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Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

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Wisconsin
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Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

Hi, We are going to be staying at the Sheraton Old San Juan in February and our mother has issues walking, so I am wondering if it will be possible to walk/push wheelchair thru Old San Juan? This is our first time and not sure what to expect. Any advice on this area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks~

San Juan, Puerto...
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1. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

Old San Juan is on a hill. The Sheraton is at the lowest point, while the forts are on the top. All streets have sidewalks with ramps at the end. However, sidewalks are narrow. Streets are cobblestoned. It will indeed be difficult to navigate with a wheelchair. There is a free trolley that goes around all the important sites, but it does not have wheelchair access. If your mom is not wheelchair bound, then this will be a great alternative.

There was a similar question posted recently. I believe one of the DEs has personal experience with this and gave a thorough reply. Please try a search in the forum, though I'm sure you will get a reply from him soon.

Edited: 5:43 pm, January 09, 2013
San Juan
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2. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

I would not even try it!. OSJ is that, old, with cobbled streets and uneven sidewalks. She will fell like traveling in a "shaker"!

Bayamón, Puerto Rico
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3. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

There are two trolley vehicl es in Old San Juan.

One of them is an open access, no windows, just like a large golf cart. That one has no wheelchair-access.

The other is a regular trolley, air-conditioned, and it has a ramp in the rear to lift wheelchairs.

As someone said above, sidewalks are very narrow, and streets have no shoulders, so it will be quite difficult to move long distances. Also, pushing the wheelchair uphill or downhill, idem.

My advice is to take the forts trolley and enjoy the view from there. You can easily use the wheelchair in Plaza de Armas and in Paseo Princesa, a leveled terrain.

Paseo Princesa is easy from your hotel. Plaza de Armas, you will need the trolley or a taxi.

Try to get a map and I will be glad to tell you how to get to where the wheelchair is not a major burden.

Questions? Ask!

Juan Carlos Ortega

Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto...
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4. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

As a power wheelchair user myself, whenever I go to the old city (very infrequently) I check ahead to see if I can get into where I'm going. With some assistance it can be done but it won't be the best experience. Some intersections have ramps but not all do and some of the ones that do aren't exactly up to code. As mentioned before, sidewalks are narrow and a lot have street signs and post right in the middle making them impassable. Also, most businesses have steps to get inside without ramps. The area around the Sheraton will be fine as it is newer and pretty level. If you try to get deeper into the old city, that is where you will have trouble in some areas. The area around the forts is accessible as are the forts. So are some of the better sites such as Hotel El Convento, The church across from it, and many of the plazas.

If you've never been, I would say it's worth checking out but just be ready for a little assistance and expect that you might not be able to get everywhere.

Wisconsin
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5. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

Thanks for all the info ~ it is always nice to get a heads up on the area. In a post it is stated the area around the Sheraton in flat / newer - is there restaurants in that area? Thanks again!

San Juan, Puerto...
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6. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

There are several restaurants within walking distance

Puerto Rico
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for San Juan
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7. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

Just one or 2 streets up is Recinto Sur Street which has one Restaurant after the other.

8. Re: Getting around Old San Juan with a wheelchair

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