Castillo de San Cristóbal

#6 in Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico
Castillo de San Cristóbal  picture
Terraxplorer/Getty Images

Key Info

Calle Norzagaray

Price & Hours

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

Details

Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.1scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Fort San Cristóbal's 27 acres were built to protect the city of Old San Juan from land attacks. It doesn't receive as many visitors, or as much adoration from travel guides as the city's El Morro fort, but recent visitors are equally amazed by the majesty and significant history of the site. Travelers insist you won't be disappointed if you spend an hour roaming the fort's ramparts.

The fort's stellar shoreline views (not to mention the occasional iguana) draw travelers to the sprawling site. Remember you're in the Caribbean and this is an old, crowded tourist attraction: If you want to be most comfortable during your history lesson, visit San Cristóbal in the early morning or late afternoon.

Both the Fort San Cristóbal and the iconic El Morro dominate the San Juan Harbor, making up the San Juan National Historic Site. You should plan to stop by San Cristóbal on the day you visit El Morro, especially considering that you can pay one fee for access to both sites  both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission costs $7 for visitors 16 and older. Visit the National Historic Site's official website for more details.

See all Hotels in Puerto Rico »

More Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico

Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay (Vieques)1 of 11
El Morro (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro)2 of 11
Type
Time to Spend
#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."

Read more
Todd Van Hoosear/Flickr
See full list of Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico »

Explore More of Puerto Rico

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

America's 15 Coolest Ghost Towns to Visit

From Kentucky to California, the U.S. is filled with eerie abandoned cities.

Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019

The 7 Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Learn about the Big Easy's history through one of these daytrips.

Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Beautiful Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019