Happy Birthday Mamie!

Located on the west end of Old San Juan, El Morro is a huge fort that essentially goes right out into the Atlantic Ocean. The walls on this massive fort are 140-feet high and up to 15-feet thick. Dating back to 1539, this is said to be the oldest Spanish fort in the New World. El Morro’s lighthouse is the oldest light station on the island that’s still in use and with it’s help, it’s kept many countries and their conquerors from attacking the island by surprise. While walking around inside the fort, you kind of forget where you are because the stone walls and floors are just so thick. Then you walk near the edge and look out either onto the ocean or just the massive green field on the one side of the fort and realize, wow you are really high up and there are just so many levels to explore on this giant fort!

Read about our other Puerto Rican adventures here: fajardovieques beginningsvieques beachesvieques eatsvieques goodbyesan juan sightingssan juan san cristobalsan juan bacardisan juan la fortaleza • san juan yellowsan juan coastal roadsan jaun escambronsan juan palomas

A San Juan photo adventure:

Read about our other Puerto Rican adventures here: fajardovieques beginningsvieques beachesvieques eatsvieques goodbyesan juan sightingssan juan san cristobalsan juan bacardisan juan la fortaleza

La Fortaleza, also known as El Palacio de Santa Catalina, may have a name that makes it sound like a military fort and considering how popular forts are in San Juan you’d think La Fortaleza were just another one, but it’s not. Well, at least it’s not anymore. La Fortaleza was in fact Puerto Rico’s original fortress, but became home to the colony’s governors for much time after that. Now, its El Palacio name is more accurate since this 1533 mansion is an imposing iron gated building with Moorish gardens, a chapel, and even a dungeon.

While free to enter, you have to go in with a tour. These tour times I’ve heard change regularly so it’s important to go to the tour office early in the day to find out when they will be touring (and in what languages: English or Spanish) at what times.

Read about our other Puerto Rican adventures here: fajardovieques beginningsvieques beachesvieques eatsvieques goodbyesan juan sightingssan juan san cristobalsan juan bacardi

A San Juan photo adventure:

Fuerte San Cristóbal may be San Juan’s second major fort, but it’s the first one that I visited while on the island. The real perk of visiting these forts in San Juan is that you can get a joint ticket which allows you to visit both Fuerte San Cristóbal and El Morro under one price if you go within 24 hours. You can imagine I took advantage of this opportunity by visiting the first one in the afternoon of one day and the second in the morning of the next day so that I wouldn’t be completely fort-ed out on one day.

Fuerte San Cristóbal is huge and one of the largest military installations built by the Spanish in the Americas. It’s walls, tunnels, bridges, and moats once covered 27 acres and defended Old San Juan from land attacks from the east. San Juan was a very sought-after place of occupation considering its location. I was especially impressed by the incredibly thick fort walls, the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city of San Juan, as well as all the preserved lookouts that you look around.

Read about our other Puerto Rican adventures here: fajardovieques beginningsvieques beachesvieques eatsvieques goodbyesan juan sightings

A San Juan photo adventure: