San Juan, Puerto Rico Photo Gallery

 
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San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, stands as the second-oldest European-established city in the Americas. It was founded by the Spanish in 1521, and that heritage echoes across the historic central region, UNESCO-listed Old San Juan, in places like Paseo La Princesa.  
Credit: Puerto Rico Tourism 
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The cobblestone streets of Old San Juan tie to the city’s colonial past as well; the bricks used originally came from ballast stones from the ships that docked in Puerto Rico. They were removed to make room for cargo to return to Europe and became part of the city's character that’s still palpable today.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The walls of Fort San Felipe del Morro—a Spanish fort built to protect the land against attacks—is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World. It covers 27 acres on the northwestern part of the city, overlooking the rollicking waves of the Caribbean Sea.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Just outside the fort walls lies the Colonial-era Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis cemetery.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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San Juan’s religious ties to the Spanish are also evident throughout the city, as exemplified by the Cathedral of John the Baptist.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The interior of the cathedral.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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This shrine of Our Lady of Divine Providence sits to the left of the cathedral’s main altar. The cathedral also hosts the tomb of Ponce de Leon.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Detail of the cathedral.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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A view through the walls of Old San Juan overlooking the Caribbean.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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But much of Old San Juan’s allure resides in the more pedestrian details, like the city’s affable locals…  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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…to its rich mélange of smaller architectural details.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Building detail in Old San Juan.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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An open plaza in the center of a governmental building.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Another architectural detail from the streets of Old San Juan.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Other details are decidedly more modern—and humorous—like the graffiti-labeled “Africa” section of a building’s eroding state…  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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…or this contemporary bit of street art.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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A statue entitled The Citizen of the Americas commemorates Eugenio Maria de Hostos, a Puerto Rican educator, intellectual, and independence advocate. One of the more starling discoveries you’ll find while wandering the streets…  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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…while the Bogativa Statue is arguably one of the more iconic of the city’s public artworks.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Build in 1971, the statue commemorates the story of when the British—who were attacking the city in 1797—mistook the flaming torches of a religious procession for Spanish reinforcements and fled.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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El Convento, a hotel housed in the 350-year-old former Carmelite convent, is one of island’s best hotels, ideally positioned in the heart of Old San Juan.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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But the attractions of San Juan, a city that boasts a population of around 380,000, stretch beyond the cobblestone streets of the historic region.  
Credit: Digital Images 
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Places like Pine Grove Beach (pictured) await to deliver a decidedly more Caribbean beach-bound experience.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Here you can hook up with WoW Surfing School to find your balance on the board in relatively mild surf. The company also rents jet skis and holds jet ski tours daily.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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These stretches of San Juan west of the historic city also deliver a more tropical locale, where you can bed down at places like the San Juan Marriot Resort (pictured) for easy beach access, as well as free umbrellas, beach chairs, and a pool-side bar.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Further afield, yet still within greater San Juan, calmer retreats await, like the beachfront outside Hosteria del Mar, a fantastic, lower-cost accommodation and restaurant.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
 
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