San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital and largest city, is the most visited place in the Caribbean, and for good reason. Its historic core, Old San Juan, features Spanish colonial buildings and narrow, blue-glazed cobblestone streets packed with cafes, shops and nightclubs. Add coffee, rum and amazing beaches – what’s not to love?
San Juan’s excellent harbor made it a thriving trade center, protected by the many historic fortresses that are now some of its top tourist attractions. The most scenic is the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th-century citadel. La Fortaleza (the Fortress), also called the Palacio de Santa Catalina, is the official home of Puerto Rico’s governor and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Don’t miss the oft-wrecked and restored Catedral de San Juan Bautista, which contains Ponce de Leon’s tomb.
The best beaches are found in the resorty El Condado and Isla Verde neighborhoods. And of course there’s the “Cathedral of Rum,” Bacardi’s 127-acre factory, which offers tours via trolley. End your evening at a sizzling salsa club.