Port of San Juan
Cruising and Travel

The City of San Juan (Spanish) is big and busy with many districts that house sight-seeing attractions, restaurants, all types of lodgings, and an exciting nightlife. There are too many places to see and things to do to list here, so we recommend a quick visit to one of the Puerto Rico tourism websites. However, visitors will not want to miss the UNESCO World Heritage Site when they visit the Port of San Juan.

La Fortaleza (the Fortress) is today the official residence of Puerto Rico’s Governor. But it was built by the Spanish in the mid 16th Century to defend the harbor. Also called Santa Catalina Palace, it is the oldest executive mansion in the Americas.

El Morro

El Morro

Photo by Jaro Nemcok

El Morro, properly El Castillo San Felipe del Morro, was built in the 15th Century on the northwestern point of Port of San Juan. Probably Puerto Rico’s most famous fortress, the Spanish built El Morro to protect the harbor from ocean-borne enemies, including the famous Sir Francis Drake. Today, it stands to welcome the two million visitors to the Port of San Juan that come each year on cruise vessels and airplanes.

Castillo de San Cristobal

Castillo de San Cristobal

Photo by Jaro Nemcok

El Castillo de San Cristobal was built by Spain to protect the Port of San Juan against land-based attacks (after the Dutch surprised them in 1625. Covering 11 hectares of land, the castle/fortification is almost 46 meters tall. Open every day, the Castillo is the largest fortification the Spanish ever built in the Americas.

On treat that is not part of the Port of San Juan World Heritage Site is the Bacardi Rum Factory, also known as the Cathedral of Rum. Covering 51 hectares, visitors can enjoy a free tour and trolley ride. Not only will they learn about the history of the factory and company, they’ll watch rum being made and enjoy a taste.

Travelers who want to visit the Port of San Juan and Puerto Rico by sea can find a comprehensive list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.

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