Deciding where to stay on our first trip to Puerto Rico was hard. With so loads of beautiful things to do and see–and so little time–finding the perfect location from which to explore was critical. There are many reasons to stay in Old San Juan while visiting Puerto Rico.
Three days in Puerto Rico was not enough time to discover all the island had to offer, but the old city was a must-see. Old San Juan did not lack for hotels or choices, but we went with one of the Airbnb’s available. We love the old buildings and the architecture and wanted to feel like staying somewhere history and not just a generic hotel that can be located any place. There is something about the old-world that calls to me. Here are a few reasons we stayed in Old San Juan and why you should too:
1. Soak up the Atmosphere:
Waking up with the view of the bay and forts in the distance cannot be duplicated no matter how lovely the beaches. And I adore the beaches. Roaming the 500-year old, walled, city’s sprawling blue cobblestones streets in search of the perfect morning latte that makes you feel like you stepped back in time.
The vibrant, colorful buildings, against a blue backdrop of sea and sky, will awaken your senses.
The people, music, culture, architecture, and restaurants are amazing.
Trees! Look at these beauties.
2. Shop with the local Artisans:
We were lucky enough to visit Old San Juan when the cruise ships were docked. The streets along port were lined with artisians and vendors selling handmade goods, cultural items and souvenirs. The plaza right off Calle de San Fransceco alive with music and dancers, fruity drink vendors, leather works, and pottery being made in the streets. A perfect opportunity for shopping or people watching while eating breakfast and sipping lattes.
3. Be a kid again and feed the Pigeons:
Yes, I said pigeons. Stroll to Parque De Las Palomas (Pigeon Park) and walk through hundreds of birds, feed them, and you can be the crazy looking bird lady like me. The birds ate out of my hand, landed on my head, and when I went to walk away followed. (They didn’t believe I was out of bird seed.)
Leave me a comment and share are your favorite reasons for staying in Old San Juan while visiting the lovely island of Puerto Rico!
Where to Stay:
There are many places to stay in Old San Juan. We chose a lovely Airbnb apartment. However, airbnb is far from the only option. There are a few hotels we considered and will likely give a whirl on our return trip giving extra consideration to the few below. I would’ve loved to have a roof-top pool or relaxation area. These are my top choices:
El Convento: This is a beautiful hotel situated in an old convent. It does not fall into the budget category, but has a lovely rooftop pool, fantastic restaurant (you do not need to be a hotel guest to enjoy the food and atmosphere), and includes resort priveleges at a sister site in San Juan for those days you long for sitting on the beach with frozen pina colado in hand.
La Terraza: This hotel is reasonably priced and boasts a rooftop terrance and pool.
Casablanca: We loved the location directly across from Maramalade Restaurant where we spent had our Anniversary Dinner.
There are too many options to list, but this should give you a planning start.
Going to San Juan and need some ideas of what to do?