SNG Destination Spotlight: San Juan©
After the devasting hurricane season of 2017, Puerto Rico is once again a destination tourists will enjoy for land-based vacations and those sailing out of San Juan. Vacationers dollars will aid in the ongoing effort to rebuild the island. San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico, appeals to a broad array of tourists. The idyllic island’s port is the largest and busiest in the Caribbean. Located in Old San Juan, the port has four cruise ship piers and two modern terminals.
The Port of San Juan is within walking distance of Old San Juan’s major colonial attractions. Old San Juan ,founded in 152, is a burrow of narrow cobblestone streets, historic churches and hundreds of 16th and 17th century pastel colored buildings. El Morro, a six-story fort, one of the biggest in the Caribbean, built by the Spanish between 1539 and 1787, allows visitors a chance to explore tunnels, dungeons, ramps and barracks; the fortification is the city’s most popular landmark at the San Juan National Historic Site. Children as well as adults enjoy the experience of visiting one of the New World’s most successful defensive positions.
While Old San Juan connects visitors to the past, New San Juan exposes the traveler to beautiful beaches, water sports as well as luxurious hotels and resorts. Condado and Ocean Park are beaches both located in San Juan. Condado features high-end shopping, casinos and beachfront locations, while Ocean Park provides a more laid-back atmosphere. Rum tastings and trying the local fare dish of mofongo, traditional mashed-and-fried plantain, are commonplace with visitors. Closer to the San Juan Airport is Isla Verde located in Carolina featuring the city’s largest beaches and family-friendly water park.
While visitors to the city enjoy the sites of historic Old San Juan and the beaches, dining, nightclubs and casinos offered by New San Juan, the most visited attraction is the El Yunque National Rainforest. The densely thick lush rainforest spans 28,000 acres with peaks as high as 3,500 feet and offers paved walking trails, waterfalls and natural pools. El Yunque includes incredible views, hiking trails, mountain summits and river crossings. Travelers are able to take in the sights and sounds of over 240 species of plants and animals with twenty-three of the trees unique to the site. The tropical rainforest is the only one of its kind in the U.S. National Forest system.
Whether embarking and debarking from or just visiting for one day, the Port of San Juan has the capability of accommodating seven cruise ships at once. The port is estimated to host almost 500 ships and nearly two million people per year. Special Needs Group is pleased to be able to provide service to those cruise ships with embarkation from San Juan and those staying at hotels on the island.