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sju jet

Beautiful scenery from our Jet Blue flight headed for San Juan from Tampa.

If you’re going somewhere in the Caribbean, chances are you’re going to change planes in San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU).  On a recent flight from Tampa (TPA), non-stop to SJU we had a layover of about five hours before making a connection to St. Croix (STX).  So, while I have been to Puerto Rico a number of times, my partner had not so off we set for the old town of San Juan.  I was a bit nervous with walking as I had just had a boot removed from my right ankle from an injury – we took it slow and I did not bad.  The town is very compact!

sju fort

View from Castillo San Cristobal

We took a taxi easily from the airport to the old town and were there before you knew it – something like twenty minutes and about twenty bucks if I remember correctly.  Well worth it to have a day in old San Juan.  We got dropped off right at the Castillo San Cristobal where we paid a few bucks entrance and meandered around the extensive grounds on our own taking in the history and the views afforded from the various angles.  The fort was built by Spain and has had a lot of DIY projects over the years since being built in the 1780s but that is best left for you to discover on your own visit.

sju pastel street

One of the many beautiful historic roads in Old San Juan.

We spent a bit more than an hour at the fort and then spent time walking down the many streets in the old town poking into courtyards and looking in windows and just some general shopping.  It was nice to just walk around and take in the sights and architecture.  We selected a great little Spanish restaurant for lunch called Rosa de Triana which is located in a former jail – the inside is really cool and the tapas are incredibly delicious.

sju restaurant menu

Front door and menu of the Spanish restaurant Rosa de Triana at 72 Caleta de San Juan located in Old San Juan.

It was a very nice lunch and I could easily suggest the restaurant.  It is located in a small square near the El Convento and not far at all from the Morro.  It has a feel of being in a cavern inside and is very cool, so if you’re hot, this is a great place to cool off.  It was actually quite large inside compared to what you would think from looking at the tiny entrance.

sju rest long shot

Caleta de San Juan where you will find the tapas bar Rosa de Triana.

After lunch we strolled around some more making our way to the waterfront area where we had a margarita at one of the many bars and restaurants. to choose from – it is always fun to just select one after walking past several.  After that we grabbed a taxi and headed back to the airport where we made our flight to STX easily – and they do leave on time so don’t go to the gate less than twenty minutes before the flight time by any means.  Flights were on Jet Blue and were terrific with excellent service.

Lots to do in San Juan but if you just have a few hours, do take the time to go to the Old Town and explore a bit – you won’t regret it.

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