San Juan National Historic Site

Overview

An island on the periphery of the "New World" empire, Puerto Rico served as a Spanish fortress designed to protect Spain's American holdings. San Juan National Historic Site, includes forts, bastions, powder houses, wall and San Juan de la Cruz, defensive fortifications that once surrounded the old, colonial portion of San Juan, Puerto Rico. San Juan de la Cruz is located at Isla de Cabras at the western end of the entrance to San Juan Bay. Sections of the massive sandstone walls, dating to the 1630s, remain; so, too, do the San Cristobal and San Felipe del Morro forts. San Juan had the first municipal government in the "New World", outside Santo Domingo, as well as the first military presidio in Spanish America. By the 19th century, the old city had become a charming residential and commercial district. The city itself, with its institutional buildings, museums, houses, churches, plazas, and commercial buildings, is part of the San Juan Historic Zone which is administered by municipal, State and Federal agencies.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

Puerto Rico enjoys year round tropical climate. Winters are breeze and summers are mostly hot and humid. It rains all year long with a "dry" season in April. Temperatures range from 60's in the winter to 90's in the summer. The hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. On the longest day, June 22nd, the sun sets around 7:00pm. On the shortest day, December 22nd, the sun sets around 4:30pm.

Directions

Driving: 

Car - From International Airport route I-26 west. At the bridge connecting with Old San Juan, follow Luis Muñoz Rivera Avenue to Fort San Cristóbal, just past the Puerto Rico Capitol building. This trip is 10 miles and 20 minutes long.

Public Transport: 

If arriving on a cruise ship, most piers are within walking distance (10-15 minutes). Just walk up the hill, past the Plaza Colon. The Panamerican pier is 3 miles away, and taxis are available.