Historic Sites

Every city has its own unique feel and vibe, which is determined by a number of things. The local historic sites are no doubt one of the largest contributing factors to the aura that surrounds a city. When in San Juan, users recommend paying a visit to Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park, in the Utuado area to get a feel for what truly makes up the city.

Old San Juan
Casa Blanca

[The home will be closed during renovations until early 2011.] This house was built in 1521 for Juan Ponce de Leon, though he never lived here. Descendants resided here for the next 250 years until the Spanish government seized the home and used...  Read More

Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park

A two-hour drive west of San Juan is worth it to see this fascinating park with 13 acres originally used by the Taino Indians for worship and recreation. A small museum contains artifacts and explains the significance of the 800-year-old site,...  Read More

Iglesia de San José

[Currently undergoing renovations.] The Dominican Friars built this church in 1532. A gem of Spanish Gothic architecture, it is the second oldest church in the western hemisphere. Several valuable artifacts are on display here including an...  Read More

Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery

Visitors to this cemetery, which dates bank to the 19th century, are urged to visit during the daytime hours and to use caution since the area is known for petty crime. But aficionados of old graveyards will love the Victorian funeral statues,...  Read More

El Morro: Castillo de San Felipe Del Morro

El Morro is as awe-inspiring as it sounds: the largest fortification in the Caribbean and named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. It was built by the Spaniards between 1540 and 1783 to honor King Phillip II. Located on a rocky point...  Read More

Old San Juan
La Fortaleza

Over 170 governors of Puerto Rico have lived in La Fortaleza – it is the oldest continuously operating governor's residence in the Western Hemisphere. The original fortification was built to protect the entrance to San Juan Bay, but was judged...  Read More

Fuerte San Cristóbal

This magnificent fort is connected to El Morro by a series of walls, dry moats and tunnels. The structure was begun in 1634 and completed in 1771. The walls are more than 150 feet above the sea, and the fortifications cover more than 27 acres....  Read More

La Puerta de San Juan

Along the promenade of the bay, a winding, weathered centuries-old wall still protects the city. It is punctuated by the sudden appearance of a portal, a massive terracotta colored entrance that is the San Juan Gate. It is the last of the...  Read More

Capilla del Cristo

If you are in San Juan on a Tuesday, plan to visit this lovely chapel with an exquisite silver and gold altar. Built in 1753, the chapel commemorates a young man who was killed in a horse race down this very street. Some versions of the story...  Read More

El Arsenal de la Marina

Several galleries and a small museum tell the story of El Arsenal, built by the Spanish in the 19th century. Shallow boats were necessary to patrol the mangrove swamps around the city and this marina was where they were housed. El Arsenal was...  Read More

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