A barred gate covers the entrace to Capilla del Cristo chapel in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Historic Churches in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Jan is the cultural center of Puerto Rico. Many of the island’s must-see sights are in Old San Juan; among them are these beautiful and beloved old churches. One is the second-oldest in the western hemisphere, another has two origin stories, both a tragic and triumphant version, and one is a truly excellent example of 16th-century Spanish Gothic architecture.

La Muralla, a nearly 400-year-old wall that surrounds Old San Juan. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Puerto Rico’s Iconic City Wall: La Muralla

The most enduring symbol of Puerto Rico is La Muralla. Nearly 400 years old, the city wall is composed of rock, rubble, and mortar that wraps around Old San Juan from the cruise-ship piers on San Juan Harbor to the capitol on the Atlantic Ocean. Its iconic sentry boxes serve as a symbol of the island’s Spanish heritage and resilience in an ever-changing world.

Puerto Rican rum. Photo © Alan Levine, licensed Creative Commons distribution.

The History of Puerto Rican Rum

Around the turn-of-the-19th century, Puerto Rico’s sugar industry declined, but that didn’t stop the rum-making operations. Learn the best ways to explore the flavors and history of the island’s favorite elixir.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Old San Juan’s Two Historic Castillos

History buffs and especially those interested in military history should take time to explore Old San Juan’s two historic forts, Castillo San Felipe del Morro dating from 1539 and Castillo de San Cristóbal dating from 1634.

The San Juan, Puerto Rico, skyline at night.

Discover San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico, is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in the Caribbean, yet so full of history as well. Discover all that San Juan has to offer, learn about the city’s heritage, and brush up on how to plan your time in the city.

A black and white photograph of a group of African Americans celebrating at a Fourth of July picnic.

Celebrating America’s Melting Pot

To celebrate Independence Day, here are some vibrant, living destinations from sea to shining sea where you can experience firsthand the diversity of America’s melting pot.

Light shines on wet sand on a pristine beach lapped by gentle waves.

Romantic Escapes in Puerto Rico

It’s no wonder Puerto Rico is such a popular destination for honeymooners. The beautiful beaches, balmy breezes, and lush tropical foliage provide a perfect backdrop to a romantic getaway. Author Suzanne Van Atten suggests three romantic escapes in Puerto Rico.

View from inside a limestone cavern with vegetation outside.

Puerto Rico, the “Island of Enchantment”

Puerto Rico’s nickname, Island of Enchantment, is a fitting sobriquet. Sandy beaches, palm trees, and tropical breezes make it a favorite getaway for the sun and surf crowd. Rugged mountains and a verdant rain forest attract adventure travelers, and lavish hotels with ocean-side golf courses embrace vacationers who crave luxury.

A fountain with sculpted figures lit up at night.

Tour Operators in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a slew of tour operators offering a variety of adventures that span the spectrum from guided city walks to deep-sea dives to mountain-climbing hikes. All tour companies require reservations.