While vacationing in Puerto Rico this year, you can experience 500 years of incredible history for free at a well loved San Juan National Historic Site. Thanks to the National Park Service, who is waiving entrance fees for national parks and sites for ten days in 2017. A must do on your Puerto Rico itinerary just got a little better.
The San Juan National Historic Site is one NOT to miss. The site is made up of Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal. These treasures have been preserved by the National Park Service for all to enjoy for many years to come. For centuries, countries fought for control of our beautiful Island of Enchantment. These long-time fights lead to Puerto Rico’s rich history which is full of stories of ambition and struggle for the New World.
Made of sandstone, lime and brick, Castillo San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro are two incredible forts built by the Spanish military hundreds of years ago. Take in the rich architecture and history by meandering through the site on a self-guided tour. Attend a Ranger talk to get a brief history of these extraordinary fortifications. Visit the Discovery Center and take a crack at applying stucco like masons centuries ago did, learn about the extensive history of the property by watching a short movie, and listen to the amazing stories of the past while imaging what life on the island must have been like so long ago.
Guided tours are also available and are a wonderful way to understand the importance of these forts to the Spanish Empire. Take a Tunnel Tour or learn about “Life Inside the Fortification” as a Spanish solider.
Picnic with your family in the esplanade, or grassy area at Castillo Felipe del Morro. Check out the views of the Atlantic Ocean beyond the stone walls. Feel the breeze of the ocean air, perfect for kite flying.
Enjoy no entrance fees on the following dates this year:
- January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- February 20: Presidents’ Day
- April 15 & 16 and April 22 & 23: Weekends of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 30: National Public Lands Day
- November 11 & 12: Veterans Day Weekend
The perfect day trip from Fajardo, a visit to Old San Juan and the National Historic Site is a must. Aside from the incredible history, you’ll also enjoy the vibrant art scene, authentic local restaurants and fascinating museums. Make a visit to Old San Juan a part of your next trip to Puerto Rico and experience an amazing part of the island.