Sighteeing in San Juan -- Places not to be missed !
We will be spending two days in San Juan next Jan. 2010 with the Solstice.
Actually doing a B2B - with each cruise stopping in San Juan for the day.
My DH has walking issues and I have read the streets of Old San Juan
are rather difficult to navigate (cobblestones). Should I find a private
tour guide?? Is the walking really that difficult ?? Could a motorized scooter
be useful ?? Thanks. 8)
Costa Atlantica, Jan. 2002 Caribbean
Dawn Princess, Jan. 2003 Caribbean,
Celebrity Summit - Jan. 2007 Panama Canal - Full Transit
Mariner of the Seas - Jan. 2009 Around the Horn B2B - 30 days
I would suggest not walking if there are difficulties with that, its true the sidewalks are cobblestone and very narrow. There is also a lot of traffic on the streets. One stop that is always something worth seeing is El Morro, what a view and a lot of history. I'm sure you can find some kind of tour that doesn't require too much walking.
We were just there a few weeks ago.....Walking can be difficult. It is the streets that are cobblestoned, and, the sidewalks are narrow and high,so even in a scooter, mobilty is an issue.
We took a tour, as walking for extended lengths of time for me, is an issue..We walked off the ship and purchased a private tour, for $20.00 a person, vs the 29.00 pp on the ship.....the tour was for two hours. I will add, this was the first time I took a tour here, that was bilingual, and it made everybody happy
It took us to the State House, San Cristobal Fort,& around and about...it dropped us off at Forteleza Street, the shopping area.... it also goes right back to the ship...Just a note...the walk from here is a distance, so consider that as well..we walked it, and were ever so glad to get back onboard...It was extremely hot and humid, as it usually is here, and we felt it, bigtime...
Trip, with her book & tea!
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If you take a short cab ride uphill so you can start from the top, (Norzagaray, which runs along the north edge of Old San Juan) you can do your own walking tour that's pretty much all downhill from that point, hitting anything that interests you along the way. I think Frommer's and/or Fodor's probably have maps of the old town online that you can print out for this purpose. The whole old town is less than half a mile from north to south.
If possible, I'd suggest you check out The Gallery Inn, (on Norzagaray) which is a magical spot unto itself. Midway down through the old city, diagonally across from the cathedral, the famed El Convento hotel has a nice cafe on the upper level of its interior courtyard which is a lovely moderately-priced spot to stop for lunch.
we took a walking tour with tour guide Melani. It was a private tour at our own space. She was great. Fluent English and very informative. Eventhough it was hot but Melani always got us in the shaded area and we feel we saw much more . check her out at firstname.lastname@example.org
The probem of mobility/navigation in San Juan also applies to families with little ones in strollers. Check out this article to give you more practical advice regarding suggestions re navigating San Juan with little ones: Family Cruises; CruiseMates Guide
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Thanks Everyone! I'll meet my 1st cruisemate onboard Celebrity Summit, San Juan. After our 7 night S.Caribbean cruise, we'll meet my 2nd cruisemate and hopefully all share a hotel for an afternoon and 1 over-night, including a little group sight-seeing. Glad to have your info. Have read there's a free trolley. Anyone know more about that?
Barb and I will then board RCI Adventure for another 7 night S. Caribbean cruise. I'll be repeating 4 out of 5 other ports, but they're all great ports.