San Juan Travel Guide

Overview

San Juan
San Juan © Edgar Jimenez

The capital city of Puerto Rico, San Juan is one of the busiest ports in the Caribbean and home to a third of all Puerto Ricans. Nearly every visitor to the island arrives at San Juan, many on cruise liners. It's one of the largest home-based cruise ports in the world, hosting many vessels with more being added each year.

San Juan is divided into three distinct districts: Old San Juan, the historic walled city; the beach and resort area; and the outlying suburbs. Tourists mainly visit Old San Juan, the site of most restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and some exquisite beaches.

The old city is linked to the new by the largely residential barrio of Puerta de Tierra and a series of modern highways leading to the Condado beachfront, which is reminiscent of Florida's Miami Beach with its high-rise hotels and apartment blocks.

It is not only tourism that keeps the financial mills grinding in San Juan. The city is an important centre for petroleum and sugar refining, brewing and distilling, and the manufacturing of cement, pharmaceuticals, metal products and tobacco products.

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, there are numerous attractions in San Juan to amuse, entertain and interest many tourists, and the city is a perfect base for exploring the rest of what this small Caribbean island has to offer.