San Juan National Historic Site

San Juan National Historic Site

San Juan National Historic Site
4.5
About
Constructed to defend the San Juan coastline during the 17th and 18th centuries, this dramatic fortress rises 140 feet above the sea on a rocky promontory, and is composed of six huge levels of ramps, barracks, dungeons, turrets, towers and tunnels.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Keith H
    Lakeland, Florida597 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive historic forts
    It’s a little confusing reading about this site but easy to understand when you get here. There are two centuries- old forts joined by an ancient city wall with big open spaces between them. One ticket will cover both forts, and you have two days to see them. We visited Castillo San Felipe del Morro today. It’s wonderful that this historic structure is so well preserved, and the sea and bay views are amazing.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 25, 2023
  • Rebekah B
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful and interesting
    What a view! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the fort. It had an incredible view of the ocean and tons of interesting historical information. The huge grassy lawn on the way up was full of people flying kites (perfect day with lots of wind). The stairs around the fort are a little tricky, but take it slow and you'll be fine.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Sylvia G
    Cedar Hill, Texas945 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful views and perfect for pictures.
    First of all. Seeing how high this place is while looking from the shops below can be very deceiving. Definitely not the case once you get to the facility. We quickly reached the top in a matter of minutes. My 70 year old mother was able to walk the whole facility without any problems. No stairs, beautiful views of the beach and shops. It’s definitely not a huge museum but you get to see a few things and take beautiful pictures because of how big the facility sits.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 22, 2023
  • Patrick M
    Newark, Delaware1,201 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Man the Cannons
    US national park site El Morro is a great look into the past history of Puerto Rico. With 6 levels to explore give yourself a couple hours. The views from the top are wonderful and shouldn't be missed. The fort contains a lot of history and displays explaining how an why the fort was build. There are displays showing the living conditions and the battlements with cannons as well. And of course there is a gift shop.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 17, 2023
  • Michelle
    Inverness, Florida257 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Even with all the hurricanes you still stand!
    El Morris is still here as a blast from our past to tell the story of survival. Please read the informational signs and watch the movie BEFORE exploring. It makes more sense. It is a beautiful reminder of tenacity and strength….
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 8, 2024
  • Charles Y
    Atlanta, Georgia798 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    History with Great Vistas
    The Fort is an historical wonder, but also provide great visits of San Juan and views out across the bay and into the sea. It also provide a peaceful reprieve from the busy streets of old San Juan. There is a fee to enter (about $10 or $20), that covers entry to both forts in the area. It was not crowded, and there are a number of great photo opportunities.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 9, 2024
  • David
    Canton, Michigan393 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    History lesson and beautiful architecture
    What a great piece of history, it just makes you wonder how this structure was built way back then. This was a stop on our excursion so we only had about 30 minutes to explore the entire Fort. Enjoyed a bit of history of what we could get in. I would recommend at least a 3 hour stay to soak it all in.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 25, 2024
  • Richard W
    Penn Valley, California826 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating to visit...
    The Park Service has done a great job with the maintenance of these historic facilities and with the interpretive exhibits throughout the buildings. Visiting here one can gain an appreciation for the significance of these structures to the countries that controlled them, even through World War II. The setting is beautiful so take your time and enjoy a bit of history. While an elevator exists in one area this facility does require uphill walking and uneven surfaces.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 19, 2024
  • Cristina B
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spring Break
    This was my kids and husbands first time visiting and they immediately fell in love. They love the history, colors, food, and architecture. Definitely glad we waited until the kids were teenagers to appreciate this historical trip!
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 2, 2024
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Caytlin S
Herriman, UT14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Don't mistake this for some old fort and bypass it for the more colorful parts of San Juan! We had a cruise departing from San Juan and were looking for things to do before our 8pm sail time. With our National Parks pass in hand, we headed to the San Juan National Historic Site and spent a couple hours exploring. Our kids loved the Junior Ranger booklets and were fascinated as they explored the fort. The views are unparalleled and really give you a great glimpse of the city and the ocean.
Written September 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia18,666 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
The whole old town San Juan is under UNESCO, and for a good reason.
The old town is spread between two amazing fortresses - San Cristobal and El Morro.
The San Felipe del Morro is the second oldest in the Americas (just after the Ozama fortress in Santo Domingo) built by the Spaniards in 16c, yet much bigger, more interesting and better preserved than the Santo Domingo one. It was built on the cape tip to protect the city from the sea.
San Cristobal was the biggest fortress in Americas built in 1765. It was designed to protect the town from inland attacks.
Both forts are under UNESCO and for both is valid a single ticket of only 10$ (valid 24 hrs.) In between those two magnificent forts is a splendid old town with colonial houses, historic sites and amazing restaurants and bars.
Written January 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jehenson81
Washington DC, DC24,884 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Solo
This historic site includes the two Castillos in OSJ, the City Wall and another fort that is across San Juan Bay. I saw everything but the first across the bay as the ferry wasn’t running. The two Castillos were beautiful and very nicely restored. El Morro was much larger than San Cristobal, but San Cristobal has secret tunnels (closed because of COVID). The staff was eager to answer questions and did so happily and I think with a smile. The views from both Castillos are gorgeous. The city walls are well maintained and it is best to walk along Paseo del Morro to really appreciate them. I think all of Old San Juan should be included in this site as the city is so full of history and beauty.
Written November 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lea P
Dallas, TX22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
We visited this historic site over two days - your ticket lets you do each castle over a two day period. We enjoyed El Morro a bit more - there's so many levels and nooks and interesting details. Also parking is easier, with an inexpensive garage just off site. San Cristobal is also lovely, but the WWII additions detract a bit, and the structure overall seems simpler. Also, parking was difficult. But highly recommend visiting both castles for the history, architectural design contrast, and amazing views.
Written March 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vanessa Albergo
Port Saint Lucie, FL376 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
San Juan “Mi Urgullo”-NOT
The last time I came to PR was nearly 30 yrs ago in 1995 and back then I wasn’t really impressed. I have always been a traveler since young, been to many places and decided to come back, one cause the hubs had never been and I was hoping that 30 years later it would have gotten better. I’m disappointed that it hasn’t. We both had a great time on our anniversary trip, loved visiting old San Juan and the tourist sites there, went to el yunque and Luquillo Beach and drank and ate that are livers and bellys will need a detox for sure lol.
But on a more serious note… we both can understand why this island is bankrupt! If natives are still saying that it is their urgullo, I guess we have higher expectations. They’re living poor here, aside from their tourism there’s nothing else bringing income in. We even spoke to the locals and many spoke to the poor economy and things that have made PR much less than what it aimed to be. Luquillo Beach was Ghetto! So dirty and graffiti everywhere it makes you feel that the people and the government don’t give two 💩about their country which is sad. They pay no taxes (property, sales) car insurance 🙈🤯. I’m sorry but San Juan, Condado felt like a cheap port town. If they were to fix it up, the $$ would be endless
Written May 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fritsche_philip
Germantown, WI90 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Couples
The Castillo de San Cristobal, a major portion of the San Juan historic site, is an enormous fortification - the largest in the New World - that is largely intact. The site includes acres and acres of land adjacent and surrounding the city of Old San Juan. Well worth the price of admission.
Written May 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suellen T
Perth, Australia785 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Solo
The views of the sea alone are gorgeous... but add in ancient forts, parade grounds and craters where canon balls hit and you can easily wander around this site for some time. It helps to have a local explain what you are looking at (we had a great tour guide) but this is a picturesque spot with forts and history are all around. The cemetery is also fantastic. Definitely worth a visit.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Green-eyed-mama
Dickson, TN115 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Family
Lots of beautiful streets lined with cute residences and businesses. Fortaleza Street (also known as the ‘umbrella’ street, was topped with butterflies during our visit. There is also a cat sanctuary at the bottom of the hill by the main fort. Extremely limited parking, so get there very early, or park at Escambron Beach, ride the city scooters to get closer. Supposedly no parking allowed at the yellow painted curbs (although lots of people parked there). Lots of restaurants and shops. This is the main cruise port for San Juan (largest in the Caribbean) so check the cruise ship unloading dates/times. The forts are perfect for history buffs and hikers alike. Be prepared for lots of walking and stair climbing.
Written March 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Juan D
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The San Felipe del Morro or The San Cristobal, both are impressive structures that defended the bay of San Juan from attacks by the British, French and even pirates. The views are incredible and if you time it right you could see cruise ships entering the harbor which is pretty amazing. The fortresses are huge, bigger than any castle in Europe. After visiting El Morro or San Cristobal you can stroll Old San Juan. They are great historical sites and if you have kids, I believe they will really enjoy it. I mean, after all, it is the original Pirates of the Caribbean!
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mudfoot4
Morehead, KY228 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
An interesting day trip. Worth it to visit both forts and walk the trail from the San Juan Gate to El Morro. Both diets offer incredible views of the city, port and the sea. The history is fascinating, a must do if you’re in San Juan.
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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San Juan National Historic Site - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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