El Bosque Nacional Del Caribe
Take Route 3 East From San Juan And Turn Right South On Route 191, About 25 mi. from the city. stop in at the Centro De InformaciÃ³n El Portal El Portal Tropical Forest Information Center on route 191 at the entrance to the park.
Admission is charged
The best way to see the 28,000-Acre Caribbean National Forest (Or El Yunque, as it's commonly known) is to go with a tour guide. Dozens of trails lead through the thick rain forest, and guides take you to the best observation points, bathing spots, and waterfalls.
721-7000 Ext 2211
Guided tours in English on the hour, in Spanish every 30 minutes
The governor's palace, built between 1533 and 1540, was used as a fortress against Carib attacks but greatly expanded in the 19th century. It is believed to be the oldest executive residence in continuous use in the western hemisphere. Access to the official areas is not permitted.
Catedral De San Juan
153 Calle Cristo
Weekdays 8:30-4; Masses Sat. 7 pm, Sun. 9 am; 11 am, Weekdays 12:15
Built in the 16th century but extensively restored in the 19th and 20th.
the remains of Ponce de LeÃ³n are in a marble tomb near the transept. The Catholic shrine of Puerto Rico had humble beginnings in the early 1520s as a thatch-topped wooden structure. Hurricane winds tore off the thatch and destroyed the church. It was reconstructed in 1540, when the graceful circular staircase and vaulted Gothic ceilings were added, but most of the work was done in the 19th century.
Centro Ceremonial IndÃgena De Tibes
787/840-2255 Or 787/840-5685
Tues.day - Sunday 9-4.
Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center. At Tibes, are found pre-TaÃno ruins and burials dating from ad 300 to ad 700. Some archaeologists, noting the symmetrical arrangement of stone pillars, surmise the cemetery may have been of great religious significance. The complex includes a detailed re-creation of a TaÃno village and a museum.
17 El VigÃa Hill, 787/259-1774. Admission Charged.
A splendid Spanish revival mansion perched on El VigÃa Hill that recalls the era of the sugar barons.
After hurricane damage, El Morro Trail, a jogger's paradise, is being reconstructed. The trail provides Old Town's most scenic views across the harbor. The first part extends to the San Juan Gate; it then goes by the well-preserved walls of El Morro, a 16th-century fort, and eventually reaches a scenic area known as Bastion de Santa Barbara. The trail is designed to follow the rhythm of the movement of the ocean surf, and sea grapes and tropical vegetation surround benches that are perfect for a rest. The walk is romantic at night, when the walls of the fortress are illuminated.
Fuerte San Felipe Del Morro/Fuerte San CristÃ³bal
Small admission charge.
San Felipe Del Morro was built in 1591 to defend the entrance to the harbour, and the 11-hectare fort san cristÃ³bal was completed in 1772 to support El Morro and to defend the landward side of the city. The massive six-level fortress covers enough territory to accommodate a nine-hole golf course. It is a labyrinth of dungeons, barracks, turrets, towers, and tunnels. its small, air-conditioned museum traces the history of the fortress. Tours and a video show are available in English.
Plaza Del Quinto Centenario
The Plaza Del Quinto Centenario, Inaugurated On 12 October 1992 To Commemorate The 500th Anniversary Of Columbus' Landing, is a modernistic square on several levels with steps leading to a central fountain with hundreds of jets good view of El Morro, the cemetery and sunsets.
2.5 miles west of CataÃ±o at km 2.6 on State Road 888, across the straits from El Morro Castle, is the world's largest rum factory.
Take the ferry and then a taxi. Displays and samples are offered. A one hour tour leaves every 30 minutes.
Cuartel De BallajÃ¡
Mon-Frid 10:00-4:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-5:00
Guided Tours Available Weekdays 1030, 1130, 1230 And 2:00
Once the barracks for Spanish Troops and their families, was also inaugurated 12 October 1992 with the museum of the americas on the second floor tracing the cultural development of the history of the new world.
Chapel museum open Wed-Sun 9:00-12:00, 1:00-4:30
Built in the early 16th century, later used as a headquarters by the US Army, is now the office of the institute of culture, with a good art gallery. Cultural events are sometimes held in the patio, art exhibitions in the galleries.
Iglesia De San JosÃ©
Calle San SebastiÃ¡n, Plaza De San JosÃ©, 787/725-7501. Admission Free.
Mon-Sat 8:30-4:00, Sun Mass at noon
With its vaulted ceilings, this is a splendid example of 16th-century Spanish Gothic architecture. The church, one of the oldest in the western hemisphere, was built in 1532 under the supervision of Dominican friars. The body of Ponce de LeÃ³n was buried here for almost 300 years before being moved in 1913 to the Catedral De San Juan.
Casa De Los Contrafuertes
Early 18th Century, believed to be the oldest private residence in the old city, now has periodic art exhibitions on the second floor and a small pharmacy museum with 19th century exhibits on the ground floor.
1 Calle San SebastiÃ¡n
Tue-Sun 9:00-12:00, 1:00-4:30
Guided Tours Tue-Fri By Appointment.
Built in 1523 by the family of Ponce De LeÃ³n, who lived in it for 250 years until it became the residence of the Spanish and then the US military Commander-in-Chief. It is now a historical museum which is well worth a visit.
The AlcaldÃa, Or City Hall
724-7171 Ext 2391
Mon-Fri 8:00-4:00 Except Holidays
Mon-Fri 8:00-12:00, 1:00-4:30
Formerly the Spanish colonial exchequer, a fine example of 19th century Puerto Rican Architecture, now houses Puerto Rico's State Department.
The Naval Arsenal
Wed-Sun 9:00-12:00, 1:00-4:30
The last place in Puerto Rico to be evacuated by the Spanish in 1898, exhibitions are held in three galleries.
Casa Del CallejÃ³n
Both Museums Closed For Restoration
A restored 18th-century house containing two colonial museums, the architectural and the Puerto Rican Family.
Reserva Natural Las Cabezas De San Juan
The reserve is open to the public, by reservation only, Friday-Sunday and to tour groups Wednesday-Thursday. Tours are given on request in advance, by phone four times Daily; An English tour is available at 2 Pm. Rte. 987, Km 5.8
787/722-5882 Or 787/860-2560
Most of Puerto Rico's natural habitats are rolled into Las Cabezas Reserve's 316 acres. nineteenth-century El Faro, one of the island's oldest lighthouses, is restored and still functioning. The wide variety of birds makes this a favorite spot for bird watchers.
JardÃn BotÃ¡nico (Botanical Garden)
Intersection Of Rtes. 1 and 847 at entrance to Barrio Venezuela, RÃo Piedras
The main attraction at the University of Puerto Rico is the lush 75-acre forest of more than 200 species of tropical and subtropical vegetation. Gravel footpaths lead to a graceful lotus lagoon, a bamboo promenade, an orchid garden with some 30,000 plants, and a palm garden. Signs are in Spanish and English. Trail maps are available at the entrance gate.
Pablo Casals Museum
Pablo Casals museum is in an 18th century house beside San JosÃ© church, with Casals' cello and other memorabilia.
San Juan Museum Of Art And History
Norzagaray Y Macarthur
Built in 1855 as a marketplace, now a cultural centre with exhibition galleries.
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
399 De Diego Avenue in Santurce
Tuesday through Sunday 10 - 5
The museum's gallery is open to the public on Wednesdays until 8pm for special interactive and educational programs.
Launched in the summer of 2000, this is one of the island's most important art museums. It houses more than 250 pieces, including works by two of Puerto Rico's most recognized artists: Campche and Rafael TufiÃ±o.
Visitors may also view works by gifted international artists, attend films in the state-of-the-art theater, or participate in classes in the 5 acre sculpture garden.
Observatorio De Arecibo
This facility is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center of Cornell University. Rte. 625
Wed.-Fri. Noon-4, Weekends 9-4.
The town of Arecibo is home to the world's largest radar/radio telescope: a 20-acre dish, with a 600-ton suspended platform hovering over it, sits in a 565-ft-deep sinkhole. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the observatory. This is where where groundbreaking work in astronomy, including SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, continues.
Casa Del Libro
Tue-Sat, Except Holidays, 11:00-4:30
An 18th century house on Calle Cristo, has a collection of rare books, including some over 400 years old.
Museum of the Sea
On pier one, with a collection of maritime instruments and models. Open when the pier is open for cruise ships.
Museo De Arte De Ponce Ponce Museum Of Art
Av. Las AmÃ©ricas, 787/848-0505 Or 787/848-0511
The Indian Museum
Calle San JosÃ© 109 On The Corner Of Luna
724-5477 Or 722-1709
No admission charge
The Indian museum concentrates on Puerto Rican indigenous cultures, With exhibits, ceramics and archaeological digs.
Fort San JerÃ³nimo
Wed-Sun 9:30-12:00, 1:00-4:30
Another museum in the old city, it is a military museum.
Founded In 1714 but became incorporated into San Juan in 1951. On the edge of RÃo Piedras, the gardens and library of the former governor, Luis MuÃ±oz MarÃn, are open to the public, with a museum showing his letters, photos and speeches.
The University Of Puerto Rico
764-0000, Ext 2452
Mon-Fri 9:00-9:00, Weekends 9:00-3:00
The University of Puerto Rico at RÃo Piedras is in a lovely area. The University Museum has archaeological and historical exhibitions, and also monthly art exhibitions.
250-0000 Ext 6580
The Botanical Garden at the agricultural experiment station has over 200 species of tropical and subtropical plants, a bamboo promenade one variety can grow four feet in a day, an orchid garden over 30,000 orchids, and an aquatic garden.
The financial district of San Juan nicknamed 'The Golden Mile'.
LuÃs MuÃ±oz MarÃn Park
Avenida JesÃºs T PiÃ±ero
Covers 35 Hectares, which can be toured by a one kilometre cable car.
Parque Luis MuÃ±oz MarÃn
Next To Las A
Admission Free; Parking $1 Per Vehicle.
This idyllic 90-acre tree-shaded park is dotted with gardens, lakes, playgrounds, and picnic areas. An aerial gondola connects it with the parking area and provides a 61/2-minute tour of the grounds. An outdoor amphitheater is the venue for plays, concerts, and folk performances.
Museum Of Contemporary Puerto Rican Art Santurce
The Sacred Heart University
Tue-Sat 9:00-4:00, Sunday 11:00-5:00
Fine Arts Center
Opened in 1981, with theatres and halls at the corner of De Diego and Ponce De LeÃ³n.
Parque De Las Cavernas Del RÃo Camuy
Rte. 129, Km 20
787/898-3100 or 787/898-3136
Admission and parking fee.
Tues.-Sun. 8-4. Last tour starts At 3:50
The 250-Acre RÃo Camuy reserve contains one of the world's largest cave networks. Tours take you on a tram down through dense tropical vegetation to the cave entrance, where you continue on foot over underground trails, ramps, and bridges. The caves, sinkholes, and subterranean streams are all spectacular. Be sure to call ahead; the tours allow only a limited number of people, and hours change slightly in the off-season.
787/729-6960 More Info
This 18th-Century fortress guarded the city from land attacks. even larger than El Morro, San CristÃ³bal was known in its heyday as the Gibraltar of the West Indies.
A residential area having several moderately priced hotels as well as some expensive ones. Miramar is separated from the Atlantic coast by the Condado Lagoon and the Condado Beach area, where the luxury hotels, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants are concentrated. From Condado the beach front is built up eastwards through Ocean Park, Santa Teresita, Punta Las MarÃas and Isla Verde. Building is expanding along the narrow strip beyond Isla Verde, between the Sea and the airport. Along this road, Avenida Boca De Cangrejos, there are lots of food trucks selling barbecued specialties.
Scuba Diving And Snorkeling
The diving is excellent off Puerto Rico's south, east, and west coasts as well as its offshore islands. it's best to choose specific locations with the help of a guide or outfitter, who will know current conditions and safety concerns.
Snorkeling and scuba instruction, equipment rentals, and tours are available at the following:
BoquerÃ³n Dive Shop
Main St., BoquerÃ³n, 787/851-2155.
Caribbean School Of Aquatics
Taft St. No. 1, Suite 10f, San Juan, 787/728-6606.
Caribe Aquatic Adventures
Radisson Normandie Hotel,
Corner of Av. Rosales And Av. MuÃ±oz Rivera,
Puerta De Tierra, San Juan, 787/724-1882 Or 787/281-8858.
Coral Head Divers
Palmas Del Mar, Rte. 906,
Humacao, 787/850-7208 Or 800/635-4529.
Copamarina Beach Resort, Rte. 333, Km 6.5,
GuÃ¡nica, 787/821-0505, Ext. 729, Or 800/468-4553
Laguna Garden Shopping Center,
Av. Baldorioty De Castro, Carolina,
Parguera Divers Training Center
Hotel Posada Por Lamar, Rte. 304, Km 3.3,
La Parguera, 787/899-4171.
Puerto Rican Diver Supply
A-E6 Santa Isidra 111,
The Artisan Markets
Sixto Escobar Park Calle Cuevillas,
Puerta de Tierra, San Juan, 787/722-0369
Luis MuÃ±oz MarÃn Park
Next to Las AmÃ©ricas expressway West on Av. PiÃ±ero,
Hato Rey, San Juan, 787/763-0568.
By law, all casinos are in hotels. The government keeps a close eye on them. Dress for the larger casinos tends to be on the more formal side. the law permits casinos to operate noon-4 am, but individual casinos set their own hours. hotels that house casinos have live entertainment most weekends, restaurants, and bars; drinks are usually served in the casino to players. The minimum age is 18.