El Morro (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro)

#2 in Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico
El Morro (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro) picture
El Morro (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro)
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Key Info

501 Norzagaray Street

Details

Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

El Morro juts out of San Juan harbor beckoning to cruise ships just as it used to deter sea attacks. The structure is a hulking six-story fortress built between 1539 and 1589, withstanding the two World Wars and several other scrimmages. Now, El Fuerto San Felipe del 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 though the fortress' depths, which include a maze of tunnels, barracks and prison cells.

You'll enjoy exploring more if you wear comfortable walking shoes, as the site is quite big. Some travelers report that it can take up to three hours to explore the entire fort on foot.

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 Western Hemisphere. Both forts are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m daily. Admission to the entire site is $7 for visitors 16 and older. For more information about visiting the San Juan National Historic Site, head to its official website.

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Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay (Vieques)
Flamenco Beach
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay (Vieques)

This south Vieques beach might not sound like much, but it's one of travelers' favorite experiences in Puerto Rico. During the day, Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay is your stereotypical Caribbean hideout  but at night, the sky and waters emit a blue glow from the half-plant, half-animal microorganisms that live there. More than 700,000 bioluminescent dinoflagellates live in each gallon of bay water, and recent travelers have been amazed by just how much visibility these tiny creatures provide.

But avoid visiting the bay during a full moon; the microorganisms aren't as visible then. Also aim for a quiet approach: "I would definitely go in a group with kayaks-not a motorized boat," one TripAdvisor reviewer said. "It is very peaceful and beautiful to be on the water at night but the sparkling water is a real treat."

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