Puerto Rico is a little bit of the Caribbean, a dash of old Spain, a little bit of America and lots of salsa goodness. Yes, Puerto Rico is technically part of the United States, but it’s also a world away. On one hand walking the streets of Old San Juan you feel like you’re in a different country, a place where the Caribbean rules in all its color. But on the other hand, it felt so close to home. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a world that is alive with color and fun.
I loved discovering Old San Juan. We spent an afternoon walking up and down the hills of the historic neighborhood. I spent another couple days of our week-long trip to Puerto Rico running the streets of Old San Juan. When I run, and especially now when training for a marathon, I don’t make a habit of stopping to check out the scenery on my runs. But Old San Juan was another level; I couldn’t help but stop every 30 seconds to enjoy the colors, the architecture and the life of the streets of Old San Juan.
I wish the weather would have been better when we visited Old San Juan. It was raining off and on when we visited the first afternoon, so the sunlight wasn’t shining as brightly on the beautiful buildings. But still, the scenes of Old San Juan were beautiful.
When I returned on my runs the sky was perfect blue without a cloud in the sky. I couldn’t help but constantly stop to check out the beauty of the buildings.
I just wish I would have had something better than an iPhone camera.
Before we visited Puerto Rico it was recommended that we stay a few days near the beach and a night or two in Old San Juan. We stayed in Condado, a beachfront community just a couple of miles east of Old San Juan. It turned out to be a great place to give us a full Puerto Rico experience. We had plenty of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean lapping up at our beachfront hotel, we were only an hour away via car from the El Yunque National Rainforest and we were able to get to Old San Juan via taxi cab in just minutes.
I can see why someone would want to stay in one of the historic inns in Old San Juan. We were on what I would call a beach vacation, so we were happy to stay in Condado. But if you want to experience the food, culture and beauty of Old San Juan, I’d happily recommend staying a night or two in the historic neighborhood.
One of the cool parts of Old San Juan was walking along the waterfront as we looked out to the west and the sunset.
I absolutely loved walking along the waterfront. The walkway was much longer than what we experienced, but I was happy to walk around the south end of Old San Juan toward the harbor where the cruise ships dock.
I was really amused by the cats that are everywhere in Old San Juan. There are lots of strays that were running around on the roof of buildings and along the waterfront. Our son was very amused.
I’m not a huge architecture person,but begin married to a former interior designer has given me an appreciation of the designed world. and the designed world of Old San Juan is fantastic.
In addition to beautiful architecture and colors, Old San Juan is full of great restaurants, bars, shops and art galleries. We found some great art that we brought home and some fantastic Puerto Rican food that we enjoyed.
But Old San Juan also has simple enjoyments. We found a square where we were able to enjoy coffee and donuts and a great place to relax while people watching.
Old San Juan is a beautiful place. If you have just an hour, enjoy it walking the rolling hills of Old San Juan. If you have half a day, have a meal, check out some art, and shop the boutiques of Old San Juan. If you have a full day, just walk the streets of Old San Juan and be mesmerized by the fact that you’re in the United States in this beautiful Caribbean destination.