The city of San Juan is known for many things. It’s the capital of Puerto Rico, as well as the commonwealth’s most populated metropolis, a major seaport and hub of regional industry, and one of the oldest major settlements originally founded by European colonists in the western hemisphere. Oh, and it’s also a fantastic place to visit.
So if you’re looking for a destination for your next getaway, you should probably make it San Juan. In fact, right now is the best time to visit. But don’t just take our word for it, here are four reasons you should visit San Juan.
Puerto Rico is pretty famous for its beaches. In fact, you can pretty much traverse the entire island hopping from one awesome beach to another. But if you’re looking for a good selection of beaches in close proximity to a sweet urban setting than San Juan is where you want to go. From hidden gems loved by locals to hotel resorts right on the water, there are plenty to choose from.
San Juan was founded in the early 1500s by Ponce de León (the Spanish conquistador that legend says went looking for the fountain of youth in Florida), which means the city has over 500 years of history for visitors to check out, from the city’s famous old forts to the cobble street of the city’s historic section, appropriately named old San Juan.
The city’s nightlife is notoriously fun and offers a plenty of opportunities for those looking to partake in some dining, drinking, and dancing. There are even quite a few casinos, for those who love to gamble. But no matter how or where you end up spending your evenings in San Juan, be sure to at least once order a chichaíto, the traditional Puerto Rican after-dinner drink that’s made with rum and Anisette liqueur and tastes like licorice.
While the hustle and bustle of San Juan’s city atmosphere can be exciting to most, it can also get kind of overwhelming. Thankfully there are plenty of side-trips that you can take to enjoy the amazing and incredibly nearby natural world. Visitors can sail, snorkel, and more in the surrounding ocean. A short day trip to the west can bring you to the famed Río Camuy Cave Park, while a shorter trek east will deliver your party to the El Yunque National Forest, the U.S. National Park System’s only tropical rainforest. But without a doubt the can’t-miss trip of any visit is the three-hour journey to Vieques’ famed Bioluminescent Bay, filled with micro-organism that glow neon blue, which visitors can kayak into at night.
Think we missed a reason to travel to San Juan? Let us know in the comments section below.