Walking in Old San Juan
Imagine coming to port to the docks of Old San Juan – imagine the sight, the view of the colorful old city encrusted within the walls of the 16 century fortress. As you step from a cruiser you are in the old city (piers 1-6) and you are in the safest place to walk in all of Puerto Rico. In almost any direction you walk away from the ship you’ll go by restaurants, coffee shops, boutique hotels, stores, residences, churches, museums and plazas. The cobble stone streets and the old colonial Spanish architecture will charm you, and the local people are friendly.
Does the above description sound real? It actually is real – once you get past the wall of the aggressive tour bus operators, as you step off the ship, trying to hustle you into getting in on a buss like herding cattle (on top of that having to pay) by telling you that it is “Old San Juan unsafe to walk”. Don’t fall for it. Old San Juan is the safest and one of the most fun places to walk in the Caribbean. Past the wall of tour operators, the local people are very friendly and eager to help with directions and even suggestions as to thing to do and see. Also there are several posts for tourist information with free maps and listings of attractions within reach.
In general you can just walk straight up hill from the docks and a little towards your left and you’ll be in the heart of the old city. To get back to the ship all you have to do is go back down hill you’ll reach the ports in just minutes. During your walk you’ll find some unique world-class restaurants, sidewalk cafes, quaint local coffee shops, souvenir and hip small specialty shops, lots of jewelry stores and some world-renowned outlets and chain stores. Although the old city is around 7 square blocs, you can easily spend the whole day browsing and be hungry for more. if you wish to see other areas outside of the fortress there are always plenty of taxis to take you anywhere you'd like and even recommend tours.
Be free - be Mavericks! Don't miss this unique opportunity - I highly recommend it!