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La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina

Calle Fortaleza, San Juan 00902-0082, Puerto Rico
787-721-7000
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Ranked #36 of 95 Attractions in San Juan
Type: Government Buildings, Historic Sites, Cultural
Activities: City walk sightseeing, Group tours/walking tour
Owner description: Visitors can take guided tours through this World Heritage Site, a...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Government Buildings, Historic Sites, Cultural
Activities: City walk sightseeing, Group tours/walking tour
Owner description: 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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84 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    43
    28
    9
    1
    3
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mesa, Arizona, United States
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
62 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 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
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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
4 helpful votes 4 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 3
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
35 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 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
Bel Air, MD
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

I wasn't planning on doing a lot of sight seeing during a 6 day trip to San Juan, but I'm so glad I went to La Fortaleza. The tour took about 40 mins and although you don't get to go into the main house with the exception of the courtyard, dungeon and chapel, it was well worth it. Tour was... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

Very Spanish; well conserved; impressive history. A maelstrom of emotions and ideas from the time of the Spanish government to the current US government of PR.

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usa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

We stopped by the reservation office on Fortaleza Street to take the tour of La Fortaleza. The tour is free. I do not recommend it for anyone who has difficulty walking as most of the tour is not wheel chair accessible. We were briefed and were made to sign waivers in case of injuries resulting from uneven and worn walkways... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Athens, Greece
Top Contributor
333 reviews 333 reviews
158 attraction reviews
343 helpful votes 343 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

The palace itself is closed to the public but the surrounding streets are an excellent point to absorb the atmosphere of Old San Juan

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

We stopped here while staying in San Juan and took the tour. This building was built in 1540 and served as a fort and is now the Governor’s mansion. The tour is of the first floor only, but this is the art that was the fort. The tour is about 20 minutes and only costs $3 which isn’t bad. It... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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