We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina

Address: Calle Fortaleza, San Juan 00902-0082, Puerto Rico
Phone Number: 787-721-7000
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Top Rated
$95*
and up
San Juan Snorkel and Picnic Cruise
84%
Ranked #35 of 104 Attractions in San Juan
Type: Government Buildings, Historic Sites, Sights & Landmarks
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, Sights & Landmarks
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.
Write a Review

89 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    45
    30
    9
    2
    3
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 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
Leesburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
18 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 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 1
Charleston, SC
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
28 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 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!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 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
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
54 helpful votes 54 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Beaver Island, Michigan
Contributor
11 reviews 11 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
59 helpful votes 59 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
Fallston, Maryland
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
3 attraction 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

Travelers who viewed La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina also viewed

 
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
 

Been to La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?