In Old San Juan, Calle Fortaleza and Calle San Francisco have everything from T-shirt emporiums to jewelry stores to shops that specialize in made-to-order Panama hats. Running perpendicular to those streets is Calle Cristo, lined with factory-outlet stores, including Coach, Gant, Guess, and Ralph Lauren. On weekends, artisans sell their wares at stalls around Paseo […]
Atlantic Beach Bar (Atlantic Beach Hotel, 1 Calle Vendig, Condado) — The oceanfront-deck bar of this hotel is famed in the gay community for its early-evening happy hours. But the pulsating tropical music, exotic drinks, and ever-pleasant ocean breeze would make it a hit in any case. Good food is also served on deck.
Ali Baba (1214 Avenida Ashford, Condado) — Tucked discreetly off Ashford Avenue, this newcomer turns out delicious, meticulously prepared Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, thanks to its Turkish chef-owner. Given how unpretentious this small place is, the presentation is surprisingly elegant. Start with the hummus, served with steaming homemade lavash, or the grilled cheese with […]
Due to the vastness of the capital, it is advisable for visitors to hire taxis whenever possible (this applies to those who are not renting their own vehicle). You can hail a taxi in the street, or you can call one to come pick you up. Taxis are generally available at the airport, hotels, and […]
Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino (999 Avenida Ashford, Condado) — Popular with locals, the casino at the Condado Plaza is probably worth a visit only if you’re staying in the hotel or if you’re looking for one open 24 hours a day. It’s just not as interesting as other options in the […]
The Casino at The Ritz-Carlton (6991 Avenida de los Gobernadores, Isla Verde) — With its golden columns, turquoise and bronze walls, and muted lighting, the Ritz casino, the largest in San Juan, stays refined by day or night. There’s lots of activity, yet everything is hushed.
Plaza Las Américas (525 Avenida Frankling Delano Roosevelt, Hato Rey) –– The island’s first big mall and still the largest in the Caribbean, Plaza, as it is known by locals, is a world unto itself. Even by U.S. standards, it’s a remarkable place with top-name retailers, full-service restaurants, a Cineplex, two food courts, a spa, […]
Anfiteatro Tito Puente (Tito Puente Amphitheater)(Avenida Piñeiro and Expreso Luís A. Ferré, Hato Rey) — Surrounded by lagoons and trees, the open-air theater hosts the annual Heineken Puerto Rico Jazzfest and other musical events. It’s named after the late, great musician who is widely credited with bringing salsa to the rest of the world. Each […]
Aguaviva (364 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan) — The name means “jellyfish,” which explains why this ultracool, ultramodern place has dim blue lighting like a tranquil ocean, and lamps shaped like jellyfish floating overhead. Elegantly groomed oysters and clams float on cracked ice along the raw bar. Eating here is like submerging oneself into the […]
By Bus — The Metropolitan Bus Authority (tel. 787/767-7979 for route information) operates buses in the greater San Juan area. Bus stops are marked by upright metal signs or yellow posts that say PARADA. The bus terminal is the dock area in the same building as the Covadanga parking lot next to the Treasury Department. […]