ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico: Forts El Morro and San Cristobal

Updated on May 21, 2015
mary615 profile image

Mary spent time in Puerto Rico and likes to share her adventures in this beautiful spot in the world!

Old San Juan Street


Be Sure And Visit Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 during his second voyage to the New World. Puerto Rico has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean. I have visited this country twice now, and each time I go, I am more impressed with the climate (averages 80 degrees year round) and the people who live here, and of course, the beautiful country. Puerto Ricans call their island, The Enchanted Island. If you spend time here, you will know why they call their home that. When you visit Puerto Rico don’t miss seeing one of the biggest attractions: Old San Juan.

www.Wikipedia source of my information

Plan To Spend One Day In Old San Juan

I would suggest you plan on spending the entire day in Old San Juan. There is so much to see there, and so much history to appreciate. About 2 million people a year come here to see this beautiful, historical city. Old San Juan is on a small narrow island in the North Coast 35 miles from the east end of Puerto Rico, and is joined to the mainland of Puerto Rico by three bridges. As soon as we entered the city in our car, we saw lots of locals gathered around in groups, singing and playing guitars. They were celebrating some kind of festival. The Puerto Ricans are always singing and celebrating something!

We later found out there was a Festival of the Horses! So we were treated to a parade of many beautiful Paso Fino horses. These horses are so beautiful with their prized smooth gait. The Paso Fino was imported to the Caribbean from Spain.

While in Puerto Rico, we saw many riders on their horses in the streets. Drivers of cars just let them have the right-of-way.

Wear Comfortable Shoes When Visiting Old San Juan

Old San Juan has beautiful old streets made of blue cobblestones, and is lined with the stone buildings dating back to the 16th and 17thcentury when Puerto Rico was a Spanish possession. Old San Juan has the atmosphere of colonial Spain with its pastel colored houses, filigreed balconies, and narrow streets. Several historic structures and museums are there, including a statute of Juan Ponce de Leon. The statute is made of bronze cannons. The streets are very narrow, the cars that do try to travel the streets move so slowly, it is very hard to drive around the city. It is better to walk. Just wear comfortable shoes! If you get tired of walking, there is a trolley that is fun to ride. You can hope off and on again whenever you want.

All along at the trolley stops, you see vendors under their umbrellas selling all kinds of Puerto Rican food, and there is plenty of liquid to drink. After shopping at the many little shops along the streets, we had lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes. I sampled a Puerto Rican dish (with chicken and black beans with rice, of course).

Flags Flying Over The Forts In Old San Juan


In The 1940s Some Old Buildings Were Razed In Old San Juan

At one time during the 1940’s the city’s buildings were in such bad condition, some of the locals authorities wanted to just tear down the old buildings, and replace them with completely modern architecture. The Government Bank of Puerto Rico provided low cost loans to those owners who wanted to restore their buildings. Some owners did not want to renovate their buildings, and a lot of the old structures were razed. Old San Juan is known for its many public plazas. The oldest part of Old San Juan remains partly enclosed by massive stone walls.

Fort San Cristobal

This fort stands on a hill at the edge of Old San Juan. This 27 acre fortification was the largest ever built by the Spanish in the New World. It was constructed in 1783. The first shot of the Spanish-American War in Puerto Rico was fired from this fort in 1898.

Arial View of Fort Cristobal


Arial View Of Fort El Morro


El Morro


The first thing you see is a grassy area about a quarter of a mile long to the entrance of the Fort. This area is usually filled with children flying kites and people walking their dogs. This Fort was the most strategic of San Juan’s defense system. El Morrow repelled attacks by the British, Dutch and French for the course of 300 years. A network of ramps and stairways lead up to a beautiful harbor view. Construction began in 1539, and was completed in 1878.

The first shots of World War I were fired from the Fort of El Morrow in 1915. There was a German supply ship that tried to force its way out of the bay to deliver supplies to the German submarines that were waiting in the Atlantic Ocean. After the U.S, fired on the German ship, the Odenwald, it was forced to return, and its supplies were confiscated by the United States.

During World War II, the United States Army added a massive concrete bunker at the top of El Morrow so they could keep watch for the German submarines in the Caribbean. In 1961 the U. S. Army retired from El Morrow. The Fort became a part of the National Park service at that time. El Morrow was used in the filming of Armistad.

Grassy Entrance To El Morro


Informational Sign For Visitors About El Morro


Information Sign For Visitors About El Morro


One Of The Original Cannons Used At El Morro


View From The Top Of El Morro


Another View Looking Down From Fort El Morro


A Street In Old San Juan


You Are In Another World In Old San Juan!

When you enter into Old San Juan, it's as though you have stepped back in time hundreds of years ago. Just to walk the bue cobblestone streets, and look at the different colored shops with their filigreed balconies gives you an appreciation for the history and the beauty behind this old city.

You are SO glad you took the time to visit Old San Juan!

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan Puerto Rico:
Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico

get directions

Would you like to visit Old San Juan?

See results

Books From Amazon About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Day Parade

© 2012 Mary Hyatt


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)