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Last Minute Vacations To San Juan


Cheap Vacations to San Juan, Puerto Rico

Quick Facts

San Juan is the capital and most populous city in Puerto Rico. The capital, which was colonized by the Spanish in the early 1500s, is under the jurisdiction of the United States and is one of Puerto Rico’s most important seaports. Central San Juan has many high rises while ‘Old San Juan’ contrasts the city atmosphere with Spanish townhouses with wrought-iron balconies. Isla Verde Beach and Luquillo beach have calm and clear waters and provide great places to snorkel.

Getting There & Other Transportation

The Luis Munoz Marin International Airport is a major transportation center of the Caribbean. It is located in Carolina, Puerto Rico and is 5 km southeast of San Juan.

Many of the large hotels will send vans to pick up their guests after their flight arrives. The same is arranged for your way back to the airport. Taxis are also available at the airport and around the city. The cost of the trip will be determined by the taxi’s meter. Traffic can be a problem in the city. It usually takes no longer than 15 minutes (without traffic) to enter into the main tourists area of San Juan, but with traffic it can take up to an hour. If you wish to rent a car while in Puerto Rico, make sure you reserve one before you leave for your trip.

Hotels & Places to Stay

An area of the city called the Condado, which is a narrow strip of land between the ocean and a lagoon, is where many beachfront hotels, restaurants, casinos and nightclubs reside. Isla Verde is another resort area (closer to the airport) which is separated from the rest of the city by an isthmus. The walled city of Old San Juan is also a popular spot for hotels and smaller B&Bs.

Condado:

Acacia Seaside Inn

Aleli by the Sea

At Wind Chimes Inn

Atlantic Beach Hotel

Casa del Caribe

Comfort Inn

Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino

Doubletree by Hilton San Juan

El Canario Inn

El Canario by the Lagoon Hotel

Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino

La Concha: A Renaissance Resort

Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino

Holiday Inn Express

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Isla Verde:

The Water Club

The Coqui Inn

Ritz-Carleton San Juan Spa & Casino

Howard Johnson Hotel

Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino

Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino

Inter-Continental San Juan Resort & Casino

El San Juan Hotel & Casino

Courtyard by Marriot Isla Verde Beach Resort

Boriquen Beach Inn

Old San Juan:

Chateau Cervantes

Da House

Gallery Inn at Galeria San Juan

Hotel El Convento

Hotel Milano

Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino

Dining & Nightlife

San Juan has the most developed and varied international fine dining scene in the Caribbean. So, if you plan to explore different cuisines while you are away, you are in luck if you are in San Juan.

Aguaviva (Seafood) – Old San Juan

Al Dente (Italian) – Old San Juan

Amadeus (Caribbean) – Old San Juan

Baru (Caribbean) – Old San Juan

Bodego Chic (French) – Old San Juan

Café Berlin (International) – Old San Juan

Deliro (Latin American) – Old San Juan

Toro Salao (Spanish/Portuguese) – Old San Juan

Sofia (Italian) – Old San Juan

Dragonfly (Latin American) – Old San Juan

Don Tello (Caribbean) – Old San Juan

Ajili Mojili (Caribbean) – Condado

Bodega Compostela (Spanish/Portuguese) – Condado

Budatai (Asian/Pac. Rim) – Condado

Niche (Latin American) – Condado

Restorante Tuscany (Italian) – Condado

Via Appia (Pizza) – Condado

Zabo (International) – Condado

As far as nightlife goes, generally there is a late start to the night. There are many things to do at night including gambling at the Casinos, hanging out at beach bars on Isla Verde, bars and restaurants to wander to in Old San Juan (on streets like Calle San Sebastian and Calle Cristo), and discos to dance the night away.

Here are some of each:

Bars/Pubs:

  • Amadeus Bistro Bar
  • El Batey
  • El Patio de Sam
  • Ficus Café
  • La Sombrilla Rosa
  • Maria’s
  • Palm Court Lobby
  • Raven Room
  • The Brick House
  • Wet Bar
  • Zabo

Clubs and Discos:

  • Club Brava
  • Club Lazer
  • Lupi’s Mexican Grill & Sports Cantina
  • Nuyorican Café
  • Rumba

Attractions

San Juan has plenty of things to do to keep you busy as a traveler. There are historical sites, museums, parks & gardens and sightseeing tours. Here are some of each:

Historical Sites:

San Juan Gate
Built in 1635, this was the main point of entry into San Juan if you arrived by ship in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Plazuela de la Rogativa
Here lie the statues of the bishop and 3 women commemorate one of Puerto Rico’s most famous legends.

City walls
Surrounding the city and built in 1630, the city walls protected the town against both Europeans and pirates.

Museums:

Noches de Galleria
Taking place the first Tuesday of every month, come to see the island’s vibrant art scene.

Galeria Nacional
The National Gallery, which is found in Old San Juan, It displays important works from Puerto Rican artists.

Museum of History, Anthropology & Art
Also offers paintings and displays that represent Puerto Rico’s rich heritage.

Other Museums:

  • Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
  • Museo de Arte de Ponce

Parks and Gardens :

Jardin Botanico
Take a walk on the footpaths of this garden and explore ther University of Puerto Rico’s lush tropical garden.

Luis Munoz Rivera Park
This seaward facing park offers walkways, picnic areas, and sometimes cultural events and expositions.

Parque Central Municipio de San Juan
This is a great park for jogging, walking along the boardwalk, playing tennis, racquetball, and even stopping at a cafe.

Sightseeing Tours :

Take a day or half-day tour to experience the best of the island. There are hiking tours, trips to the Bacardi Rum Factory, tours to the Camuy Caves and offshore beach excursions on catamarans. Here are some reputable tour companies:

Castillo Sightseeing Tours & Travel Services

Sunshine tours

Rico Suntours

AAA Island Tours

Captain’s Duck Tours

Currency, Culture and Language

The official languages is Puerto Rico are Spanish and English, with Spanish being the primary language spoken throughout the island.

The official currency in Puerto Rico is the US Dollar (USD).