San Juan Guidebook

Sean & Cristina
Sean & Cristina
Joined in 2017
Sean & Cristina

San Juan Guidebook

Neighborhoods
The festive city of San Juan is the perfect place to experience true Puerto Rican culture. Get to know its roots by exploring the vibrant neighborhood of El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), which consists mostly of Spanish colonial buildings. Flesh out your self-guided history lesson with a visit to El Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then reward yourself with a cooling dip at Luquillo or Carolina Beach, then a tasty tour of the Bacardi rum plant.
52
locals recommend
San Juan
52
locals recommend
The festive city of San Juan is the perfect place to experience true Puerto Rican culture. Get to know its roots by exploring the vibrant neighborhood of El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), which consists mostly of Spanish colonial buildings. Flesh out your self-guided history lesson with a visit to El Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then reward yourself with a cooling dip at Luquillo or Carolina Beach, then a tasty tour of the Bacardi rum plant.
Our neighborhood is a safe beach community in the San Juan Metro area. Its walking distance to everything. A few blocks from grocery stores, new trendy restaurants, bars, and a great yoga studio. It's located next to the best beach in San Juan, Ocean Park. Recommended restaurants in walking distance (foodies at heart): Coffee Shop: La Coffeetera $ Breakfast: Tostado $ Bakery: Kasalta$$ Pizza: Pirilo $$ Casual bites: Café Tresbé $ Craft Beers: El Tap $ Everything is delicious (brunch/lunch/dinner): Sabrina $$ Asian/Latin Fusion : Shibo $$ Italian: Becco $$ Mexican: Acapulco $ *Our digital guidebook (send after booking) has more recommendations*
59
locals recommend
Ocean Park
59
locals recommend
Our neighborhood is a safe beach community in the San Juan Metro area. Its walking distance to everything. A few blocks from grocery stores, new trendy restaurants, bars, and a great yoga studio. It's located next to the best beach in San Juan, Ocean Park. Recommended restaurants in walking distance (foodies at heart): Coffee Shop: La Coffeetera $ Breakfast: Tostado $ Bakery: Kasalta$$ Pizza: Pirilo $$ Casual bites: Café Tresbé $ Craft Beers: El Tap $ Everything is delicious (brunch/lunch/dinner): Sabrina $$ Asian/Latin Fusion : Shibo $$ Italian: Becco $$ Mexican: Acapulco $ *Our digital guidebook (send after booking) has more recommendations*
The dining scene is currently booming. San Loiza Street is a bona fide art scene in the neighborhood of Santurce, and with it, a vibrant area renewal. The center of this is Calle Loiza, also known as San Juan’s own hipster headquarters. Loiza Street starts at the corner of the Doubletree by Hilton San Juan at Gallery Plaza and stretches between the tourist hubs of Condado and Isla Verde.
Loíza
The dining scene is currently booming. San Loiza Street is a bona fide art scene in the neighborhood of Santurce, and with it, a vibrant area renewal. The center of this is Calle Loiza, also known as San Juan’s own hipster headquarters. Loiza Street starts at the corner of the Doubletree by Hilton San Juan at Gallery Plaza and stretches between the tourist hubs of Condado and Isla Verde.
Puerto Rico's largest mangrove forest. Native Afro-Caribbean food offers an exquisite taste. Nearby is the beach where you can feel the warm waters and also you can explore nature and the cultural experience only Piñones area can offer.
96
locals recommend
Campamento Piñones
96
locals recommend
Puerto Rico's largest mangrove forest. Native Afro-Caribbean food offers an exquisite taste. Nearby is the beach where you can feel the warm waters and also you can explore nature and the cultural experience only Piñones area can offer.
Beach
The Balneario de Carolina, which has won for several consecutive years the Blue Flag Award for cleanliness and water quality, is one of the busiest and favorite beaches around the metropolitan area. It has a spectacular white sand and a beautiful clear water. It has so many things to do that you will end your day exhausted but full of joy. Fun attractions for everyone in your group like water-sports, beach Volleyball court, a small but amazing water park for the kids and gastronomy for everybody's taste and refreshing drinks. Or you can just relax while tanning, float in the water or even rent a gazebo for an entire day and bring your own goodies. It will just be a perfect day in a perfect place!
11
locals recommend
Carolina Public Beach
11
locals recommend
The Balneario de Carolina, which has won for several consecutive years the Blue Flag Award for cleanliness and water quality, is one of the busiest and favorite beaches around the metropolitan area. It has a spectacular white sand and a beautiful clear water. It has so many things to do that you will end your day exhausted but full of joy. Fun attractions for everyone in your group like water-sports, beach Volleyball court, a small but amazing water park for the kids and gastronomy for everybody's taste and refreshing drinks. Or you can just relax while tanning, float in the water or even rent a gazebo for an entire day and bring your own goodies. It will just be a perfect day in a perfect place!
This beach has crystal clear waters and immaculate sand for the whole family to enjoy. The most popular access point for Ocean Park Beach is on the east end located right across from Parque Barbosa (Barbosa Park). It's popular with young locals and the scene is fun and casual. Unlike the west side of Ocean Park, this beach is more narrow, it will feel more crowded on the weekends. On the weekends and holidays you’ll find street vendors selling delicious food, piraguas and fresh tropical ice cream. This part of the beach is known by locals as “El Ultimo Trolley” (The Last Trolley), named this way because back in the day, this spot was the last tram stop. El Ultimo Trolley has the most convenient parking and access to the beach. Right across the street you can get great exercise by going to Parque Barbosa where you can play tennis, jog / walk on the track, play basketball and more. Families with children will enjoy the kid’s playground. This area is also very popular for bicycling, you can ride farther up east on a wide sidewalk with views of the Atlantic.
Playa Último Trolley (Playa Ocean Park)
This beach has crystal clear waters and immaculate sand for the whole family to enjoy. The most popular access point for Ocean Park Beach is on the east end located right across from Parque Barbosa (Barbosa Park). It's popular with young locals and the scene is fun and casual. Unlike the west side of Ocean Park, this beach is more narrow, it will feel more crowded on the weekends. On the weekends and holidays you’ll find street vendors selling delicious food, piraguas and fresh tropical ice cream. This part of the beach is known by locals as “El Ultimo Trolley” (The Last Trolley), named this way because back in the day, this spot was the last tram stop. El Ultimo Trolley has the most convenient parking and access to the beach. Right across the street you can get great exercise by going to Parque Barbosa where you can play tennis, jog / walk on the track, play basketball and more. Families with children will enjoy the kid’s playground. This area is also very popular for bicycling, you can ride farther up east on a wide sidewalk with views of the Atlantic.
Local Beach closed to the villa by car. Pristine waters and very calm during the weekdays.
59
locals recommend
Isla Verde Beach
59
locals recommend
Local Beach closed to the villa by car. Pristine waters and very calm during the weekdays.

Traveler advice

Getting around

Getting Around

Uber and Lyft are GREAT to use in San Juan if you don't rent a car. They're always about 2 minutes away when you are ready to request, and you can get about anywhere in San Juan for $15 or less. Distance by car to the following (depending of traffic): - Aeropuerto Internacional Luis Muñoz Marín (SJU) 3.7 mi - 10 min - Old San Juan 5.2 mi - 10-15 min - Highway to access other areas - 2 min - Condado (casino area, hotels and restaurants) - 5 min - Isla Verde Beach (one of the most beautiful beaches of area metro) - 5 min - El Yunque National Rain Forest 24.8 mi - 37 min
What to pack

What to Pack

What you pack will vary depending on your activities. Are you hiking in El Yunque? Does your itinerary include a kayak through Mosquito Bay or endless spa days? Are you cruising after your Puerto Rican stay, or is the entire time designed around catching sun rays on the outlying islands? Of course, those personal items that are always with you will be coming along for the ride no matter what. When planning your packing list, think daily needs, special activities, medical what ifs, and how you’ll pay for those yummy tostones; the rest will fall into place.
Useful phrases

Language

Spanish and English are the official languages, but Puerto Rico is overwhelmingly Spanish speaking. Puerto Rican Spanish is a dialect of standard Spanish that has its own particularities. Most people will be able to speak English, if needed.
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Currency

Puerto Rico's monetary unit is the United States Dollar (USD) as it is a commonwealth country of the United States of America. Puerto Ricans refer to the US Dollar as the 'peso' or 'dolar'. The dollar is made up of 100 cents, called 'centavos' or 'chavitos' by locals.
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Culinary Insight

Puerto Rico has a distinct culinary prowess, thanks to its cultural and geographical diversity. A strong blend of European, African and Pan-American influences define the island’s cooking, like sofrito -- a blend of onion, garlic, local peppers, and herbs like cilantro and culantro -- which marks a dish as typically Puerto Rican. Things to try: pork, whole fish, mofongo, rice and beans, frituras, tripleta, coffee, asopao, tembleque, mallorcas, and rum.
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Food Delivery

If you are interested in food delivery you can download and use the following apps: Uva App (PR app)- Puerto Rico's food delivery. Most of the local restaurants are here. It's a must app if you like to try new cuisine. Some of the restaurants in here you won't find them in Uber Eats. Uber Eats- it has most of the USA fast food and restaurants available.