Enjoy a tropical beach vacation in San Juan and explore the many historic sites in one of the oldest cities in the Americas.

The oldest part of the city, known as Old San Juan (El Viejo San Juan), is a small island connected to the mainland by bridges. Here, you’ll find many of the city’s most popular attractions, historic buildings, restaurants and shops.

Visit the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, which has a wide range of exhibits, regular cultural events and a beautiful botanical garden. Just a short walk away is the Catedral de San Juan where you can attend a Spanish mass or view the final resting place of Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer and the first Governor of Puerto Rico.

No trip to the area is complete without a visit to the San Juan National Historic Site. This massive complex is World Heritage listed and includes many of the city’s defensive walls and fortresses. Plan to spend several hours here as you can explore dungeons and tunnels, and climb towers for 140-feet-(42-meter) high views of the city.

San Juan is well known for its excellent shopping, so make the time to wander along the Calle del Cristo, Old San Juan’s popular shopping street. You’ll find famous international boutiques alongside merchants selling local goods.

Those looking to relax on the beach should head east of Old San Juan to Isla Verde. This beach is close to the main attractions, but far enough away to be a good place for some peace and quiet. For those with children, Luquillo Beach, where coral reefs protect a lagoon, is a great option.

Despite severe traffic congestion, residents and visitors to San Juan primarily travel by car, although a free tourist trolley runs in Old San Juan. Some areas offer a metro system and public buses, but the best option for visitors is usually either walking the shorter distances or taking advantage of a local trolley or taxi service.

Known for

Beach, Historical Building and Excursion

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Where to stay in San Juan

San Juan Antiguo
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San Juan Antiguo

Historical Building, Beach, Island

Walk down picturesque cobbled streets lined with centuries old buildings and some of the most popular historical attractions in Puerto Rico. 

Ocean Park
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Ocean Park

Beach, Sea, Dining

This cosmopolitan area of San Juan is a great place to experience the relaxed, contemporary culture of Puerto Rico.

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Top hotels in San Juan

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
5 out of 5
1055 Ashford Avenue, San Juan
C$364/night
Jul 29 - Jul 30
4.7/5Exceptional! (2,245 reviews)

"This was our first visit to Puerto Rico; we went for my husband's 39th birthday. This hotel is beyond beautiful, all amenities and it's location, amazing. I was a bit disappointed in our room as it was a double room on the corner, huge stain on the marble in the room, and a side ocean view. I called ..."…"

Reviewed on 17 Jul. 2019

Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Image for CIQALA Luxury Suites
CIQALA Luxury Suites
4 out of 5
752 Manuel Fernandez Juncos Ave, San Juan
C$198/night
Jul 25 - Jul 26
4.3/5Excellent! (1,780 reviews)

"The staff was very helpful and super friendly. The view of San Juan from the rooftop was beautiful!"…"

Reviewed on 16 Jul. 2019

CIQALA Luxury Suites
Image for San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
4.5 out of 5
1309 Ashford Avenue, San Juan
C$338/night
Aug 3 - Aug 4
4.4/5Excellent! (2,964 reviews)

"Amazing property. Everyone was very hospitable from the second we stepped foot on the resort."…"

Reviewed on 17 Jul. 2019

San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino

Top activities in San Juan

Catamaran Sail & Snorkeling in the Caribbean with Lunch
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Catamaran Sail & Snorkeling in the Caribbean with Lunch

C$146

An awe-inspiring array of sea creatures await beneath the turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea. Sail to a secluded island for an unforgettable beach day. Bask in the sun, collect seashells, snorkel in the warm water, and savor a scrumptious lunch before sailing back to San Juan.

El Yunque Rainforest Guided Hiking with Waterfall Tour
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El Yunque Rainforest Guided Hiking with Waterfall Tour

C$115

Come visit El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System and a must-stop for all visitors of Puerto Rico! The Forest covers over 28,000 contiguous acres, with peaks, escarpments, myriad steams and waterfalls, and lush green vegetation housing various forest types.

Shared Shuttle: San Juan Airport (SJU) - San Juan Bay Port
Image for Shared Shuttle: San Juan Airport (SJU) - San Juan Bay Port

Shared Shuttle: San Juan Airport (SJU) - San Juan Bay Port

C$85

Enjoy convenient and cost-effective shared transportation between San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) and San Juan cruise ports aboard a shuttle. For transfers to and from San Juan Airport, the port and cruise ships to select from i

Bioluminescent Bay Glass Bottom Kayak Tour
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Bioluminescent Bay Glass Bottom Kayak Tour

C$137

This is one adventure not to be missed while in Puerto Rico! Join this fully-guided nighttime BioBay kayak adventure into one of the most amazing excursions of your life. Paddle your way through the mystical mangrove channels leading to “Laguna Grande”.

Snuba at a Private Beach in San Juan
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Snuba at a Private Beach in San Juan

C$115

Dive into a world of tropical fish and flourishing marine life on this beginner-friendly snuba tour. Connected to an air tank on the surface, you can explore underwater landscapes in San Juan as you please, no certification or prior experience necessary.

Sea Trek at a Private Beach in San Juan
Image for Sea Trek at a Private Beach in San Juan

Sea Trek at a Private Beach in San Juan

C$115

See the sea like never before as you explore the depths on this guided Sea Trek. Equipped with an air-providing helmet, walk the ocean floor of a private beach and discover an underwater universe. Unlike anything in the world, this unique adventure transports you to another world.