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San City Juan Map – Capital of Puerto Rico

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San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico is the second oldest capital established by the Europeans in America. It is one of the best and biggest natural harbors in the…

San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico is the second oldest capital established by the Europeans in America. It is one of the best and biggest natural harbors in the Caribbean and has a population of over 400,000. Founded in 1521 by Spanish colonists, San Juan was one of Spain’s most important military outposts in that area.

The city has hosted a variety of sports events including the Pan American Games in 1979 and Special Olympics 2012. Spanish and English are the widely spoken languages.

Geography :

Located on the northeast of the island of Puerto Rico, San Juan lies on the south of the Atlantic Ocean. The Condado and San José are the two natural lagoons of the city. It is divided into three main areas, viz., Old San Juan area, the Beach area and the Resort area.

How to Reach (Transport) :

San Juan has two airports, namely the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and the Fernando Ribas Dominicci Airport. The former serves as the primary and commercial airport and is connected to over thirty domestic and international airlines. The Ribas Dominicci Airport is mainly used for a few domestic flights, a few charter flights and general aviation. There is an international passenger and vehicle service operated by Ferries del Caribe from Santo Domingo. It is an overnight journey and requires WHTI-compliant documents.

There is a rapid transit rail called “Tren Urbano” or the Urban Train connecting San Juan to cities like Guaynabo and Bayamón. Inside the city, the most convenient way of traveling is by renting a car, although parking can be a little difficult as well as expensive. Other ways of getting around are the inexpensive public buses, the ferry and taxis.

When to Visit :

Having a tropical climate, San Juan can be visited at any time of the year. The weather is warm and humid all throughout the year, although February and March are relatively dry. The peak tourist season is from November to April when the whole island is involved in parties and merry making. May and June are considered as the period of transition as San Juan shifts from its loud and exuberant lifestyle to the hurricane season which arrives in July and stays until November. However, even the hurricane season is safe for a visit but only after considerable queries.

Fairs and Festivals :

People of San Juan love festivals. There is at least a little something going on forever in this beautiful port city. Some of the noteworthy ones are –

  • La Casita Festival and LeLoLai Program are music festivals celebrated year round with live music shows and dance programs. While the former is open to all, the latter requires a nominal entry fee.
  • Noche de San Juan Bautista, held in June celebrates the patron saint of the island. It involves concerts, religious processions and dance performances. Every year, on June 24th, people from all over the island come together on the beach for picnics and at midnight, they walk backwards into the ocean because they believe it helps to ward off evil spirits.
  • Festival de la Calle de San Sebastían, probably the liveliest street festival is held in January where the streets of Old San Juan are full of parades, artists, food, music and folk dancers.
  • The Santurce es Ley, held in mid-September is an annual street festival for artists. More than 100 local artists put up their hard work for scrutiny throughout Santurce.

Other festivals include Festival Casals (June and July), Feria de Artesanías (June), Concurso Nacional del Cuatro (December), etc.

Points of Interest (Places to Visit) :

San Juan is full of heritage sites, museums, beach fronts and other beautiful places which attract the tourists towards this port city.

  • El Morro, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, is a sixteenth-century citadel. It is one of the oldest Spanish forts in the Caribbean.
  • Old San Juan, a 465 years old neighborhood, was originally meant for only military purposes. Now a 7 square block residential and commercial area, this is one of the most beautiful sites of the city.
  • El Castillo de San Cristóbal is a Spanish fort covering almost 27 acres of land. It is a part of San Juan’s National Historic Site.
  • Catedral de San Juan or the San Juan Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral built in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Palacio de Santa Catalina, built between 1533 and 1540 is now the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico.

Other notable tourist spots include Pablo Casals Museum, Fuerte San Geronimo, Alcaldia or the City Hall, San Juan Museum of Art and History, etc.

Accommodation :

Accommodation in San Juan varies from cheap European-style hostels to luxurious resorts facing the ocean. Hotels range from 5 star hotels like Caribe Hilton and Hotel El Convento, to mid range Hampton Inn and Hosteria del Mar to budget hotels like the Posada Colonial Apartments and The Palace Hotel.

Facts About San Juan

Country USA
State Puerto Rico
Founded 1509 {Named for John the Baptist}
Area 199.2 km2
Population 395326
Lat Long Coordinates 18°27′00″N66°04′00″W
Time Zone UTC–4
area Code 787, 939
Language Spanish, English
Major Religion Christans
Point of interest Old San Juan, Ocean Park, Isla Verde, Condado, El Morro, Castle of San Cristóbal, University of Puerto Rico located in Río Piedras

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