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ehs1193 San Juan - A travel report by Ethan
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San Juan,  Puerto Rico - flag Puerto Rico
3565 readers

ehs1193's travel reports

San Juan: Capital de Isla de Encanto

  17 votes
San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, is so much more than a city in some territory of the U.S. It is strictly Spanish with an American background. Being the capital and biggest city on the Enchanted Island, you know it has to be good.

San Juan from the harbor
San Juan from the harbor
When I am talking about San Juan, I'm talking about Old San Juan with the fort and stuff. San Juan in April is when it becomes hot and humid, so maybe March is the best time to come. San Juan is a bit hilly, but everything is compact so you won't have to walk very far from anything. Taxis aren't necessary, but if it's nighttime and it doesn't feel safe walking around, then get one. Police officers are everywhere though. The main things in San Juan are the forts. El Morro is the one I visited on the west side of San Juan. It's so beautiful! It was closed when I went but the exterior and the surrounding area are spectacular. When I went it was twilight and a storm was approaching, so that added to the effect. But walking around the city and seeing everything felt like I was in a bustling Spanish city. And no one really bugs you trying to sell you something. When the humidity starts getting to you, San Juan has some nice hotels that you can walk in and maybe gamble, get a drink, or get your bearings. The city is dotted with elaborate or simple cathedrals. Americans have a diffferent experience than other people in Puerto Rico. To Americans they can either be friendly and kind because they are part of the U.S., or they can be nasty and mean because they are part of the U.S. I don't know about Europeans or others. Try to speak in Spanish as much as you can. You will get better service and it might be fun trying a new language.

Favourite spots:
One of the towers overlooking the Atlantic
One of the towers overlooking the Atlantic
The plazas and El Morro are my favorite. The plazas sometimes have little markets where you can by anything from a picture of China to the famous Communist memorabillia. They don't nag at you asking them to buy their stuff either. You can even haggle and make things more than half off. (I bought a nice hat for $5.) Some of the other plazas have statues and sculptures. It goes nicely with the vulgar graffiti. (Not really) The fort is also my favorite. The lawn outside of the fort is expansive and lush. A cemetery next to the fort adds a solemn and quiet vibe. It's closed at night so I didn't get to go in. The rolling waves and the cool yet steamy air add a sense of serenity. The narrow roads and winding streets feel like Seville or Barcelona.

What's really great:
El Morro at dusk
El Morro at dusk
Being in San Juan for only a few hours isn't really enough, but when we came on a stormy evening the amount of time didn't matter. The storm was approaching slowly so you could see the little slivers of lightning raging through the pale sky. The clouds' colors weren't that boring grey though. It was a distant purple and almost looked red with rage when the sun set. At nightfall, walking around the city felt like walking through that picture of Madrid that jesusferro took. If you're in San Juan, don't run away from a storm. You might miss a good opportunity.

My accomodations were provided by the cruise so I didn't stay at a hotel. The cabin on the ship is your typical, average stateroom on a cruise ship: small and cramped. It is bigger than some I've been on though. They provided free continental breakfast and a little packet of information on the next port and activities on the ship. Tip: Hotel prices are like the U.S. $30 for a hostel up to thousands for a suite. So it's up to you.

Spanish for
Spanish for "No parking"
I didn't really go to a restaurant in San Juan. I can tell you that it has some of the most eclectic food. Anywhere from Chinese to your ordinary McDonalds. The ones on the ship were very nice though. It was Mediteranean Night on the ship so they had food from France, Spain, Greece and Egypt.

Other recommendations:
The missing ceiling
The missing ceiling
The Museum of the Americas is a good place to rest after walking a long time. Since it has no celing, it has a good view of the sky. Don't go to the bathroom in there though or anywhere in San Juan for that matter.

Published on Tuesday April 11th, 2006

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Sun, Apr 16 2006 - 04:26 AM rating by marianne

Entertaining to read.

Thu, Apr 13 2006 - 09:57 PM rating by downundergal

Info was a little sparse but given that it was a day visit it was still a good effort.

Thu, Apr 13 2006 - 12:56 PM rating by isaacmolina

Amigo, this is a very good report

Wed, Apr 12 2006 - 12:35 PM rating by st.vincent

Good report considering it was such a short visit

Wed, Apr 12 2006 - 11:57 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Muy bueno! You are improving your skill to write reports.

Wed, Apr 12 2006 - 04:40 AM rating by frenchfrog

Very nice report Ethan, well done well written as well, keep the hard work, I am glad you enjoyed yourself.

Wed, Apr 12 2006 - 03:58 AM rating by rangutan

Very nice short report. Remember the first picture should be the best and of horizontal (landscape) format as it is becomes the thumbnail in the destination reports. I hope there will be more reports on your other stops, fill in a bit with history and trivia if you run out of your own stories. For each stop and report perhaps give the (same) overview of the cruise?under at the end of the report.

Wed, Apr 12 2006 - 02:18 AM rating by davidx

Fine report Ethan! I find your last comment a bit disturbing [haha.]

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