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.

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Type
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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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