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San Juan Sights and Landmarks Guide, Puerto Rico

Once you set foot on the soil of San Juan, you will feel as if you were taken back 500 years ago in 1508. In this city, you will experience firsthand what Latin American culture really is like.

Though covered by a wall, San Juan never fails to reach out to its neighboring towns and even to other parts of the world. It has proven to be one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Puerto Rico. There is a variety of sights to see in this 500-year-old city.

There’s the Alcadia which is San Juan’s city hall. It was built in 1602 and it is still standing to this day. At the western end of Calle San Sebastian you will find Casa Blanca, the ancestral home of the Ponce de Leon family. It is now being opened to the public as a museum housing almost half of San Juan’s history. Other important landmarks that are a must-see include: the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture La Fortaleza, which is the oldest governor’s mansion and it is in continuous use, the San Juan Cathedral which is the burial site of Juan Ponce de Leon, the San Jose Church, the San Juan gate—the traditional entrance to the city, Ballaha Barracks which is a museum of America’s highlights and last, the La Casa del Libro which is the museum of art and history books through five centuries.

In addition to these historical landmarks are the beautiful coastlines that are perfect for families. After an educational tour around the city, you take a walk along the shore and enjoy the heat of the tropical sun. What else could be better than that? Whenever you feel like bringing home some souvenirs for the ones you left at home, head right to the cruise ship docks and along Calle San Francisco to purchase local island crafts. On Calle Marina the residents of San Juan present you with a wide variety of tourist shops where you can enjoy the different handmade crafts. Culture is very important to San Juan as well as its history. That is basically why there are numerous museums and galleries found within this walled city for the benefit of those who want to learn more about San Juan in the making.

The locals always make it a point to share and even learn a thing or two about their heritage just to keep the fire of patriotism alive. They say: “History repeats itself”, well San Juan says: “History happens every day.” So where else would you go for a summer vacation?

Make San Juan “the” place and rest assured, there will be no regrets.

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