El Morro (El Castillo San Felipe del Morro)

#3 in Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico
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Key Info

501 Norzagaray Street

Price & Hours

$5 for adults
9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

Details

Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

El Morro juts out of San Juan harbor and beckons to cruise ships. Construction for the hulking six-story fortress started in 1539. It was originally built to deter sea attacks, and went on to withstand two world wars and several other scrimmages. Now, El Castillo San Felipe del Morro (known simply as "El Morro") is Puerto Rico's go-to tourist attraction, both for its extensive history and its outstanding vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also walk through the fortress' depths, which include a maze of tunnels, barracks and prison cells. Exhibitions and a park film offer a more in-depth look at the fort's history, and park rangers are stationed around the site to answer questions and lead interpretative programs.

You'll enjoy exploring more if you wear comfortable walking shoes, as the site is quite big. Travelers tend to agree the site is worth visiting, whether you're a history buff or not. In addition, they report that it can take up to three hours to explore the entire fort on foot. For a little guidance on the fort's history, consider signing up for one of the best tours in Puerto Rico.

El Morro is one of two forts inside the San Juan National Historic Site. Its sister, the Fort San Cristóbal, is one of the largest Spanish fortresses in the Americas. Both forts are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission to the entire site costs $10 for visitors 16 and older; travelers 15 and younger tour free. For more information about visiting the San Juan National Historic Site, check out the National Park Service website.

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