For any tourist, one of the main centers of attraction is San Juan. This is the capital city of Puerto Rico and still carries with it a unique mix of old school and contemporary cultures. It is centrally located and split into several districts, each of which has a lot for you to explore.
One of the places you can begin your exploration of Puerto Rico is the Fort de San Felipe del Morro, which is also known as the El Morro. This has been labeled a National Historic Site and is the biggest fort structure that you will find across the Caribbean. High on its perch over the San Juan Bay, it served as the perfect cover against attacks from the English and the Dutch.
There is also a sister structure known as the Fort San Cristóbal, which has the distinction of being the biggest Spanish fort in the New World. This served to foil land-related attacks and is spread over 27 acres and is split into five independent units that are connected by moats as well as tunnels.
You could also go on to explore the gothic Iglesia de San José that was constructed in the 1530’s by Dominican Friars. In its confines is the grave of famous Puerto Rican artist José Campeche. You also have what is called Old San Juan, which is the historical center of the city. Set up in 1521 by Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer, Old San Juan continues to be what it was earlier – a small intricate web of blue cobblestone streets, historic colonial architecture as well as fortresses and plazas. It all converges on the central square called the Plaza de Armas, which was where all the military drills were held.
The second largest city of Puerto Rico is Ponce, and it is located on the southern tip and is known as La Perla del Sur or the Pearl of the South. It also goes by the name of “Ciudad Señorial” or Majestic City thanks to its expansive neoclassical architecture. The historic district down south has a tree-lined Plaza de las Delicias that is made up of fountains, gardens as well as the majestic 1835 Catedral de Nostra Señora de Guadelupe and of course the red-and-black striped Ponce Firehouse. This was built in 1882 and today is a natural history of the local fire-fighting. The City Hall is perhaps the oldest colonial building in Puerto Rico.
You could also take a walk down La Guancha Paseo Tablado, a boardwalk over a popular beachfront development that is quite the rage among locals. Puerto Rico has so much to offer that you need to plan your itinerary well.
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