San Juan, Puerto Rico SOURCE: tourism.pr.gov
Have you been here? Tell us about it below!End your day in Old San Juan with a pre-dinner stroll along the water, alongside the Old City Walls. It’s that time of day when everything seems to slow down, even the waters of the Caribbean Sea begin to ease into a glassy stillness - perfectly reflecting the midnight blue sky and the incandescent glow of the street lamps. Start from Paseo de la Princesa, at the Raices Fountain, and wind your way around the walls. Take in the views of the setting sun from the benches that line the walkway. Reminisce about the day and linger. There’s no need to rush into the night and tomorrow will come soon enough.
Treat your senses on a walk down a boulevard
Take a leisurely stroll down one of San Juan’s boulevards at the weekend to soak in the island’s sights, smells, tastes, and sounds. Wandering along the tree-lined Paseo de la Princesa in the old city you will see Raices Fountain, centuries-old fortress walls, and the waves in the distance. Buy souvenir seashell necklaces or paintings from the artisans along the boulevard, or try churros (fried-dough pastries shaped like tubes) brimming with chocolate or dulce de leche. In southern Ponce, mingle with the locals at the Tablado la Guancha boardwalk as you admire the ocean and sway to the beat of salsa music. The nearby playground is a perfect place for the kids to spend a few hours.
Romancing the stones - a walk through history in the rain
We only had three days to discover Old San Juan, and we didn’t want to waste a moment of it indoors. Armed with Hotel Convento’s generous green umbrellas, we set out on a cloudy morning to discover Paseo de la Princesa. The moment we climbed the steps to the front gates, the sky burst and a torrential downpour began. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better time to discover the rocky passage. As the rain pelted against the stones, I imagined the hundreds of storms (both human and nature-induced) these old turrets had faced. The sea changed from deep blue to teal green as the drops danced on the surface, and we slipped and slid around the corner to the Raices Fountain, a collection of bronze sculptures that honor Puerto Rican history, culture, and character. In the sleepy after-rain gray, the tropical green foliage and brilliant blue sea were surreal. Don’t let the rain deter you from exploring the charming Paseo de la Princesa.
The pedestrian walkway called the Paseo de la Princesa offers scenic views of Old San Juan. It was built in 1853 to allow Victorian-era residents to take their constitutionals along the water, outside the city walls. The promenade is lined with antique street lamps, and the walls of La Fortaleza tower overhead. Street vendors offer fresh fruits and piragua, a frozen treat made with shaved ice and flavored syrups.