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“Castillo de San Cristóbal”

Castillo de San Cristobal
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San Juan Historic Tour: Fort San Cristobal and Ruin of Caparra
Ranked #4 of 204 things to do in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This massive 27-acre series of fortifications is the largest the Spanish built in the New World.
Windsor, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Castillo de San Cristóbal”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

One of the highlights of a recent Carnival cruise was our stop in San Juan where we spent several hours exploring many parts of the impressive Castillo de San Cristóbal. Both my wife and I enjoy history (we met in a History class at the University of Windsor) so it was a great experience to tour such an impressive historical structure, although modern modifications and repairs detracted somewhat from the generally historic look and feel of the fort.

The fort was an active military installation until 1961. For the last 52 years, it has been operated by the US National Park Service and, since 1983, has been designated by the UN as a World Heritage Site.

Admission to the fort, which includes talks and tours by Park Service staff, is an incredibly reasonable $3.00; $5.00 if you want to tour both San Cristóbal and it's big brother: Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Plus there's a free trolley/shuttle that circles Old San Juan and stops at both forts. What more could you want?

Visited February 2013
1 Thank elqrijghpiqerhvgier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington, DC
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“interesting day trip”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Spent a few hours visiting this site while on cruise and San Juan port-of-call. Very interesting and some beautiful views. Not the best way to kill some hours with small children (unless they love learning about Spanish-American War!), but all in all a decent time. And not a far walk from cruise ship docks.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Greg C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fanstastic Star Fort and walls”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

One of the largest and best preserved 18th Century "Star Fort" style Fortifications in the world, well worth a 1-2 hour visit. Hilltop location with stunnig views of the coastline towards El Morro and the Old Town, and plenty of opportunities for artistic romantic photos at the ubiquitous sentry posts. Only $3 entrance fee is well worthwhile. Several giftshops to stock up on water and other essentials. Easy access from the free trolley bus (get off at 18/19 if you want an easier walk uphill). Some limited parking available from the lower entrance at L Munoz. For those staying a long time in San Juan may be worth a second visit to explore the grassy outer fortifications and coastline.

Visited February 2013
Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
192 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Another good visit”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Better preserved and larger than El Morro, the Castillo is more for the history buff than the casual passerby since the views aren't quite as impressive as El Morro but there are better historic displays, long tunnels to experience and a lot more ground to cover. Very close together so why not do both, but if you only visit one I'd recommend El Morro if you're only looking for view and photo ops.

Visited February 2013
Thank Greg G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Pretty from the outside”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We got there too late to go inside, they close at 6 so go early! But from the parts that you could walk around at outside it was beautiful, a lot of areas where you can take pics

Visited February 2013
Thank DeannaB913
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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