February 2012
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Travel – Puerta de Tierra – A beachfront in San Juan

Puerta de Tierra is a beachfront that has two hotels, a nice beach, and a decent park. Puerta de Tierra is located between two important parts of San Juan (Old San Juan and Condado). It is a Latin American city and has a Spanish based culture. El Condado is a Latin American city with Spanish-based culture, mixed with African traditions and Taíno culture. The official language of Puerta de Tierra, San Juan is Spanish and English. Spanish is though the mother tongue of the native living here.
Attractions of Puerta de Tierra and around:
– Casa de Espana: It was built as a community centre for local Spanish citizens. Its old and rustic look is worth looking at it. This is from a distance which is walkable from Old San Juan.
– El Capitolo Puerto Rico: This is a Capitol building which was built by a Puerto Rican architect named Rafael Carmoega. It is a building modeled on the USA Capitol that is located in Washington. Inside, is placed the Commonwealth constitution of Puerto Rico (1952) displayed in an 80ft/24.3m rotunda. This building is registered on the National Trust of Historic Sites.
– Playa Escabron: It is a Caribbean Island beach. It enjoys warm clear waters and is lined with hotels and restaurants.
– Parque Muñoz Rivera and Parque Sixto Escobar: Walking trails, shady trees, landscaped gardens, children’s recreational areas and the Peace Pavilion are all a part of this park. This park also hosts festivals like an annual jazz festival, the Heineken Jazz Festival that highlights the Caribbean and Puerto Rico’s top jazz musicians.
– Fuerte San Gerónimo: This is a fort that was built for protecting Puerta de Tierra in 1788 from British invasion. It is registered as part of the National Trust of Historic Sites.
– Parque Del Tercer Milenio: This is a park that has an athletic club with a track, and is good also if you want to enjoy a picnic on the beach.
– Condado Beach: This beach is one mile long, stretched along the Atlantic Ocean and Laguna Condado. This one mile long line has many luxury hotels and facilities.
– The modern Convention Center: This convention centre is in Condado. It is known to be one of the largest in the Caribbean. The centre can hold about 10,000 people and houses and hosts many art exhibitions and festivals. The total area is about 580,000 square feet. It is located on a site that was earlier a US Naval and Coast Guard Base. It is the centre for many shopping centers, theatres, restaurants, and more.
– Casinos: There are two popular casino hotels is San Juan. Also in its surrounding are small parks.
– Shopping: Most of the shopping centers are found on Ashford Avenue. The main centers are
1. Cartier
2. Louis Vuitton
3. Ferragamo
4. Furla
5. Hellmuth
– Nightlife: The following are the casinos and restaurants that stay open late into the night:
1. Eternal, the lobby-level lounge at the Conrad Condado Plaza.
2. The lobby bar at the La Concha Resort.
– San Juan National Historic Site: This place has the old and colonial portions of the city, and this includes three fourths of the city wall and forts such as San Cristóbal, San Felipe del Morro, and San Juan de la Cruz, also called El Cañuelo, plus bastions, powder houses. Among the best preserved in the city of San Juan, these are the oldest and are on the National Historic Site list.
– El Castillo San Felipe Del Morro “El Morro”: This is a citadel that dates back to sixteenth-century. It lies at the northwestern-most point of the islet of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is a part of National Historic Site list and was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1983.
– El Castillo de San Cristóbal: This is a Spanish fort that is located in San Juan. This fort was built to protect against land based attacks on this city of San Juan. It is also a National Historic Site. It has a height of 150 feet and is located on an area of 27 acres of land.
– Palacio de Santa Catalina: It is the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. This heritage site was built between 1533 and 1540, meant to defend the San Juan harbor. It is also known as El Palacio de Santa Catalina or Palace of Santa Catalina which is also the oldest executive mansion in the New World. La Fortaleza was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
– El Catedral de San Juan Bautista: Juan Ponce de León, a Spanish explorer’s tomb lies here which was built in the 1520’s. It was rebuilt in 1540 after being destroyed by a hurricane.
– The municipal cemetery of Santa María Madgalena de Pazzis: This is a cemetery that is situated just outside the city walls.
– Fuerte San Geronimo: This is a fort that was built to tighten defense within the city, and now has a small museum housed inside.
– Bacardi Rum Factory: This has a trolley and guided tour inside the factory.

Best time to visit / climate:
Puerta de Tierra has a tropical marine climate and has minimal seasonal variations. The climate is mild but has abundant rainfall in the north coast. June and November are usually the seasons of Hurricane. So avoid this time.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there:
Puerta de Tierra, Condado is located between Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and Old San Juan, and is a 10 minute taxi ride away from each. To get around, one can just walk around.
US citizens do not need any visa since Puerto Rico is a US territory. A Picture ID should serve the purpose. For other citizens visa and supporting documents are required.
By plane: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is the main airport which is in Carolina, near San Juan. Aguadilla and Ponce also connects with airlines like Jet Blue, Continental and Delta. There are direct flights from US. From the airport, taxi services are available.
By boat: The west coast city of Mayaguez and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic has ferry services available. From Fajardo to St. Thomas, there is a ferry. There are cruise ships that land in San Juan.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Wikitravel – Restaurants
Wikitravel – Restaurants

Blogs / Sites about Puerta de Tierra:

Billfish tournament
Travelpod Link 2

Images and photos of Puerta de Tierra:

From Google Image Search
From Flickr

Want to know more about San Juan ? Read these books:

Fodor’s Puerto Rico, 6th Edition Puerto Rico (Regional Travel Guide)

Videos of Puerta de Tierra from youtube:

Luis Munoz Rivera park in Puerta de Tierra San Juan Puerto Rico

Luis Munoz Rivera Park and Paseo Caribe in San Juan Puerto Rico

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