I fell in love with San Juan, a charming residential and commercial district! The streets are paved with blue cobblestones which were brought here on Spanish ships and time and moisture have lent them their characteristic color. The city includes more than 400 carefull restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings which brightly shine.
Cartuel de Ballajá v San Juan
Streets of San Juan
To get known San Juan just walk around and have a break for example at the romantic square Plazuela Las Monjas, which is the perfect place to sit down and watch cats on streets. There is also the Catedral of San Juan, which does not reach the sizes of Spanish churches, but anyway worth a visit.
Plazuela Las Monjas
Cathedral of San Juan
San Felipe del Morro was named in honor of King Phillip II, commonly known as El Morro, is a 16th-century fortress. Rising 140 feet above the sea, its 18-foot-thick wall proved a formidable defense. El Morro is a maze of tunnels, dungeons, barracks, outposts and ramps and is studded with small, circular sentry boxes called garitas that have become a national symbol.
Zdi El Morro
La Perla is a historic barrio astride the city walls stretching along the rocky Atlantic coast between the castle and fortress under Calle Norzagaray. It's a neighborhood that you would not expect to see in such a major tourist zone. It was originally intended for cemeteries, llaughterhouse, homes of slaves, servants and homeless. The law at the beginning of the 19th century clearly defined a rule that it must be outside the main city behind the walls. The government tried to revitalize it but local residents enforce the right to keep their homes. Currently poorest residents of San Juan are living here and tourists are not recommended to enter. So we did not try either and I took a picture from a distance.
Cemetery and La Perla
The Parque de las Palomas (Pigeon Park) is the perfect spot from which to enjoy a magnificent view of the harbor, city and mountains. It is also a great choice for families with small children; kids will enjoy interacting with the local pigeons.
Parque Las Palomas
Parque Las Palomas
Perhaps the most photographed things not only in old San Juan, but around Puerto Rico itself, are so typical colour doors. I love them so much!
Santurce is not often visited by tourists. Some travel writes call it as "hipster neighborhood." Well, I would not go so far. What Santurce certainly is, is a San Juan´s barrio with a specific character. In the '70s a lot of local residents moved to the suburbs due a high crime rate. Today it is slowly becoming popular thanks to artistic activities of various associations.
One of such activities is the festival Santurce es Ley, which is held annually due to its great success in 2013. Santurce el Ley is located in ignored streets around Calle Cerra. Artists from Puerto Rico and abroad paint on the gray walls their murals and thus motivate local residents take care of their neighborhood. And it works.