The historical route to San Juan

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Travel to San Juan de Puerto Rico: View the historical route

Check out the best beaches and a tour of Old San Juan that day begins and ends at night, very late, to the rhythm of salsa music!

The historical route to San Juan

Photography by Tomas Fano

The scene is curious: in the vast esplanade leading to the Fort San Felipe de Morro, dozens of kids trace their kites (kites), with a sea too blue to be real, jealously guarded by the forts of Old San Juan de Puerto Rico.

Not far from there, the crosses of St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery watch the water, pressed between the hill and sky. The same sea was, centuries ago, the scene of fierce battles between those who, at different times in history, tried to enter the bay (Spanish, Dutch, British, pirates). Today, Old San Juan has the best preserved fortifications in the Caribbean and in the evening, it displays an endless menu of places to dance salsa and drinking the best rum on the face of the Earth.

It is said that Puerto Rico is a feast for all: Day is celebrated on the Banana, the Kite and until the Day of the Hammock. In a way, this figure illustrates the cheerful, excited and wag of Puerto Ricans, who feels at all times while you walk through the city. Also known to have a reputation for cachetero, designation granted to anyone who requires off for everything and always ask us to fien. An anecdote illustrates this very well: every year, in Reyes, the governor of Puerto Rico gives toys to needy children.

Travel to San Juan

Photography by roger4336

White House – The fountain of youth

This house opposite the children parading cachetero is, in fact, one of the attractions of the area as it was the home (called the White House) built in tribute to Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish conquistador and first Puerto Rico governor of the island of San Juan in 1510. The strange thing about this man who was obsessed with the existence of an island located to the northwest, called Bimini, where he had heard that there was a fountain of youth. Even in 1512 he went in search of that island. Found not only youth, but life was in that company.

If you look at the Old San Juan from the sky will realize that this is a huge walled city, lined with cafes, art galleries, museums and shops on cobblestone streets with the highest point at Fort San Felipe de Morro. Where is the nose? is the phrase that is fun to identify Puerto Ricans to American tourists, with whom, in general, seem to have a very complex love-hate relationship.

It is best to begin the tour of Old San Juan in La Casita, information booth Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, west of Pier 1, facing the bay, and walk right leaving the cruise ship docks. Then, past the Sheraton hotel, climb to the Plaza de Colon to reach the fort of San Cristobal, another emblematic of Puerto Rico fortifications, built in 1783 to counter attacks by land. This castle is made up of labyrinthine bunkers, trenches and tunnels that went crazy on the enemy. Its eight large rooms accommodate up to 212 soldiers.

Following the walk around the block Norzagaray be seen in the distance, the hill was built in 1539. To understand its history must be borne in mind that San Juan was the gateway to the New World and was besieged by constant invasions by European fleets. The nose was built by soldiers, slaves and engineers that turned San Juan into an impregnable fortress, with an impenetrable wall surrounding the city gates were closed at dusk.

Walking the nose with the turquoise ocean bottom, seeping into the nooks and between the walls, is to imagine the ships armed to the teeth, trying to enter the bay under the roar of cannon. Poor Sir Ralph Abercrombie can tell how bad it was in his attempt to conquer San Juan, in 1797. Defeated, he wrote in his blog that the city could have withstood ten times more weapons than he had with him.

Travel to San Juan de Puerto Rico

Photography by vlasta2

Leaving the hill and back to La Casita, the starting point, pass through the square of Charities and again by the White House. Then it is very nice down the street to the Plaza San Sebastian San Jose and then turn right to the pretty Plaza de la Catedral, where the historic San Juan Cathedral, whose construction began in 1521. Here lie the remains of the conquistador Ponce de Leon.

Gook luck!

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