Comfort Inn & Suites
Del Valle Ave. 1829
Phone: (787) 641-9090
Fax: (787) 993-2555
Located at the end of Highway 870 and north of the Bacardi plant, Isla de Cabra (Goat Island) is a great retreat for travelers who want to step back away from the congestion of the tourist hot spots. Here you will find shade trees, rocky seashores and fishing. The ruins on the northern coast were once the home of a late 19th-century leper colony. On the island's southern tier are the ruins of the Fuerte del Canuelo that date back to 1610. The fort once shared the responsibility with El Morro of protecting the Bay of San Juan.
This park is the best and most instructive on the island. Over seven themes greet and awe both children and adults. They present exhibitions on cars, art, hunting, as well as several other themes. There is also an excellent zoo on the premises. This makes for a very entertaining and fun day trip with the kids; the park even has a fully functioning planetarium as part of its facilities. There are also several cafeterias located in the area.
At One Calle de San Sebastián, this colonial house was built as the residence of Juan Ponce de León, the island's first appointed governor. While he never actually lived there, his family resided in the house before the government purchased it for restoration. The residence features beautiful gardens and exquisite colonial architecture. A museum is now housed in the building and it is definitely worth a visit.
Located on Calle Cristo, the Museo del Niño (The Kids Museum) is designed to appeal to and inspire children. However, it is both fun and educational for the entire family. Plan on several hours to tour the entire facility. Located in the heart of Old San Juan, this museum offers interactive activities and presentations in both English and Spanish. Charming street scenes of Old San Juan, all built to size and complete with hopscotch courts, give the kids a place to call their own.
La Fortaleza is the Governor's mansion. It is located in the western part of the city at the end of the street, facing the bay. The mansion was built as a fortress in 1540 and has been re-restored several times. It was also the home to several governors since the Spanish and American colonialist rule. The autonomous government has delivered the modern era governors to the island. There are free tours in English and Spanish. Be properly attired for a visit.
On Ashford Avenue, Condado Beach affords its visitors white sand beaches and its beautiful Laguna (Parque Laguna del Condado (Condado Lagoon)). You will find this small beach near the Condado Beach Resort to be an excellent bathing place, but beware that this spot can get quite crowded with locals and their families on weekends. The beach in front of the Condado hotels is actually public, so services are pricey including towel and beach gear rentals. This strip of beach can get rough in the winter season, so take the usual precautions.
The Laguna del Condado or Condado Lagoon is one of San Juan's most beautiful and familiar landmarks. It stands between three districts: Old San Juan/Puerta de Tierra (Northwest), Miramar (South) and Condado (East). The lagoon is particularly loved by those who practice kayaking and several other water sports. There are also kayak rentals available on the perimeter of the lagoon. If you decide to partake in this sport, note that the rentals are often quite busy on the weekends. Admission is free.
The Hyatt Regency Cerromar's two Robert Trent Jones-designed 18-hole courses are some of the best on the island. The North and South courses are particularly challenging and have been constantly and meticulously maintained since their creation. To reserve tee time, call 24 hours in advance. Be aware that only soft spikes are permitted here, and the prestigious Callaway is the house brand in terms of clubs.
This area is located between the Condado and Isla Verde districts and is inhabited by a very upscale crowd. It is frequented by both locals and American expats looking for some Caribbean sun. In Ocean Park also known as the 'Ultimo Trolley' area, visitors and Puerto Ricans frequent this beach because they regard it as one of the island's liveliest. Those who enjoy windsurfing and general wind-beach sports will love Punta Las Marías. Volleyball, paddleball and other beach-related activities are found here as well. There is also very good security provided by the state police.
On Isla Verde Avenue, you can go for a picnic, a swim or just for some sun at this beautiful public beach. Here you will find lifeguards and security facilities, as well as a picnic area, showers and bathrooms. A good spot for a family day by the sea, Balneario offers beautiful views, too.
Aviones Beach, in the Piñones sector of Isla Verde, is one of the prime surfing spots in the Greater San Juan area. It is frequented by both professional surfers and 'gremos,' as beginners are called in Puerto Rican surf slang. The beach is called 'aviones' or airplanes because it stands at the end of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport's runway. Hungry? There are plenty of street-side kiosks selling fresh seafood and fried local creations.
Starting at the Isla Verde Marriot Resort on route 187, this beach front trail-boardwalk is the perfect Sunday diversion for people-watching, exercising, or just soaking in the amazing views of breaking crystal waves and vibrant greenery over the 20 miles of trails. Most of the trails follow the coast along the Piñones beaches leaving San Juan and heading into Loiza. The rapid change between metropolitan San Juan and traditional Afro-Caribbean life in Loiza is noticeable in the unassuming architecture of the colorful food stands that line route 187. A great way to spend a day riding bikes (rental stands line the trail), to catch great views and then finally relax in front of the beach with some seafood and coconut drinks. - Rachel Hiskes