It was such a pleasure to discover the inspiration and the vibe Luis Fonsi tries to evoke in his summer success! Of course, since my husband cannot hear Despacito without swearing and invoke Satan to burn down the radio, I kept this information till we left the port!
To be honest, docking in San Juan is nothing extraordinary, the port is very commercial, there are very little to do in the immediate vicinity of the port. However, if you are willing to walk just a little, and I highly recommend you do this early in the morning, you can walk past the shopping area and get to Castello San Felipe Del Moro. I would have loved to visit la Fortaleza, but it was a fair bit of walk (meaning I wasn’t sure we could get back in time for the ship) and I didn’t want to book any excursions because I wanted to experience a restaurant by my own, I wanted to have enough time to see the multicolored houses, to shop and to see the castle.
The multicolored houses are typical of San Juan and you can actually have a glimpse during Luis Fonsi’s video. It is so cute and original, compared to our north-american houses where the most original is a light pink brick house!
As soon as we left the ship, we headed towards el Castello Del Moro. It’s a very reasonable walk, but beware, the weather tends to be hot in San Juan, therefore, we made sure to walk to the castle in the morning as we could take advantage of the air conditioning in the stores in the afternoon. There is nothing much to see at the castle, but it’s always impressive to see how those fortresses resist time and storms.
We hadn’t booked any excursions and haven’t regretted it. Most excursions took you shopping or at the castle or at the fortress, you can pretty much walk to those places for free. Other excursions would take you to the forest, and to be honest, it was so humid, spending the day in the « tropical forest » must have been unbearable!
After taking pictures at the castle, we went back towards the port to enjoy the different plazas and take more pictures! The same stores are found in old San Juan that you find in others ports, Diamond International, Blue Diamonds, Del Sol… Since we are not seasoned cruisers, we are not bored yet with those, so we spent a fair amount of time running around those stores and enjoying AC.
When we were about to die from heat, we found a cute local restaurant, right next to Castello del Moro, where they served Mojitos. Everybody knows that mojitos are the perfect refreshing drink!? We both enjoyed their Mango Mojito which was an absolute delight! We also nibbled on some kind of white fried fish they would serve with aïoli and honey AWESOME! And we finally complete this improvised meal with a generous portion of chocolate cake.
Finally, after this late lunch, we headed back to the ship. I can’t get enough of these late afternoon departures, the venture point is so amazing for pictures (like the colored houses on the shore)
In conclusion, San Juan would never have been on our places to visit, however, we are more than happy that we had a chance to stop there. If you ever have a chance to spend a day in Porto Rico, I say go for it!