San Juan Travel Guide
San Juan Attractions
Old San Juan - Seven squares of narrow cobblestone streets, shady plazas, and colonial architecture make up the walled city of Old San Juan. The great 16th-century fortress of El Morro at the western end of the district has seen assaults by many, including Sir Francis Drake, and other pirates. It stood firm against all, and rises high above the sea, with walls that are 4,5 metres thick, and has a maze of tunnels and dungeons. Today the great old fortress sees nothing more threatening than kite-flyers.
Catedral de San Juan - Originally a rough thatched-roof building in the early 16th century, this church has grown over the centuries to the great Gothic structure it is today. It contains the marble tomb of Ponce de Leon, the island's first governor.
Casa Blanca - Built as a residence for the first governor of the island, Casa Blanca is a museum today, and furnished with furniture from the Spanish colonial era. The house is set in magnificent grounds overlooking the bay and it is no wonder it was the oldest continuously inhabited residence in the western hemisphere.
Luis A. Ferre Centro de Bellas Artes - This modern masterpiece of architecture in Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Santurce area of San Juan, is home to four theatres where lovers of serious music, dance or drama can drink their fill of world-class cultural entertainment. Ranging from small and intimate with only a few dozen seats to enormous auditoriums of 2000 seats, the Fine Arts Centre is of world-class standard.
Bebo's Authentic Island cuisine, and Amazing quality and Service.... but please dont cheap out on the tip.... the ladies that work there are working for Tips only... and you gotta expect that if you tip well, the service will excel!
submitted by Fred Mcfall, 23/10/07
San Juan Shopping
Butterfly People - This gallery located in one of the restored buildings of Old San Juan, sells preserved butterflies in masterpieces of design, ranging from a simple mounting that costs a few dollars, to murals that cover an entire wall, for thousands. The butterflies are imported from farms around the world and represent the entire lepidopteron species.
Centro Nacional de Artes Populares y Artesanias Located at Calle del Cristo, although the prices for the arts and crafts sold here are not particularly cheap, it is understandable as the artisans who practice the ancient native crafts are the most skilful on the island, and any work they produce is well worth the cost.
Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store Located Calle del Cristo, and housed in two old colonial buildings, this is the most stylish factory shop anywhere in the world. The canny shopper can pick up a genuine Ralph Lauren article here for up to 35% to 40% less than in the retail stores of the USA.
San Juan Beaches
Luquillo Beach - Although this beach is located 30 miles from San Juan, it is by far the best beach in the area, and is famous for its sands and clear waters. Coral reefs protect the lagoon from the rough Atlantic waters and provide safe swimming for young children.
Isla Verde - Backed by high rise hotels and condos, this is one of the best beaches in San Juan and offers everything modern sun lovers expect, including restaurants and shops, and crowds of like-minded tourist, including restaurants and shops, and crowds of like-minded tourists.
Condado In the sheltered waters of Condado Lagoon sportsmen, (and women of-course, to be perfectly PC) can enjoy deep-sea fishing for marlin, tuna and sailfish.
San Juan Restaurants and Bars
San Juan Restaurants
La Casona Restaurant Located in Santurce, if you palette is honed to savour the delights of Spanish cooking, then a meal at this restaurant will satisfy your taste buds, and bring you back begging for more. Housed in an old mansion that has been perfectly restored to its former elegance, it is the ideal setting for an excellent meal.
Amadeus Cafe Restaurant - Located at 106 Calle San Sebastian, San Juan, this is another restaurant that is housed in a restored San Juan mansion, and has the perfect ambience for the Caribbean cuisine that is served under its roof.
Tony Roma`s Located at 999 Ashford Avenue, Condado, for flame-grilled ribs that are to die for, and for which the restaurant is famous, diners can also enjoy chicken, steaks, and seafood as well from it great menu.
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