Wednesday, March 7, 2012

San Juan

Most of our time here thus far can be summarized by the following photo.

But despite all the odds (and the sun and the friendly chicken kebab vendor down the beach), we did manage to make it out to a few local attractions. Here's the rundown:

Bacardi Factory
Pretty self-explanatory. Except that you don't actually see the production; they take you on a guided tour of their museum-cum-interactive Bacardi commercial. They do sell handles for cheap in the gift shop, but unless you're planning to become a rum exporter, visiting the factory isn't really interesting enough to justify paying for the cab ride/leaving the beach.

So much Bacardi...
Very animated in-house bartender

Viejo San Juan
The old part of the city. Fairly touristy—the streets are lined with kitschy souvenir shops and trinket stores—but the area has some interesting colonial architecture and is actually quite charming. Definitely worth a visit, especially for history buffs. Also home to the best restaurants on the island—the mofongos at Café Puerto Rico were definitely a highlight of the trip.


Fort San Felipe del Morro
16th-century citadel designed to guard the entrance to San Juan Bay, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beautiful grounds.

Beautiful grounds
Castillo entrance

La Perla
Just when I thought I was starting to understand real estate. Possibly the largest discrepancy between sketchiness and prime location/natural beauty I've ever seen. Details upon request.

And here's the Morse courtyard!

Kidding, unfortunately: apparently this monstrosity exists in multiple parts of the world.