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San Juan National Historic Site (Sitio Histórico Nacional de San Juan)
San Juan National Historic Site (Sitio Histórico Nacional de San Juan)

San Juan National Historic Site (Sitio Histórico Nacional de San Juan)

501 Norzagaray St,Castillo San Cristobal, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00926

The Basics

Travelers can learn about historic battles that took place against the English and Dutch while visiting the restored lighthouse, chapel, and vintage cannons at Castillo San Felipe del Morro (nicknamed El Morro for short). History buffs will also love Castillo San Cristóbal, located near the gate of Old San Juan. While El Morro protected Puerto Rico from sea attacks, Castillo San Cristóbal was designed to stop intruders approaching by land. With grounds stretching some 27 acres (11 hectares), it’s Puerto Rico’s largest fortification site, as well as the biggest built by the Spanish after arrival in the New World.

Guided tours of Old San Juan include visits to the San Juan National Historic Site, plus you can catch views of El Morro while riding around on a Jet Ski tour of the bay.

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Recent reviews from experiences in San Juan

star-5
Fabulous experience
Lin_A, Jun 2022
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Absolutely fabulous. Angel and Annie were terrific. I would recommend this trip to everyone who visits San Juan. A great grasp of everything about San Juan. I loved the market area with the “nightclubs” surrounding. We just loved it💕💕💕💕💕 next time I would hire them for a different part of puerto rico
star-5
Highly recommended tour guide
Ashlynn_A, May 2022
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Angel and the tour driver was GREAT!! They were very knowledgeable about the Old, the New and the updated of SanJuan. Very nice and welcoming. The most memorable moments were learning about the fort and learning about the history and culture of Puerto Rico in Angel’s version.
star-5
Angel was wonderful with...
Asa_B, Apr 2022
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Angel was wonderful with all of the details he provided to me and to my mother. It was an amazing tour and I would recommend everyone do it if they can. We were able to see parts of the island that we probably wouldn't have seen (or known about) without the tour. I really, really enjoyed the tour and our tour guides were more than amazing too!! Thank you so much.
star-5
Definitely should do..
Latrina_A, Apr 2022
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
The tour guides were super nice, they gave us so much information and knowledge. They stopped a lot places for us to get out and experience.. over all it was amazing..
star-5
Angel was terrific
Jeffery_C, Feb 2022
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
After several Viking Ocean and river cruises, with terrific local guides, Angel was exactly what we were wanting to experience. He was engaging and answered all of our questions and was so insightful about all aspects of PR. Our group of seven tourist were so impressed and would highly recommend.
star-4
Show me the best the city has to offer not the worst
ivi_s, Dec 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
I wish we had more time in old San Juan. My husband did not enjoy going to the worst part of San Juan la perla even though they filmed despasito’s video there. The murals were very good in la cerra street but again a very run down town.
star-5
MUST DO!
Amy_K, Dec 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
This was the most interesting tour that we have ever had the pleasure of going on. Our tour guides took us to places in the city that no tour bus would ever go. So much detailed knowledge and done in such a riveting way--- like an excellent movie, we hated for the tour to be over. This is an absolute 'MUST DO'! And I also want to add, that they were so fun and so extremely nice. Couldn't have asked for anything better!
star-5
Fabulous day
marylinn_r, Nov 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Angel was awesome. We had a relaxing and very informative day. The air conditioned vehicle and driver was such a nice touch! Highly recommend this.
star-5
A magical experience for those who want to explore old San Juan from a local‘s point of view!
Samantha_P, Oct 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Although this tour is on the expensive side, it is worth every penny! Angel was an extremely knowledgeable tour guide who spoke fluent English. Initially, I was only interested in a tour of old San Juan, but I ended up enjoying the “Now” portion of this tour, which focused on where the locals hang out, immensely. This is absolutely the tour for you, if you are interested in exploring Puerto Rico from a local’s point of you. I can’t recommend this tour highly enough. It’s a must do!!
star-5
Amazing
Regina_M, Sep 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
The hole tour they was really nice and gave good information old and new was great place to see and to know the history of it it’s was a amazing views and the beach
star-5
Fantastic
Josephine_P, Jul 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Even with a last minute change of tour guide it was a wonderful experience. Tour guide Danny V he is an amazing guide and very knowledgeable. Visiting Puerto Rico first time it was an awesome tour.
star-5
See more than Old San Juan
Jacqlyne_M, Jun 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Had a great private tour with Angel. Wanted to see more than just Old San Juan, and this tour met my expectations. Learned a lot about San Juan during the tour especially its rich and interesting history. Angel was a great host, and I enjoyed my time with him. If you want to see and experience more than the typical tourist areas, this is the tour for you.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • History buffs and military enthusiasts will enjoy exploring San Juan National Historic Site.

  • In addition to exploring the forts, you can also walk along the Paseo del Morro trail, which follows the city wall from the San Juan Gate to Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

  • Be aware that the surfaces of the historical structures are uneven and rugged, and the ramps and staircases are steep and sometimes narrow.

  • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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How to Get There

The San Juan National Historic Site is an easy walk from the pier where most cruise ships dock; head north past Plaza Colón from there. Free trams depart every 20 to 30 minutes and travel three different routes around Old San Juan, including past the historic site. Taxis are also available.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in San Juan

How to Spend 2 Days in San Juan


When to Get There

In February, over the course of several days, the San Juan National Historic Site celebrates its anniversary with special programming. Park staff and volunteers dressed as uniformed soldiers conduct cannon-firing demonstrations from Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Juan de la Cruz in the morning and afternoon. In general, the site attracts the most tourists and locals on the weekends.

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El Yunque Rain Forest

Located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from San Juan, El Yunque Rain Forest is a popular attraction for first-time and returning visitors to Puerto Rico and a must-see for nature lovers. Although it is relatively small in size, it is the only tropical rain forest in the United States Forest Service and boasts plenty of biodiversity.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to San Juan National Historic Site (Sitio Histórico Nacional de San Juan)?
A:
Attractions near San Juan National Historic Site (Sitio Histórico Nacional de San Juan):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in San Juan?
A:
As well as visiting the San Juan National Historic Site (Sitio Histórico Nacional de San Juan), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: