San Juan's original name was Puerto Rico, but it was changed in the 1500s. It
is the capital of Puerto Rico, one of the most densely populated islands in the world.
This is where you remember the old phase when crossing the road of "look to the left, look to the right and look to the left again" - then add in "say a little prayer" as it has the highest density of road traffic than any country in the world. Founded in 1521 by Spanish colonists who named it the "Rich Port City", it is the 2nd oldest European established capital city in the Americas.
Sitting on the Atlantic coast, San Juan is known for its wide beaches and the Isla Verde resort strip famous for its throbbing nightlife of buzzing bars, nightclubs and casinos. The old cobblestoned area of the town is decked out in colorful Spanish colonial buildings and 16th Century landmarks such as Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobal. San Juan is the financial, cultural, manufacturing and tourist hub of the island. It is a major cruise ship destination with the largest cruise port in the world where ships disgorge their tourist hordes like a plague of locusts onto the city.
The historical precinct is a window into the city's past 500 years and is a World Cultural Heritage Site. It is easy to stroll around the 7 square block with your jaw on the ground as you gaze at more than 400 restored 16th and 17th Century colonial buildings that have had makeovers into funky restaurants with outdoor terraces to linger on, boutiques, museums and hotels.
San Juan is a stunning city with sandy beaches crying out to be explored, cultural attractions galore to keep you occupied and historical sites to take you back in time. You may just find it hard to keep your mind on work, so say a prayer in the red-domed neoclassical chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene perched on a hill above the ocean, that you will take your laptop out of your backpack.
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