Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan is varied and vibrant and features a treasure trove historic attractions, as well as fantastic beaches, and rich culture and heritage. Discover it on San Juan holidays.
The original settlement was founded in 1521 by Spanish colonists in 1521 making it the second oldest city founded by Europeans in the Americas, behind the Dominican city of Santa Domingo.
With such rich history and heritage, a San Juan holiday gives you the chance to explore fascinating old sites – many of them being the defenses and fortifications built by the Spanish. For example, you might like to visit to the forts at Fort San Cristóbal and Fort San Felipe del Morro, both formidable constructions that combine military strength Spanish baroque style architecture.
Wander the city streets during your Puerto Pollensa holidays, and you will come across countless museums, galleries, music venues, cafes and restaurants. Both the cuisine and music of Puerto Rico takes influences from a wide range of sources, and no holiday to San Juan is complete without soaking in the local sounds and flavors.
San Juan’s beaches are an incredible attraction in their own right, with broad swathes of golden-hued sand stretching out as far as the eye can see.
San Juan, as with the rest of Puerto Rico, possesses a tropical monsoon climate meaning it enjoys sunny and warm days all year round.
This tropical climate means the island experiences an average temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius (81 Fahrenheit), with a low on average of only 22 degrees Celsius (71 Fahrenheit) year-round.
Humidity levels sit at about 80% continuously. The rainy season in San Juan and Puerto Rico in general peaks in August. Often rain can be very heavy and each month sees rain for about half of its days. February through April are the driest months.
From August through to November the island is vulnerable to being hit by hurricanes.
On San Juan holidays you will discover the city is distinctly divided into three districts: the historic walled-city of Old San Juan; the resort and beach area; and the further-flung suburbs. Visitors are focused mainly on Old San Juan, the location of most shops, cafes and restaurants, entertainment centers and the beaches. The old part of the city links to the new via the primarily residential area of Puerta de Tierra, and a network of modern-style highways that lead to the beach front at Condado, which resembles Florida's Miami Beach with high-rise apartment blocks and hotels.
Tourism is not the only financial lifeblood of San Juan. The city is also an important hub for sugar and petroleum refining, distilling and brewing, as well as the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, cement, tobacco, and metal products. It makes for a busy mix but in between all the hustle and bustle there is a multitude of attractions in the city to entertain, amuse and interest the many visitors, and San Juan is the ideal base to explore the remainder of this Caribbean from.
San Juan represents the Caribbean’s busiest cruise port and is a major destination and tourist hub for North American travelers. This is a city with a lot to offer visitors: the history and charm of the old town, the works on display at the Museo de Arte, and the sunbaked beaches that are only minutes from the city center.
A walking tour is the best way to see the city’s sights and experience its attractions; either on your own with guide book in hand, or with a professional guide. San Juan is flat and compact and is easy to explore on foot and you will following in the footsteps of history – the flagstones beneath your feet are 500 years old and were laid under the orders of Christopher Columbus himself. Take regular breaks on the charming piazzas while exploring Old San Juan - it can get crowded and busy later in the day.
High tourist season for San Juan Puerto Rico holidays is from December to April, while June to November is far quieter (although the island can experience hurricanes during this period).
Visitors to Puerto Rico have numerous choices when it comes to hotels, resorts and other accommodation. For history buffs, romantics and urbanites, there are many boutique hotels in the Old San Juan area that offer a colonial atmosphere in a quarter geared towards pedestrians, the trade-off being the beach is 10-minutes’ by taxi away.
In Condado – just east of the old town and outside of the city in neighboring Isla Verde are the perfect for beach lovers resorts dotted along the north Atlantic coast stretching to Bahia in the east and, to the west, in Dorado. There is also the option of Puerto Pollensa holidays.
Check out Booked.net’s comprehensive listings of accommodation and package deals in San Juan.
The best time to plan holidays to San Juan is from mid-April through to June, which comes right after the busier winter season and before the summer rains set in. In spring, the weather is also pleasant, with temperatures barely climbing above the mid-20s degrees Celsius (80s Fahrenheit) on most days.
The island of Puerto Rico experiences its best weather during winter — which explains why this season is the most expensive and crowded time to visit — however with some canny planning you might discover a some reasonably good discounts during those months also.
You may also plan an affordable and enjoyable trip for autumn/fall, when hotel rates can be found as cheap as $80 per night.
Nearly every tourist to Puerto Rico arrives at San Juan, many aboard cruise liners. The city’s port is the world’s largest home-base cruise port, hosting 28 cruise ships and with more being added to the list year on year.
No direct flights are offered from London or other UK airports to San Juan, however there are many connecting flights available with stopovers in cities like Toronto, New York, Miami and more. A flight from London averages about 12 hours.
San Juan is the hub for flights from Canada and the US bound for other Caribbean destinations. Flights bound for San Juan from major US cities are available with all major carriers and flight times are typically 2.5 hours from Miami to 4 hours from New York.
Much of the appeal (particularly for Americans) of Puerto Rico is the ease of entry. US citizens do not need passports to enter the country; the US dollar is the island’s currency and most large airports on the mainland, especially on the east coast, offer direct flights.
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San Juan's history can be felt in the gently restored and well-maintained historic quarter of Old San Juan. Here, you will find the streets have been paved in flag and ballast stones; the fort, dating back to the 16th century, still keeps watch over the harbor; and shops, cafes and restaurants, and hotels occupy elegant Spanish-colonial buildings — many of them painted in sun-bleached yet bright Caribbean pastels.
Discover San Juan holidays and all their charms for yourself with Booked.net.