Elsewhere, in San Juan…

Puerto Rico may not be the first place you look when you consider going on your summer holidays. However, once you have paid a visit to San Juan, you will be asking yourself why you left it so long. Not only is San Juan a major cruise port of call, but it is also a common place for embarkation on Caribbean cruises. This is not the only reason for it being a great place to visit though.

The official currency here is the USD$, and so be sure to have some spending money on you, whether you’re disembarking from your cruise ship or you’ve flown in to San Juan on your holidays, because there is plenty here to keep you occupied.

Firstly, exploring the history of San Juan is a must, and so while you’re there you should consider paying a visit to Old San Juan. As well as the city hall, there are plenty of gems here for tourists to enjoy; from Castillo San Felipe Del Morro, which is a beautiful fortress that was built to protect the harbour entrance, and rises 140 feet above the sea.

Then, there is the Catedral de San Juan Bautista, which is considered as the Catholic shrine of Puerto Rico and has been erected since the early 1500s. It has been rebuilt due to a hurricane, but is still beautiful and worth a visit. Finally, I would strongly recommend to anybody that they should pay a visit to the Museo de las Américas. On the second floor of the imposing former military barracks, this focuses on the folk art of Latin America, and includes many fascinating pieces.

If the Old San Juan is not your kind of thing though, you will still find plenty of things to do. If shopping is more to your tastes, you will be able to find everything from T-shirt emporiums to craft stores, as well as cute little jewellery shops and book stores. Then there is Calle Cristo; lined with factory outlet stores including world famous Ralph Lauren. Much to the disappointment of some tourists, though, the port is not duty free, and so bargains on perfumes and things are not there for the taking.

In addition to the quirky local stores, there will be other activities there for visitors to take part in, and a hugely popular one in San Juan is golf. The Rio Mar Country Club comprises a club house, two restaurants and two 18-hole golf courses, and is a beautiful little place for a little go at the game. A lot of people opt to do such things as the beaches aren’t exactly the best on the island, although anyone can easily rent a sun lounger for the day. The beaches and their facilities though are still adequate for the average tourist.

Finally, and really my personal highlight of my visit to San Juan was the incredible nightlife, which is easily the most sophisticated in the Caribbean. To begin with, there are the casinos, which, by law, have to be situated within hotels. You can have amazing fun in places with a fantastic atmosphere, and whether you dress up to the nines or not you will fit right in!

Then when you’re done having a little flutter, the numerous bars and clubs around will keep you on your feet partying all night long. Firstly, there is Blend; a hip and happening nightspot with black walls and neon blue lights, and plenty of eye candy as staff. The interior is gorgeous and includes marble top bars. This really is the perfect place to dance from salsa to techno. Then there is my personal favourite, Krash. DJs spin numerous tunes ranging from Hip-Hop and House music to Reggae, and the occasional disco night will take you back into the 70’s and 80’s. Either way the balcony bar that overlooks the busy dance floor is a great place to sit.

So, when you’re next thinking of booking yourself a holiday, whether it be a cruise around the amazing Caribbean or just to fly out and have some fun, be sure to consider San Juan as part of your itinerary, because it truly is an unforgettable place.

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