40 Things to Do in San Juan, Puerto Rico for Cruisers

When on a cruise vacation in the Caribbean, there's a chance your ship will call in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We've put together 15 things to do at the popular travel destination.

Step into medieval times and embrace 500 years of history when you visit the popular cruise port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Located on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, this town is the perfect getaway for the history buff, the sun seeker, the foodie, and the adventurer. San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and is also one of the most popular home-based cruise ports in the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises are just some of the cruise lines that use San Juan as a home port, and many other lines visit the city as a port of call during different itineraries. Either way, you are guaranteed to have fun in this beautiful place.

San Juan is a major historical destination, famous for its huge city walls and forts that made it one of the most formidable ports back in the 16th to 18th centuries. In addition to history, this port also features the usual Caribbean charms, like beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, and friendly locals.

As a result, there is plenty to see and do on your port day at this amazing place. We picked the top things to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico to help you prepare for an unforgettable visit and we’ve gone a step further by going beyond the old town.

1. Explore Old San Juan Town

One of the most notable places in San Juan is Old San Juan town. It’s an islet that connects to mainland San Juan via three bridges and a causeway. You are likely to dock at this town as it features one of the largest piers in Puerto Rico.

Cruise ships visiting the town as a port of call typically dock at this pier. A second pier named the Pan American pier is found on the other side of the islet. It is used for cruises that embark from this destination.

Downtown San Juan

Old San Juan features most of the nation’s historical monuments on its west end. The site of the monuments was named a national historic site by UNESCO and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the rich and colorful history of the Caribbean.

Everything you need for your cruise vacation can be found here.

This old Spanish colonial town features gorgeous pastel-colored colonial townhouses, old buildings, and forts that date back to the 1500s. Points of interest include Fort San Felipe Del Morro, Fort San Cristobal, and La Fortaleza.

Enjoy the convenience of exploring the town found right across the street from the cruise pier and experience the vibrant energy of OSJ as you walk down its narrow cobblestone paths lined with postcard-perfect colorful townhouses. Go shopping downtown, enjoy popular Puerto Rican dishes, or visit the historical sites.

2. Visit the National Historic Site

Visit the western end of OSJ to explore the magnificent forts found in the National Historic Site. From the cruise ship terminal, head to the left and walk along the picturesque Paseo de la Princesa walkway.

This walkway will take you past the Roots Fountain and along the old city walls up to the National Historical Park, where you will find the famous Castillo San Felipe Del Morro fortress.

This site charges a $5 admittance fee for all people above the age of 15 years. It opens at 9.00 a.m. and closes at 6.00 p.m.

3. San Felipe Del Morro

One of the most popular places to visit in San Juan is the Castillo San Felipe Del Morro fortress, commonly referred to as El Morro. It is a huge, multi-layered fort that was built in 1539. It served to protect the Spanish colony and thwarted several attacks from the Dutch, the British, and even the Americans at various times in the island’s history.

The fort has beautiful grounds which used to be the military’s marching grounds when the fort was in active service.

The grounds are now used by the locals and tourists alike for flying kites, weddings, picnics, and photography. Explore the mysteries of the fort and climb to the highest watch towers for the advantageous views of San Juan Bay.

Felipe Del Morro fortress, San Juan
Photo By: Russell Otway

4. Fort San Cristobal

Another point of interest in Old San Juan town is Fort San Cristobal. This fort was built in the 1700s to protect El Morro from a land-based attack after such an attempt nearly succeeded.

Visit this beautiful site and explore the exhibit of the military quarters, the kitchen, the mysterious tunnels, gun outlets, and Garitas.  If your cruise ship is in port till late in the evening, don’t miss an opportunity to watch the sunset over the beautiful San Juan Bay.

5. La Fortaleza

Visit La Fortaleza, the oldest executive mansion still in use today. It’s found a short distance from El Morro. This magnificent edifice was built in the early 1500s and has been hosting governors ever since.

It is also known as the Governor’s House. Explore its beautiful architecture and interesting history on your next trip to San Juan.

Other points of interest found in the same area include the old military barracks called El Ballaj and the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, the cathedral where Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon is buried.

6. Visit the Walls

Explore the old walls of the city on the Paseo de la Murallas and Paseo de la Princesa walkways. Enjoy the scenic views of the bay on the oceanfront side and the mysteries of the huge walls that protected this town for years. The walkways are 1.5 kilometers long (just under one mile).

7. Shopping

The shopping in San Juan, Puerto Rico is not to be missed, starting with downtown shopping at old San Juan town and also in the New San Juan town. Shop for handmade Panama hats, jewelry, clothes, and other souvenirs.

Purchase all your San Juan souvenirs from Amazon right here.

The shopping district begins at the El Mercado in La Placita found a short distance to the left of the cruise pier. From there you can turn right and head up the hill to visit the shopping district downtown.

Most of the shopping outlets in the town are found on Calle del Cristo, Calle San Francisco, and Calle Fortaleza streets. Expect to find only authentic, locally made souvenirs in this area, not mass-produced trinkets.

8. Eating

Take a culinary tour of Puerto Rico and enjoy the rich, flavorful dishes of the island. Start with lunch in La Placita at Chef Jose Enrique’s restaurant.

Enjoy mofongo, the popular fried banana plantain dish made on the island, or have a truly authentic Puerto Rican coffee at cafe Cuatros Sombras. Try the best of Puerto Rican street food at Pinones just right there in the La Placita area.

If you are a foodie, Marmalade on Calle Fortaleza is a must visit. El Jibarito in Calle Sol, near Plaza Las Americas, is the place to go for local flavor. Punto de Vista, a rooftop restaurant in Calle Fortaleza, is also another famous eatery to visit.

Not only will you enjoy their great food and drinks, but you will also be treated to stunning views of Old San Juan.

San Juan Cruise Terminal
Photo By: Russell Otway

San Juan Beaches

If you take cruises seeking some sun and sand fun, then you will have a blast in San Juan. There are plenty of beaches in San Juan, but the most popular are Condado, Isla Verde, and ocean park beaches. Head to your right from the cruise pier, in about 15 minutes you will reach downtown San Juan. That’s where all the beaches are at.

Do check all of these beach accessories before your cruise to Puerto Rico.

9. Condado Beach

Condado Beach is the most popular beach in San Juan. It’s a Miami-style beach lined by high-rise buildings and resort complexes. The beach is found on Ashford Avenue between the bridge and Condado Hilton Plaza. Enjoy a relaxing day here on the long stretch of golden sandy beach with beautiful clear blue waters.

There are plenty of palm trees that offer shade on this beach. You can also rent an umbrella and sun lounger for $10 and $5 respectively.

In case you get hungry there is a Ben and Jerry’s snacks place or Wafflers near the beach. One thing you should be careful about if planning to swim on this beach are the strong currents.

10. Ocean Park Beach

Ocean Park Beach is the tree-lined beach between Condado and Isla Verde beach and is a great beach for all ages. You can sunbathe, swim, people watch or take long walks on this picturesque beach.

It’s less touristy than the other two beaches, which makes it great for anyone looking for a less crowded beach. There are some food vendors on the beach selling tasty treats and cold drinks, including beer.

Enjoy some tasty empanadas while you relax and enjoy the beach scene. The wind blowing on this beach makes it perfect for kite flying and windsurfing.

Sunscreen is a must when visiting one of these beaches in Puerto Rico.

11. Isla Verde Beach

Isla Verde is one of the most beautiful beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It features a long stretch of brown sand and crystal clear turquoise waters.

It’s a great beach for swimming, boogie boarding, and surfing. The kids can enjoy building castles while you people-watch enjoying cold cocktails or work on your tan.

For romantics and anyone looking to walk off some vacation calories, it’s also a great beach for a leisurely stroll. If you find the place crowded, walk further down the beach to get to a less crowded section.

You can grab a bite at the El Alambique restaurant on the beach when you get hungry. For more casual fare, try the beach vendors who sell great pork tacos, chicken kebabs, and delicious piña coladas for just a couple of dollars.

Walgreens is also nearby; you can buy some snacks and bring them to the beach. The price to rent a beach chair is $4, and $10 for an umbrella.

Also Read: 15 Best Cozumel Beaches You Should Experience

12. Escambron Beach

Balneario El Escambron is a picturesque beach in San Juan with its soft golden sand and crystal clear turquoise water. It has clear warm shallow waters and is protected by a coral reef offshore. It is located in Puerta de Tierra, in the east side of Old San Juan that connects to the mainland.

You can walk to this beach from Old San Juan and Condado. The beach offers plenty of water sports, including snorkeling and scuba diving. You can also take long romantic walks as you take in the scenic views. There is a park nearby where you can visit to explore the Puerto Rican flora and fauna.

This side of town also features a historic site, the Bateria del Escambron. It was used for shooting practice by the Spanish military. Visit this place to enjoy the beauty and magic of it.

13. Watersports

Other than lying on the beach, there are plenty of water sports to be had in San Juan. Enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving, kayaking, banana boat rides, fishing, water flying, and other cool water sports. You will find these sports on all the beaches you visit.

Water shoes are a must for most of these activities. Go and check them here.

14. Rum Tasting Tour

Visit Casa BACARDÍ Puerto Rico found in Cataño and take a guided historical and rum factory tour. You can take a 10-minute ferry ride from Old San Juan to Cataño and get a taxi to Casa Bacardi, the largest Bacardi rum distillery in the world. The factory is found opposite the CVS pharmacy that affords you extra shopping for personal effects.

A trip within the factory itself will depend on which excursion you chose. If you want to learn the science behind how rum is made and take a specialty tour, then you should go on the mixology tour. If you just want to learn the history of Bacardi rum, taste some samples, and maybe shop a little, then take the general tour.

While on the topic here are some tasty Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes which you’ll likely come across during your cruise.

15. Explore the Vibrant Art Scene

Puerto Rico has a vibrant art scene and this is visible everywhere you go from quaint little art shops in the markets to mega art museums featuring centuries of art both modern and classical.

For a more refined art scene you can opt for the numerous art galleries in San Juan such as Galeria Botello, and Walter Otero Contemporary Art Gallery. However, for a more local scene, check out the wall art in Santurce. The art here is informative on the socioeconomic and political aspects of Puerto Rico.

16. Puerto Rico Museum of Art

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico or Puerto Rico Museum of Art is one of the places that you can explore Puerto Rico’s artistic side. The museum here features an interesting collection that depicts the islands history, culture and politics.

Hosted in a grand building that was once a hospital the visual layout of this museum is rather appealing. The main floor of the museum showcases classical art from the 17th century to date, mostly by master artists while the upper floors consist of temporary exhibitions that showcase modern contemporary art.

This museum is both educative and fun even for young kids. It especially has a kid-themed exhibition and hosts an interactive art function for families every once in a while.

The art also transcends to the outdoors where there is a beautifully sculpted garden outside the museum. You can learn more about planning your visit right here.

17. Explore El Capitolio and Snap a Pic or Two

Visit the capital of San Juan just outside the old walls. This is the only state capital that faces the water. Here is where you go to learn the political history of the nation. The all-marble building which features intricate designs and murals on its dome-shaped ceiling United States’ Capital State building. There are free tours and it’s a great place to get some Instagram worthy snaps.

Things to Do Outside San Juan

We want to make sure you’re fully covered if you’re thinking about venturing further out from San Juan. Hopefully, you do because there is much to do and experience.

San Juan Cruise
Photo By: Russell Otway

18. El Yunque National Forest

El Yunque rainforest, the only rainforest under the national forest registry of the United States, is a must visit on your trip to San Juan. Though it’s not found in the city itself, a quick 45-minute ride will take you to this forest.

Explore the rainforest and its jungle-like setup, learn about the different plants, animals, birds, butterflies and more found in this unique habitat.

Carry a bathing suit in case you plan to take a dip in one of the many pools in the forest. It features some very beautiful waterfalls, such as La Coca Falls as well as La Mina Falls.

There are hiking trails as well, and you can get a local guide to give you a guided tour. However, due to hurricane damage from storms in recent years, some routes within the forest are closed to give room for repair and maintenance.

It would be wise to get bug spray if you’re heading to the rainforest.

19. Camuy River Cave Park

One of the most unique tourist attractions in PR is the Camuy River Cave Park found on the north-western coast of the island.  It’s aptly named after Rio Camuy River which runs under the caves. This cave system is huge stretching an entire 10miles yet scientists believe there are still 800 more caves yet to be uncovered.

Rio Camuy river is the third longest underground river in the world. The calming sounds of its running fill the entire cave system, which adds to the charm of this attraction. There is a long concrete boardwalk with handrails winding through the caves for ease of movement.

The tour of the caves starts with an open-air tram ride that descends to the caves in an adventurous winding road through the forest park. There are three caves to explore starting with Cueva Clara, Empalme Sinkhole and Tri-towns sinkhole.

Some 205 steps are required to descend to Cueva Clara so it can be challenging for wheelchair access. These caves are simply enchanting. Expect to feel as if you are in an ancient world. The openings in the ceilings allow sunlight to shine through which supports vegetation inside the caves. See some of the largest stalagmites you’ve ever seen and observe over a million bats that call this caves home.

A short one-and-a-half-hour drive from San Juan gets you to the caves but you can also book this activity as an excursion with your cruise line.

Update: The caves are still closed for ongoing repairs since Hurricane Maria. We will update this information when they are reopened.

20. Day Trip to Vieques Island

You haven’t truly enjoyed the best that Puerto Rico has to offer until you set foot in the tropical island of Vieques. Located southeast of the mainland, Vieques is a small island 20 miles long and 7 miles wide.

The heavy military presence which had occupied two-thirds of the island for many years kept most of Vieques untouched. As such, it retains an old tropical Caribbean island vibe and bears plenty of untouched beach coves perfect for your exploration. It’s not surprising to meet with wild horses in Vieques, the island is full of them.

Other than beaches and clear turquoise waters, Vieques has the largest national wildlife refuge. This refuge covers a whopping 3100 acres in size. But the biggest draw to the island is its bioluminescent bay in Mosquito Bay.

21. Mosquito Bay

Mosquito Bay was ranked the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay By Guinness World Records in 2006. Thanks to hurricane Maria it now has, even more, brighter due to an increase in dinoflagellates (the organisms that cause the water of the bay to turn an eerie blue when disturbed).

If you haven’t explored a bioluminescent bay, then please do so in Vieques, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Done at night when it’s pitch black, a surreal phenomenon occurs when the waters of the bay are touched or disturbed. It glows an eerie blue light that looks like magic.

22. Snorkel and dive in Culebra

Go snorkeling or diving in Culebra. Culebra is the small isle located east of Puerto Rico that boasts of incredibly fertile waters and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Booking a tour with these guys or other recommended operators will take you on an adventure like no other. Most tour operators have kiosks in San Juan and Culebra.

Most tour guides are charming and know Culebra waters like the back of their hands. They can show you the best spots to see Nurse sharks, turtles, and dozens of colorful fish.

23. Tamarindo Beach Culebra

Another hot snorkeling spot in Culebra is found at the beautiful and remote beach of Tamarindo. This rocky beach paves the way to warm, calm-waters perfect for snorkeling. The shallow grassy bottom is a haven for turtles and rays. Swim to the left of the beach for a guaranteed sighting of these beautiful creatures. You can also see plenty of rainbow-colored fish in the nearby coral.

Wear your water shoes and pack a lounge chair to rest on the beach. Otherwise, enjoy a great couple of hours snorkeling this underwater paradise.

24. Kayak at Fajardo

Fajardo is the easternmost town of Puerto Rico and has some of the most amazing attractions in the island. Most trips to the sister islands of Puerto Rico start from this town. But one of its most inviting activities is to kayak Laguna Grande Bio Bay at night for a bioluminescence experience.

Bioluminescence is a phenomenal experience where the water glows an eerie blue light when touched or disturbed. There are several tour companies offering these adventures.

25. Catamaran to Icacos Island

Icacos is a nice uninhabited island off the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico. It is easily accessible by boat from Fajardo. A boat ride out to the island takes about 15 minutes.

If you are looking for a remote beach to spend your day on then this island’s main beach is the place to go. There is some decent snorkeling offshore and if you come prepared you can enjoy a nice picnic on the island (note there are no restaurants, bathrooms or facilities of any kind on the island).

Explore Icacos coast on a luxury catamaran ride enjoying a party at sea and lunch.

However, if you are looking to escape the crowds and spend some quality time on your own at the island, then holla Captain Mingo ( +1 787-383-6509). He is a highly recommended guide to the place.

Another island to check out is Palominito island nearby which is another paradise and where a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 4 was shot. Note: Weekends are not the best time to visit Icacos, it’s flooded with people.

26. Go Surfing at Rincon

Rincon on the western coast of Puerto Rico boasts of the best surf beaches. Take out your board and go surfing in Rincon or simply watch the surfers do their thing. Being on the wavy Atlantic side you can expect some huge waves to surf on. Sandy beach and Maria beach are some of the best beaches for this activity.

If you also want to learn how to surf, this is also the place to go. Other attractions in Rincon include Punta Higüera Lighthouse park, Domes technology museum at domes beach, the tree Palmas marine reserves and plenty of art galleries to wander about.

27. Toro Verde Zip Line

Toro Verde Zipline, once the world’s longest zip line as rated by Guinness World Records in 2016 has two of the longest zip lines in the world today. Experience a new high of adrenaline riding the 2.5km long “El Monstruo” zip line or the 1.5km long “Beast” zip line.

Enjoy the bird’s eye view of the forest canopy, rivers, and the lush mountainside as you fly 90mph between platforms. You can also go on the “wild bull” adventure which is a series of suspended bridges over forests and valleys. This is the ultimate place to get your adrenaline rushing while in Puerto Rico.

From San Juan head out to the mountainous core of the island in the town of Orocovis. This trip will take about 1.5 to 2hours to get there. You can do car rental and follow GPS or book a tour organized by TodoVerde http://toroverdepr.com/ or your cruise.

28. Take a Selfie Inside Ponce Letters

In Bario Sabanetas, Ponce, there is a huge landmark marked with huge letters spelling out P-O-N-C-E. This red and black letters lying across highway PR-52 at the intersection of PR-10 are something else. Take a snap or two at the unique landmark and remember your visit to Ponce for the rest of the times.

29. Parque de Bombas

While still in the culturally rich town of Ponce, visit the iconic Parque de Bombas. It’s the most notable building in the town and a national treasure of Puerto Rico. Once a fire station this red and black striped building is now a museum. The fire station closed in 1990. Located on Plaza las Delicias square behind the cathedral it’s easy to find this remarkable edifice. Inside the museum are 18th and 19th-century fire station equipment including hand pressed water pumps.

30. Museo de Arte de Ponce

Museo de Arte de Ponce is the finest art museum in Puerto Rico and the largest in the Caribbean. Make your way over to this exquisitely designed museum and explore classical European and Puerto Rican Art in the massive 5000-piece art collection showcased in 14 galleries. This museum located on Avenida Las Américas in Ponce is a must stop for all art lovers. Some of the most popular paintings housed in the museum include the original Flaming June.

31. Enjoy Great Views at Serralles Castle

While still in Ponce ensure you stop by the Serralles Castle at the top of the hill overlooking the town. This 1930 Spanish Revival mansion with hints of Arabic architecture was designed to resemble a castle. The architecture and detail that went into designing this home of sugar and rum baron Juan Serrallés Colón of the DonQ rum are just incredible.

It was later sold by Serrallés heirs in 1980s to the Puerto Rican government and transformed into a museum. The museum now showcases the history of sugar and rum development over the centuries and affluent living in the late 20th century.

The sculpted and perfectly manicured garden is interesting to see as well. Get a reduced price when you combine this attraction with the gardens above and the Cruceta del Vigía cross across the property.

32. Get Geeky at Arecibo Observatory

Explore the scientific milestones of the 21st century at the world’s largest radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Enjoy an interesting 1-and-a-half-hour journey through narrow winding roads up the mountainous background of Arecibo to this science museum.

Explore the 305 meters (1000 feet) wide radio dish where scientists receive signals and information from objects in space. There are interactive exhibits like the movie of the radio telescope’s formation and history. You can also enjoy great views from the observatory. Or get a more in-depth understanding of the place by taking a control room tour.

33. Get Sprayed up at La Cueva Del Indio

Another attraction near Arecibo is La Cueva del Indio or the Indian Caves of Las Piedras. If you are looking for an off the beaten path adventure in PR then this is the place.

Once you get to the area off of PR681, a brief but challenging hike will take you to rugged coasts that host the caves. The one-way roads are narrow so parking is only available at a local’s property for $5. This caves discovered in 1982 were the meeting place of Taino Indians, the original inhabitants of PR.

The caves are famous for the petroglyphs strewn all over the caves’ walls. Currently, you can’t go into the caves as the ladder into the cave was removed for security reasons. But you still have very nice inside views of the cave from the top.

There is a natural staircase along the walls of the rugged coast. The rocky coast is very beautiful and breathtaking on its own. Years of wave action from the fierce Atlantic Ocean has created beautiful rocky structures along the limestone cliff.

Enjoy exploring arches, and limestone rock-out-crops while you get sprayed by the tide breaking on the cliff. The site offers a great opportunity for Instagram worthy photos.

Tip: Wear sturdy sneakers and possibly pants the rocks are sharp and slippery so exercise caution.

34. Explore Aguadilla

Another beautiful town to explore is Aguadilla on the northwest coast of PR. This energetic coastal town features popular surf beaches like Crashboat. It has one of the only 2 skating rinks in the Caribbean, a lighthouse and an aquatic park.

This is the place to go and experience PR like a local, wander away from the silent town square and visit its beaches facing the Atlantic and enjoy watching the surf roll in as the surfers ride them high and low.

35. Slide Down a Natural Water Slide at Las Paylas

Go on an off-the-beaten-path adventure at Las Paylas in Luquillo where you can slide down 30 feet and 15 feet -long natural waterslides. Las Paylas or Las Pailas is a hidden gem in Puerto Rico for the wandering traveler. The water action on the rocky river bed has left it super smooth and great for water sliding. You can also swing out, into the pools below.

Using GPS, you can easily locate the area. Parking is available at a charming man’s compound who offers a trail through his property to the waterfall and slides. Don’t miss out on this amazing local experience.

36. Enjoy Stunning Views at Cueva Ventana

Cueva Ventana in Arecibo is another cave attraction in PR. Cueva meaning cave and Ventana meaning window are what the place is, a cave’s window. The cave is located on a hill and has a huge window looking out to Rio de Grande Valley below. The view is breath-taking and the reason thousands of people visit the site regularly.

This unique attraction is located on Pr-10 KM75 behind puma gas station. The adventure starts with a brief hike to the top of the cliff and into the cave. Knowledgeable guides then take you through the cave teaching you about the place’s history and about Taino Indians who used the cave in ancient times.

Tip: Remember to wear good sturdy shoes and carry a flashlight.

37. Explore the Tranquil Parguera

Parguera is a quaint fishing village on the south coast of Puerto Rico. It has plenty of interesting attractions including marine reserves, mangroves, a bio bay, and plenty of water activities.

Parguera is also the home of Playa Sucia and Faro Los Morrillos Light House. This two are some of the most visited attractions in Puerto Rico. Playa Sucia is one of the top ten beaches of PR.

In Parguera you can do deep sea fishing, go swimming with turtles, snorkeling or kayaking in the bioluminescent bay.

You can also take a walk along the Malecon admiring the views and checking out lovely restaurants and eateries. The trip over to Parguera is about 2 hours long but is a worthwhile visit if you have time to spare in Puerto Rico.

38. Humacao Nature Reserve

Visit Humacao Nature Reserve or Punta Santiago Natural Reserve located on the southeastern coast of PR. This reserve is found along PR3, some ways from Punta Santiago beach.

Humacao Reserve is the place to experience nature’s tranquil bliss. It features beaches, a lagoon, mangrove, nearby dry forest, many fish species, and over 90 bird species.

There are plenty of things to do here like: hiking, biking, kayaking and picnicking. The walk through the reserve is breathtaking with many interesting variables like sugar plantation ruins and a war banker.  The hidden beach at the place is something else.

This park is free and bikes, kayaks, and other water concessions are all rented from $10 per hour.

39. Try Some La Ruta de Lechón

While in Puerto Rico, eat as Puerto Ricans do! Roasted pork is a favorite meal on this island. Visibly so from the abundance of dishes that include pork. A whole highway (the La Ruta de Lechón or pork highway) is dedicated to restaurants selling roasted pork.

This highway is found in Guavate about a 45-minute drive from San Juan. Lechón is Spanish for slow roasted pork over charcoal until it’s crispy.  Lunch here includes a half a pound of crispy lechón, pork sausage stuffed with spicy rice and a side of flavourful rice. This is a meal fit for a king and it’s delicious to the last bite.

40. Las Cabezas

Book a tour to visit Las Cabezas Nature Reserve north of Fajardo. This is another tranquil spot where you can explore nature. This park features a number of endemic birds, iguanas, mongoose and a wide variety of plant life. Take a stroll on the boardwalk as you admire the mangrove and its inhabitants while taking lessons from knowledgeable guides.

The park also features a lighthouse built in the 18th century. Other attractions include the bioluminescent bay of Laguna Grande and in the right season, a chance to spot various kinds of whales such as humpback, sperm and pilot whales.

View of Puerto Rico
Photo By: Russell Otway

Puerto Rico Weather

San Juan features a tropical monsoon climate. It has an average temperature of 81.0 °F.  The winter season has the lowest temperatures averaging at 70.0 °F. The hottest time in the town is from May to September, while the cool season runs from November to March. March is the driest month in the city.

Also Read: 22 Things To Do in Grand Turk During a Cruise Vacation

Over to You

Now that you know what you know all the fun and interesting things that you can do in San Juan, it’s time to start planning your trip.

Remember, if your cruise embarks from San Juan, Puerto Rico, you can always arrive a few days early and explore the town and its environment to the fullest, or you can always plan more than one cruise to visit this amazing port and see all it has to offer. Happy Cruising!!

Haiyan Ma
Haiyan Ma
I absolutely love cruising with my favorite ports of call being in the Caribbean. As a former crew member for Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line I can continue my passion by sharing my experiences with readers. Find out more about us here.


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