If you associate Puerto Rico's capital with the colonial streets of Old San Juan, then you know only part of the picture. San Juan is a major metropolis, radiating out from the bay on the Atlantic Ocean that was discovered by Juan Ponce de León. More than a third of the island's nearly 4 million citizens proudly call themselves sanjuaneros. The city may be rooted in the past, but it has its eye on the future. Locals go about their business surrounded by colonial architecture and towering modern structures.
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Things You Can't Miss
Stroll cobblestone streets lined with Spanish colonial buildings from the 16th century. Visit the 1540 cathedral and the Fortaleza (governor’s palace).
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San Juan National Historic Site’s two imposing seaside fortresses, El Morro and San Cristóbal, survived countless attacks over several centuries.
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The excellent Puerto Rico Museum of Art displays an intriguing array of works ranging from early religious scenes to politically charged modern art.
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Spas and water parks are just a few of the amenities that'll wow you.
Condado Beach has all the glitz you’d want, but many prefer quieter Carolina Beach, a family-friendly stretch of sand in the eastern part of the city.
© Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis
From Atlantic to Pacific, these solar showplaces offer a front-row seat to America's most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Upscale resorts, casinos, restaurants, clubs and boutiques make this renowned street in the Condado neighborhood a lively destination day and night.
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Find out why Samantha Brown recommends traveling with melatonin, comfy socks and other necessities.
The world’s largest rum distillery, Casa Bacardi, offers entertaining factory tours demonstrating how cane is transformed into the popular spirit.
© Stars and Stripes / Alamy
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