San Juan is one of the most picturesque and historic cities in all of the Caribbean. And, because it’s in **Puerto Rico**, American tourists don’t even need passports to visit! Really, only a short flight is keeping you from lounging on its sandy beaches and walking on the cobblestone lanes of Old San Juan.
San Juan is located on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. Visitors arriving by plane land at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which is only a 20-minute drive from the heart of the city. San Juan is a big hub for cruise ships as well. A rapid transit rail line called "Tren Urbano," taxis, and a ferry system allow travelers to explore the area without ever renting a car.
Old San Juan is at the center of the San Juan National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The neighborhood encompasses historic attractions like the Castillo San Cristóbal, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Fortín San Juan de la Cruz and much of the city walls. But the real charms of the neighborhood are its colorful architecture, plentiful plazas and its many bars and restaurants.
Photo by Molinary/Flickr.
Formerly a municipal hospital, the neoclassical building opened its doors as an art museum in 2000. Visitors can stroll through sculpture gardens featuring a wide variety of plant species, and children will enjoy the activArte Gallery, which interactive games. The permanent collection housed in the museum features artwork dating back to the 17th century, and the museum also hosts cultural events year round.
Boasting a 36-hole championship course, the Trump International Golf Club is located just 20 minutes from Old San Juan. The two 18-hole courses treat golfers to tropical scenery as the fairways twist through tree groves, lakes and waterways and past bluffs. The Mediterranean-inspired 46,000-square-foot clubhouse features two restaurants, a spa, lounges, golf shop and locker rooms equipped with showers, steam room, sauna room and a jacuzzi.
Highlighted in the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler and Gourmet magazine, Pikayo is a fine-dining restaurant known for its unique, creative cuisine by Chef Wilo Benet. Fusing exotic international ingredients with the local flavors of Puerto Rico, the cuisine includes dishes such as the foie gras with ripe plantains and black truffle honey, and jumbo shrimp served in a coconut milk polenta with spicy guava sauce.
The Olive Boutique Hotel is located near Laguna del Condado. The European inspiration behind much of its décor and atmosphere is evident in this award-winning, luxury boutique hotel in its four areas named after the country for which the interior design is inspired: Morocco, Spain, Italy and France. The hotel restaurant’s cuisine draws upon dishes served in Mediterranean towns, as well.