Puerta de Tierra, San Juan
Puerta de Tierra ("Gateway of the Land") is named for its close proximity to Old San Juan. Only 2mi/3.2km in length and one quarter mi/0.4km wide, Puerta de Tierra occupies the lowlands of the area that was colonial San Juan. Historically, Puerta de Tierra was a slum for non-European Islanders, while the Spaniards lived within the walls of Old San Juan. Today, the district is a combination of commonwealth government buildings, residences and Navy and Coast Guard facilities.Puerta de Tierra is a relatively rough part of town and it is not recommended that visitors spend any time here after dark.
Puerto Rico received the Capitol building from the USA in 1925. Built by Puerto Rican architect Rafael Carmoega, the El Capitolo building is modeled on the USA Capitol building in Washington however, some people feel it has more of a Romanesque look to it. The Commonwealth constitution of Puerto Rico (1952) is displayed inside an 80ft/24.3m rotunda. El Capitolo is registered on the National Trust of Historic Sites.El Capitolo has an unusual location in one of Puerto Rico's roughest neighbourhoods. It is also located right off the expressway where a quick photo can be snapped as you drive by.
San Gerónimo Fort
Built as a protection for Puerta de Tierra, Fuerte San Gerónimo (completed 1788) was barely up and running before the British invasion of 1797 which damaged the fort extensively. While the interior is closed to visitors, exterior access is usually allowed and the prime attraction of the fort is the vistas of Condado that can be enjoyed from atop of the ramparts. The fort is registered as part of the National Trust of Historic Sites.
Muñoz Rivera Park and Sixto Escobar Park
Over 50 years old, the ocean side Muñoz Rivera Park and Sixto Escobar Park (Parque Muñoz Rivera and Parque Sixto Escobar) have walking trails, shady trees, landscaped gardens, children's recreational areas and the Peace Pavilion, a site that occasionally holds community events. Artisan's fairs are held on weekends here and in the park adjacent to Muñox Rivera Park, called Sixto Escobar. Parque Sixto Escobar was the site of the Pan American Games of 1979 and is now home to an Olympic track.The parks also host an annual jazz festival, the Heineken Jazz Festival which highlights the Caribbean and Puerto Rico's top jazz musicians. Also located in Parque Muñoz Rivera and Parque Sixto Escobar is a small museum attached to a historic powder magazine.
Playa Escabron is typical of a Caribbean Island beach. Warm clear waters lapping up on caramel colored sands backed by swaying palm trees. Playa Escabron is lined with hotels and restaurants and the scene here can be quite fun at times.The beach has lifeguards and the conditions of the surf are posted with flags. It is fun to stroll down the beach and soak up the natural and human scenery. The Playa Escambron is located in Puerta de Tierra, one of San Juan's rougher districts and it is not recommended that visitors stay past dusk. Also, keep an eye on your valuables while on the beach.
The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico is the islands highest court. It is housed in a dour, three story grey building surrounded by high fences. There is little to see at the actual site, but the court structure is quite interesting.There are seven judges on the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico and they are appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico and a majority vote in the Senate. The Supreme Court's session begins on the first Monday of October and ends on the last week of June.The Supreme Court is located in the East End of Puerta de Tierra, paradoxically, one of San Juan's toughest neighbourhoods.
Puerta de Tierra Pictures
Map of San Juan Attractions