Welcome to San Juan, Puerto Rico
Despite her age, the oldest city in the United States (founded in 1521) knows how to have a good time. The beaches of San Juan, Puerto Rico are clean and wide open—perfect for rolling out your yoga mat, strapping on your snorkeling gear, or sipping a mojito with your toes in the sand. The city’s infamous nightlife never misses a beat—and it’s never been happier to welcome guests. To give you an insider’s look at the city, we asked the locals what to do when you visit. Here are a few Puertorriqueño favorites:
Every Way to Chill
Check in at the Dreamcatcher Guest House, a small bed & breakfast in the city’s young and hip Ocean Park neighborhood. Steps from the beach, this homey boutique hotel has a funky, bohemian vibe with eclectic New Age touches, plus yoga and meditation classes, outdoor showers, and a delicious—and largely organic—vegetarian breakfast that will help you recharge after a late night of cocktails and Salsa dancing. You will see a lizard or two, and the dogs in residence are an added bonus. For a dose of Old San Juan’s colonial character, head to the convent. Hotel El Convento, that is. This 350-year-old former Carmelite convent housed nuns for 252 years before being shuttered, abandoned, and spending four decades as a flophouse. Today, it’s home to three restaurants, luxurious guest rooms, a plunge pool, a jacuzzi, and a nightly wine reception. If only those walls could talk.
One Serious Speakeasy
From the outside, it doesn’t look like much. It doesn’t even have a sign. Or a website. But spread across several rooms in a 400-year-old building in Old San Juan, La Factoria is four bars in one: a cocktail bar, a wine bar, a salsa bar, and a beer hall. Together, they’ve been called one of the best bars in the world and are credited with having brought cocktail culture back to the island. Locals recommend the refreshing Lavender Mule, a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, which includes vodka, lime juice, ginger beer, and lavender-infused syrup. It’s perfect for a hot day.