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San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

San Juan is the full meal deal for cruisers

San JuanSan JuanAn embarkation for many Southern Caribbean cruise lines and one of the busiest ports of call, it's an American city with a world of contrasts. Old San Juan, a 7-square block area of 16th century museums, art galleries, bookstores and private homes is a stark contrast to sophisticated boutique hotels and spas of the newer city.

Within an hour's drive you'll find beaches, mountain ShorelineShorelineranges and a 200ft canopied rainforest. If you only have an afternoon to explore the city, these are your best bets:

  • El Morro: A UNESCO site and US national park, this labyrinth fort is a short walk from the pier in Old San Juan. It's open 9am to 5pm (6pm peak season).
  • Shop: San Juan isn't a duty-free port, but within a few blocks of the pier you'll find native crafts - more than a little off-beat (like a wooden shrine with Marilyn Monroe).
  • El Yunque: If you're up for a short day trip, take an ATV tour around the El Yunque foothills. It's an hour drive there and the tour takes roughly 4 hours, so watch your time if you're embarking in the evening. Expect to spend approx. $120US.
  • Casa Bacardi: Rum lovers unite - jump on the public ferry at the pier and grab a taxi to the factory for a tour and tasting.
  • Remember that most businesses close on Sundays in the Caribbean and end of day is between 5pm and 6pm.

    Ever been to San Juan? What did you love most about it?

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    While cruising last winter, we stopped here on our Northern circuit. A great old city fort style tour with cobblestone streets and very old cityscapes. A definite to visit on any tour stopping in San Juan. And Bacardi is there too!!

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