Have you read my ultimate bucketlist post? Than you know Puerto Rico and especially ‘El Viejo San Juan’ was very much on it. For years I’ve dreamed about roaming the streets of the old city. Our 4 day long weekend in the old city of Puerto Rico had us refreshed, relaxed and filled ( cuz they have yummy yummy food). Why? Well see for yourself!
Picturesque streets of Old San Juan
If you are active on Instagram than your #ihavethisthingwithfloors -inner-self will go absolutely ballistic here. The combination of the cobble stone streets, the colorful houses, narrow streets and a selection of fantastic doors ( yup there goes your #ihavethisthingwithdoors). Old San Juan’s narrow streets are paved with beautiful blue cobblestones or adoquines. And according to historians they were made of old iron furnace slag carried as ballast on Spain’s ships ( carrying sugar).
Historic Puerto Rico, Old San Juan
Yep the old city oozes history. Something I love. Mr C COlumbus discovered the island in 1492 and soon they changed its origianl name to Puerto Rico ( Rich port), named after the gold filled rivers. The healthy grounds led to the a Spanish producing cattle, sugar cane, coffee and tobacco. The dutch and ENglish also had an eye on this ‘Rich port’ and to protect the island the Spanish build numerous forts on the island which can still be found today.
El Moro fort is a must visit when you are in Old San Juan. The 500 year old fort was build to serve and protect and did just that. The grass fields around it are fantastic for a picnic ( as you will see locals do) and the fort itself is definitely worth a visit. Once you are finished use the walk way near the shore to walk back to other parts of the city ( it is a long walk so be aware of that, those not comfortable long walking should skip this step).
The doors of old San Juan
oh yes… Puertorican doors are something alright and they must dominate the #ihavethisthingwith doors on instagram. The doors of Old San juan deserve a post on their own ( and hey I might just do it!). Colorful houses need pretty doors and .. well just watch and see for yourself. The doors often very wonky and askew resemble character and are often accompanied by plants, murals or…cats.
A night out in Old San Juan
Nightlife in Old San Juan is just as vibrant as when the sunlight is out. The pigeons in ‘Parque de las Palomas’ might go to sleep but the city doesn’t. Visit ‘La Taberna Lupulo‘ and try one of their beers, good luck choosing one as they have a big selection. Have a beautiful meal at ‘La Mesa Verde’ and enjoy their quirky establishment and end the night with some Salsa Dancing at Nuyorican cafe or La Factoria. And that is only 1 night covered 😉
Old san Juan has many beautiful hotels and just like the small streets these hotels are not massive either. Quirky, romantic or luxurious you will find it in Old San Juan. Our main purporse of the trip as to be able to relax and completely go offline when it came to work. So whilst browsing on the net i made my top 3 hotels which you can find below ( including the one we actually stayed at.
Olive Boutique Hotel
A luxurious boutique hotel inspired by the olive trees from the Mediterranean. The O:live Boutique Hotel presents an innovative, artistic and cultural hotel in the heart of Condado. NOt only do they have the most gorgeous room they also have a top notch restaurant located on site. Though a bit pricey it is a favoured wedding location.
The Gallery Inn has 28 uniquely decorated beautiful rooms. boy the gallery does not lie about being a romantic hotel. With four-poster beds, a cozy garden plus a romantic swimming pool this hotel sure is worth a vist ( or maybe a stay?)
This beautiful hotel has about 8 to 10 rooms all equally set with 4 posterbeds, romantic chandeliers and a comfortable bathroom. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room with the best decor ever. Yes this is the Hotel we stayed at and we would not change it for the world. It is also very conveniently located with only a minute walk to Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, and equally close to some very good restaurants and the entrance of the walkway to El Moro.
And this has only got me started! Old San Juan is truly a gem and has completely stolen my heart as has the island of Puerto Rico ( Old San Juan is only a small area of the island) so keep watching this space as I will tell you more about my favorite small city.