San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico. Founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, it is the third oldest colonial capital in the Americas.
Today it is a popular tourist destination. Colonial Old San Juan is a port of call for Caribbean cruises and just a 4-hour flight from New York City.
You can take selfies on the beach while your friends are freezing back in New York.
Getting Over Hurricane Maria
Back to back hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico in August and September 2017, but San Juan and other tourist areas are back in business.
The New York Times named Puerto Rico the #1 tourist destination for 2019.
One of the best things you can do to help our fellow Americans recover from the hurricanes is to visit and spend some tourist dollars. You get a great vacation and the Puerto Rican economy gets revived. It’s a win-win.
Is Puerto Rico safe?
I don’t know if it’s safe for you, but it is safe for me.
The kind of crime that happens is mostly street crime like getting mugged or pickpocketed. Street crime is a problem everywhere there is an imbalance between rich and poor. My sense is that San Juan is safer than most Latin American cities.
Puerto Ricans know that their island lives on tourism, so there is some sense of protecting that. Tourists even go into La Perla now, the seaside neighborhood that used to be the most dangerous place in the city. Locals will point you to the spots where the video for the global hit song ‘Despacito’ was made.
Shit happens, but it can happen anywhere, especially if you are stumbling around drunk or stoned in the middle of the night in a place you don’t know. Don’t make yourself a target and you should be fine. That is true everywhere.
Things to do in Old San Juan
This work in progress is being written as I explore the city. Right now I’m just mapping out places to see. I go to pray Sunday morning and check out the city for the rest of the day.