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La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina

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Address: Calle Fortaleza, San Juan 00902-0082, Puerto Rico
Phone Number: 787-721-7000
Activities: City walk sightseeing, Group tours/walking tour
Description: Visitors can take guided tours through this World Heritage Site, a 40-room...
Visitors can take guided tours through this World Heritage Site, a 40-room mansion completed in 1540 that was used to defend against foreign invaders.
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Visit La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina like an insider
Top Rated
$95*
and up
San Juan Snorkel and Picnic Cruise

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    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Average
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Call First

This is a functioning home as well as government office building, it stands to reason that it's not open every day and that you would not be privy to all of it. They do not try... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed December 24, 2014
roughk10
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91 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Road Town, Tortola
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015 via mobile

Our guide was rushed by the security people, we were given maximum two minutes per room. She also tried to make jokes which didn't really work. We needed much longer and a much more Informed tour than the thirty minutes we were "allowed". Unless they can extend and improve the tour this isn't worth doing.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

La Fortaleza is aligned with many shops, from high ends to gift shops. It is a nice, straight walk with a lot of shopping opportunity. We purchased souvenirs from various stores in this area. A lot of them offer pretty much the same deals, but I would recommend looking around and then going back so that you have the best... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Leesburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
18 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

What a disappointment has been our recent visit to St. Juan Puerto Rico, Being attempting to visit some of the country's most significant historical sites, or simply attempting to find a restaurant to eat the place clearly lack entirely good management, and better infrastructures. The dumping of over 25K people all at once by various cruise ships is most definitely... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Charleston, SC
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
29 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

For a government building, this ranks as one of the most beautiful I've visited. The holiday decorations were breathtaking, the tour educational, and the free concert in the garden was worth waiting for! Definitely worth the wait, even in the rain, for the free tour!

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Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2014

This is a functioning home as well as government office building, it stands to reason that it's not open every day and that you would not be privy to all of it. They do not try and trick people or cheat them out of tours, they tell you up front that you need to call that day to find out... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Mesa, Arizona, United States
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

As other travelers have said, access to La Fortaleza is problematic at best. The address is on Calle Fortaleza, but there is no public access on that street. You have to backtrack two blocks, then over one block, THEN head toward the palace. The hours seem to vary randomly. On the day we were there, we were told it was... More 

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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
62 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

I cannot give a true review as I did not get to go there. For whatever reason, the streets leading up to the front were blocked and I was not aware of any other way to visit. So I took a few pictures, and kept it moving.

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Beaver Island, Michigan
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

We were told the English tour would be at 1 p.m. They moved it to 1:25, Tour guide took 20 minutes to get all the paperwork signed. Combined it with the tour in Spanish, so it took a long time to explain anything with the constant translation. But the worst part, we saw nothing but the outside courtyard and gardens... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

We were informed on Friday that the English speaking tours were done for the day and to come back tomorrow at 9 am or noon. We went back on Saturday and the whole office was closed, not running tours.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
35 attraction reviews
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

Santa Catalina Palace, also known as La Fortaleza, is the official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico and the oldest executive mansion in use in the Americas. The building dates back to the early 15th century when the city of San Juan was founded. The governor's official residence and office are located here so it is not always available... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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