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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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The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
$120.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
MUST DO!
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!
Amy_K, Dec 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in San Juan

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
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
Awesome
Kameelah_M, Sep 2021
Small-Group Old San Juan Bike Tour
Sebastian was everything and more. He was knowledgeable and showed so much pride and energy! I will be back for this trouble alone!💜💜
star-5
Bike Tour 2021
Porchia_L, Aug 2021
Small-Group Old San Juan Bike Tour
The bike tour was amazing!!!! Our tour guide showed us Old San Juan. We got to make stops and take pictures. Very informative and beautiful.
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
Great way to Bike and explore
Marya_H, Jul 2021
Small-Group Old San Juan Bike Tour
I only booked one excursion on my trip and this was perfect. I am traveling alone and wanted a pretty laid back trip. My tour guide Diego was great he knew the area and had a lot of details to share about the history in San Juan. We went on a day of off and on rain, but he was flexible and made it match the needs of me and the other rider. Overall, the service abd the activity were fun. I recommend this as a way to see old San Juan from a different t vantage point and get a little workout. 👌🏽
star-5
Tour was AMAZING!!
Margaret_N, Dec 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
This is probably one of the best sightseeing trips I’ve ever had in my life. It was super convenient because they picked us up at our hotel and we essentially had a private tour (we were expecting to be on the bus… But this is so much better! Definitely a pleasant surprise!). Angel was so knowledgeable about the history of the area and answered every question that we had. We had the opportunity to get out and walk around at several stops, which was great for a longer ride and tour. It worked perfectly for my mother, as she has trouble walking around. I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone and I look forward to taking another tour next time we’re in Puerto Rico!
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.
star-5
Great Tour
Howard_Y, May 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Thank you Angel. We enjoyed the private tour. We did the tour on our first day in Puerto Rico and would recommend doing the tour early in your trip as it gave us a great feel for San Juan and places we would want to revisit later in the trip. Loved La Perla and Old San Juan as well as the authentic areas of San Juan that have not become too touristy.
star-5
Awesome
Gabrielle_P, May 2021
The Old, The New and the Now: An Updated Private San Juan City Tour
Angel was the best tour guide ever. He was ever personal but professional. Definitely a 10/10 experience. Recommended to all. Driver was great and friendly also.

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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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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