Goes Ashore in the Caribbean
to see & things to do
other Caribbean port can top San Juan for historic sights and
imposing fortresses. In
its early colonial days, Spanish Puerto Rico defended its strategic
position not only from the navies of Great Britain, Holland, and
France, but from hundreds of pirates who preyed on weak Caribbean
cruise ships dock in the heart of Old San Juan.
Coming ashore, passengers who pick up maps and information
from the tourist kiosks can easily set off on foot for a walking
tour and end up right across the street to relax and gamble in the
Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino.
second pier where cruise ships sometimes dock is located just across
from Old San Juan, near the Isla Grande Airport. Too far to walk to
the Old city, passengers find taxis available and some cruise lines
provide a shuttle service for their guests.
out on your own in Old San Juan, you’ll find a number of sights
easily reachable from the pier either on foot or by trolley. For
the less adventurous, taxis are available. Driving
a rental car can be a hassle in the narrow congested streets and
parking is almost non-existent.
through the picturesque streets in the western seven square blocks
of the city and you’ll find many of San Juan’s primary historic
attractions. Streets are well
marked and laid out in a grid for the most part—stop to consult
your map and you’re likely to be offered assistance in finding
your way around by a local resident.
Some of the highlights of a walking tour are the City Walls,
San Juan Gate, La Forteleza and Mansion Ejecutiva, “El Morro”
fortress, La Casa Blanca, El Convento, Catedral de San Juan, Fort
San Cristóbal, and a number of plazas containing important statuary
and surrounded by imposing buildings that now house museums and
of the most popular organized shore excursions are those to El
Yunque rain forest and the Bacardi Rum Factory (where the tour ends
with the sampling of rum drinks).
of the United States don’t pay duty on items purchased in Puerto
Rico that are brought back to the U.S. and prices are often lower
than St. Thomas. The
major shopping areas are found in Old San Juan on the streets of
Calle San Francisco and Calle del Cristo. Some
of the best buys are local handicrafts, needlework, ceramics, and
straw items. The premier
outlet for these is Puerto Rican Arts & Crafts on Calle
In addition, you’ll find famous-name outlets offering their goods
at substantial savings.
island beaches are open to the public but there may be a charge for
use of the facilities. Condado
and Isla Verde beaches are some of the most popular and it’s no
surprise that you’ll find some of Puerto Rico’s finest resorts
Fodor's Caribbean Ports of Call 2013 is all you need
to plan your days ashore, PLUS a cruise primer section and cruise
line profiles by Cruise Diva, Linda Coffman
Back to Caribbean
Ports of Call