A “garita” (sentry turret) of El Morro, Old San Juan.
Photo: Thomas R. Fletcher.
The Puerto Rican characterColonial architecture
Strolling Old San Juan
The walled city of Old San Juan is a treasury of colonial architecture. Its houses, gardens, churches, plazas, fortresses and esplanades preserve five centuries of New World history. Begin with locally-grown, single-origin, shade-grown coffee and a pastry at Café Cuatro Sombras. The coffee comes from a hacienda that has been in the owner’s family since 1846. Walk along lanes paved with blue bricks once used as ballast on Spanish galleons, and find hidden corners, like Casa Blanca, the home of legendary Ponce de Leon, who sought the fabled Fountain of Youth. After savoring lunch at vegan-friendly St. Germain Bistro & Café, one of the city’s hidden treasures, appreciate the artistic legacy of the island at two major museums: the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and the Museo Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico. In the evening, stroll the narrow streets with their vibrant Latin ambiance and celebrate your visit to “the island of enchantment” by dining on delicious vegan fare at farm-to-table Verde Mesa. If you’re feeling affluent, consider Marmalade. At the end of a night on the town, return to the tranquillity of Yuquiyú.
Old San Juan
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