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“Amazing fort. Takes you to another world.”

San Juan National Historic Site
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1-Hour Guided El Morro Jetski Tour
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Walking Tour of Old San Juan
Ranked #2 of 203 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: 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.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

I haven't been to all the forts in the world, but I've been to quite a few in the US and Caribbean. This is the best one I've been to. First of all, it is enormous, with very tall walls and many large tunnels. The views are spectacular. It is surrounded by coastline nestled in the corner of Old San Juan Island and allows you to view the varied ocean and bay from various hights. It isn't the oldest fort I've been to, but it is of course very old, and it has a very ominous rustic feel to it. It would make a great setting for a Lord of the Rings movie. There is also an old cemetery next to the fort. The cemetery is full of tombs above ground. Some are in disrepair, which offers eery peaks inside. The walk is treacherous. There are many uphill walks and there is a lot to explore. If you have the energy, go to the other big fort on the other side of Old San Juan. It is fantastic too, but not as great. If you only have time for one, do this one. Our small children barely made it through the smaller fort. We let my wife's parents take them back to the cruise ship and we explored this fort without them. Also, try the free public transport available all over Old San Juan.

Thank ChrisAndFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,651 - 3,655 of 6,285 reviews

Reviewed July 24, 2013

This was our second time in PR, and after a cruise, we actually had more time enjoy SJ just as if it was a destination of the cruise , and not just the last stop before flying out.We actually had the chance to no the ins and outs of the old town. Check out the butterfly shop.

Thank Elliott S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I love to visit historic sites while traveling. This is worth the stop. Be prepared to walk on steep paths. The views make any walking problem worth the effort.

Thank docbsullivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

This was our second visit to El Morro with our High School mission group of 17 kids this trip. The kids that were on our trip in 2011 were excited to visit again making the kids who hadn't been yet, very excited. The kids love exploring this massive Fort. The Fort affords lots of photo opportunities, providing lots of great memories for the kids. A special treat was climbing to the lookout of the still working lighthouse. Recommend watching the 10 minute movie about the Fort. Provides a lot of interesting information and an added bonus was that the theatre is air conditioned. We were very fortunate that the 9th annual Artisans' Fair with over 200 artisans happened to be the weekend we were there. We got to see and purchase the islands' traditional arts and handcrafts directly from the people who made them. Definitely worth considering when scheduling our next trip.

Thank Sharon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Before visiting this place, make sure you do your homework. I'm contributing a second review to provide more historical insight on the importance of this site. We actually visited this place in 2011.

The earliest fortification of San Juan NHS, Castillo San Felipe del Morro was begun in 1539, 68 years before the First English Settlement in Jamestown.

In 1797, a formidable British military force with more than ten thousand troops launched its third and final attack on Puerto Rico. British forces, led by Sir Ralph Abercrombie, again tried to take control of one of the most strategic locations in the New World, Puerto Rico. A powerful military outpost, key to the Spanish Empire and doorway to the riches of the Americas, Puerto Rico had been long coveted by nations for its strategic location. Against odds, the attackers were repelled by a determine force of defenders.

Spanish soldiers, members of the Puerto Rican Fixed Regiment, Puerto Rican Disciplined Militias and citizens valiantly defended San Juan with the impregnable fortifications behind them. From April 27th to 28th, 2013 the 1797 defense of San Juan will be commemorate with military drills firing demonstration and educational programs. Living history volunteers dressed in period costumes are expected to help bring the past to life for park visitors. All activities are open to the public. Interpretative programs will be offered to the public at Castillo San Felipe del Morro on Saturday April 27th and Castillo San Cristobal and El Morro on Sunday April 28th.

So..as you can see, this is DEFINITE must see when visiting Old San Juan!

Thank Rae C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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