Francisco, 405 San Francisco St. Directly in front of Plaza Colon. Due to its cleanness and location, it's one of the best budget options in the Old Town. Has a variety for all types of budget options but all having Air-conditioning and kitchen facilities. One floor dedicated to hostel dorm-style accommodations for $23 per person. On a different floor, a guest house section with all private rooms $45 or with satellite TV, $60. The easiest way to book is through Hostelworld.com and you have immediate access to availability.
  • Doubletree by Hilton San Juan, ☎ +1 787 721-1200. 105 De Diego, near the airport, the beach, and Old San Juan. Free Wi-fi and a warm chocolate chip cookie upon arrival.
  • Hyatt House San Juan, 615 Ave Fernandez Juncos, ☎ +1 787 977-5000. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Studio, one- and two-bedroom suites offering views of the Atlantic Ocean and San Juan Bay.
  • Hosteria del Mar, 1 Calle Tapia, (Ocean Park), +1 787 727-3302 or +1 800-742-4276.
  • San Miguel Plaza Hotel. Lodging accommodations include free continental breakfast, parking, Internet, business center and gym, all for a low rate per room and the lowest tax rate, with no additional or hidden charges.
  • Tu Casa Boutique Hotel, 2071 Calle Cacique, (Ocean Park), +1 787 727-5100.
  • Posada Colonial apartments: Ocean Park/Condado area, minutes from the beach ($70 night complete and private apartment)
  • Howard Johnson Plaza de Armas, 202 Calle San Jose (South of Calle San Fransisco), ☎ +1 787-722-9191. Not your typical HoJo, this is in the middle of old town in a restored colonial house. Rooms are squeaky clean but tiny, often windowless, and equipped with noisy old air-con. Free breakfast in the downright stylish lounge, free wifi. Temperamental elevator, no parking. All in all, it's OK if you just need a place to crash, but not much more. $95-150.
  • Hotel Milano, 307 Fortaleza St, ☎ +1 787 729-9050, toll-free: +1-877-729-9050, fax: +1 787 722-3379, e-mail: info@hotelmilanopr.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Small but nice rooms (the $80 room). Rooftop restaurant with nice view and lots of great places to eat & drink nearby. Casino nearby. Public parking deck 2 blocks away. Outstanding staff that is truly helpful & friendly. $80/90 to $145/175 for low/high season.

Normandie Hotel, 499 Munoz Rivera Ave, ☎ +1 787 729-2929, toll-free: +1-877-987-2929. Old San Juan.

  • SJ Suites, ☎ +1 787 725-1351. 253 Fortazela.
  • La Concha a Renaissance Resort, 1077 Ashford Ave, ☎ +1 787 721-7500. A modern chic luxury resort in the Condado area of San Juan. Amazing views, restaurants, casino, and nightlife.
  • Condado Palm Inn & Suites, 55 Condado Ave (San Juan 00908, Puerto Rico), ☎ +1 787-721-9500.
  • Doubletree by Hilton San Juan, 105 De Diego Avenue (San Juan 00911, Puerto Rico), ☎ +1 787-721-1200.
  • Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, 1055 Ave Dr Ashford (San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico), ☎ +1 787-721-5500.
  • Acacia Seaside Inn, 8 Taft Street, ☎ +1 877-725-0668.
  • El Canario by the Sea, Ave Condado, 722-8640, ☎ +1 800-742-4276.
  • Casa del Caribe, 57 Caribe St, ☎ +1 877-722-7139.
  • Casa Castellana, 1218 Calle Luchetti, ☎ +1 787-200-5752, +1 813-220-1813. Refurbished Spanish mansion with complete hot breakfast.
  • Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, 999 Ashford (San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico), ☎ +1 787-721-1000. The only property overlooking both the Atlantic Ocean and Condado Lagoon. Five minutes to historic Old San Juan.
  • Le Consulat Ascend Collection Hotel, 1149 Magdalena Ave, ☎ +1 787-289-9191. Condado. Small hotel, part of the Choice Hotels/Clarion chain.
  • Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino, 999 Ashford, ☎ +1 866-317-8934. The only luxury property overlooking both the Atlantic Ocean and Condado Lagoon.
  • San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, 1309 Ave Ashford, 787-722, ☎ +1 787 722-7000, toll-free: +1 800-228-9290. Upscale resort. Free wifi, 36” HD flat screen LCD tvs, with laptop connectivity. $264-634.
  • At Wind Chimes Inn, 1750 McLeary Ave, ☎ +1 800-946-3244.
  • Coral Princess Hotel, 1159 Magdalena Ave, ☎ +1 787-977-7700. Condado. Boutique hotel.
  • Caribe Hilton, 1 San Geronimo Street, ☎ +1 787 -721-0303. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Set on a secluded peninsula with 17 acres of lush foliage, this resort is situated between historic Old San Juan and the culturally rich Condado area of San Juan. Secluded beach, pools, tennis courts, spa & hammock garden. 9 restaurants and bars, including Caribar, Italian & Asian cuisine. Kids' playground, fountain pool and game room. Adjacent to Paseo Caribe with dining, shopping and entertainment. $219-587.
  • Hotel El Convento, 100 Calle del Cristo, ☎ +1 800-468-2779. This small luxury hotel was a convent until the late nineteenth century. A four story courtyard connects the rooms, and the entire hotel has free wireless internet as well as free afternoon wine and cheese. The deck around the rooftop plunge pool has a world-class view overlooking the town. The courtyard features restaurants and a bar. All of the hotel is accessible by elevator. From $225.
  • Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel, 100 Brumbaugh St, ☎ +1 866 653-7577. The Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel is a delightfully captivating upscale hotel in the heart of picturesque Old San Juan, a city as rich in history as it is in culture. A completely unique location highlights spectacular views of the bay and puts you mere cobblestone away from 16th century Spanish fortresses, fascinating museums, art galleries, restaurants and world-class shopping. From its uniquely Spanish-colonial architecture to its comforting in-room amenities, the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino offers guests the perfect blend of Old World charm and New World elegance. $225 and up.
  • The Gallery Inn, 204 Norzagaray Street, ☎ +1 787-722-1808. The only hotel in Old San Juan with Atlantic Ocean views. Spectacular, 300-year-old boutique hotel, art gallery and museum in one. 26 unique accommodations, owned by artist/sculptor Jan D'Esopo. Fascinating Old World charm. 18 gardens, rooftop deck with panoramic views from the highest point in Old San Juan; seasonal classical concerts; private Cannon Club dining.
  • El San Juan Hotel & Casino, 6063 Isla Verde Avenue, ☎ +1 787-791-1000. Beachfront location in the Isla Verde district of San Juan and 15 minutes from the shopping, entertainment, and history of charming Old San Juan.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes exist but are not very common, although some cafes, such as Starbucks, and restaurants, such as Subway, provide free WiFi. Some of the major metro areas provide free WiFi zones, such as along Paseo de la Princesa in Old San Juan, but these tend to be slow and unreliable. There is no free WiFi at the primary airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Most hotels provide wired or wireless (or both) internet for guests, either for free or a fee, however many motels do not. Puerto has continually strived to improve the Internet on the island.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Puerto Rico has a modern cellular network. All the major US carriers are represented and are not roaming for US subscribers with nationwide plans. Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have native coverage, while Verizon roams on their legacy network now operated by Claro. Other CDMA carriers also use Claro or Sprint. For non-US travelers, AT&T and T-Mobile are the GSM carriers, while Sprint and Claro are CDMA and probably not compatible with your phone.

Post

The mail service in Puerto Rico is provided by the United States Postal Service. Local branches are abundant (there are more than five in the San Juan area alone) and operate on the same business hours as American post offices: Monday - Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm; Saturday 9am to 12pm. The rates and delivery times are the same as those in the mainland United States and all international rates are the same as mail originating in the United States.

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San Juan (Puerto Rico) Travel Helpers

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This is version 17. Last edited at 14:47 on Aug 28, 18 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

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