There are not many cities that can boast their scenic walkways as one of their top attractions, but this is what helps to set San Juan apart from many other Caribbean destinations. From what is considered to be one of the most scenic walks in the world, and takes you along San Juan Bay, to a leisurely stroll beside a historic fort, these are some of San Juan’s most revered paseos.
Paseo de la Princesa
Considered to be one of the most scenic walks in the world, Paseo de la Princesa is a beautifully restored European-inspired walkway that dates all the way back to 1853. Lined with trees that provide plenty of shade from the intense sun, Paseo de la Princesa is home to several different vendors and street stalls that are a joy to browse as you pass by. There are a number of different highlights to this walk, from the historic Puerto Rico Tourism Company building, which was built in 1837 as a prison, to the Raices Fountain, which signifies the rich cultural diversity found throughout the island. Once you reach the fountain, you will be able to enjoy incredible views back over Paseo de la Princesa, as well as across San Juan Bay.
Paseo del Morro
Part of the San Juan National Historic Site, Paseo del Morro stretches for 1.5 miles between Old San Juan and the harbour. Established as a National Recreational Trail in 2001, Paseo del Morro runs alongside the city’s looming stone walls and garitas, offering views across San Juan Bay. One of the highlights of Paseo del Morro are the scenic sunsets that can be enjoyed from here, especially as, on a clear day, you can see all the way out to Isla de Cabras.
Calle del Cristo
While not an official seaside walkway, Calle del Cristo is a picturesque street in Old San Juan, and was the first paved road in the city back in the early 1500s. The best route for this walk begins at the Plaza del Totem, where you will find a 40 foot totem pole that symbolizes Puerto Rico’s ancient culture, even though the pole itself may only be 20 years old. From here, you can take a leisurely stroll down the street, stopping off at any stores or boutiques along the way that catch your interest. At the end of the road is Capilla del Cristo, which is an Old World chapel and landmark that dates back to the 18th century, and well worth exploring further.
While Paseo del Morro and Paseo de la Princesa may be two of the top walkways in San Juan, there are many other enjoyable walks to be had, whether along the coastline or through the heart of the city’s colonial buildings. There are many ways in which San Juan can be explored, but those who want to experience the unique nuances that give the city its one-of-a-kind charm should definitely consider taking a few of these walks, as they will provide you with an insight into the city that you would not have otherwise experienced.