Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
πŸ‘ͺ The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 2022)
β›΅ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 18 Apr 2022)
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
πŸ“„ These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚒 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 08 Mar 2022)
πŸ“„ The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
β€’ The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
β€’ All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.

Things to See in the Capital District of Old San Juan

Due to COVID-19, At this time, the Capitol building is closed to the public and no tours are being offered. But you can still walk around outside.

I am always surprised at the new things we find to do in Old San Juan. We recently decided to take some family to see the Capitol building and, afterwards, we went walking around the area and found a bunch of parks, plazas and memorials dedicated to a vast array of things. We also noted that access to the beach at the back of the Capitol building has been improved.

We spent a couple hours just walking around, taking pictures, and enjoying the day. I think anyone who visits the area will be impressed by what you can find there.

El Capitolio de Puerto Rico

Old San Juan

To start off, the Capitol building (El Capitolio de Puerto Rico) is right at the end of the Puerta de Tierra sector of Old San Juan, just before you get to the old section. To get there, you can walk east from Fort San Cristobal on Muñoz Rivera Avenue (along the waterfront). You can also take the trolley and get off at Stop 18a. It is a short walk from the Old San Juan cruise ship piers and parking decks.

You can’t miss the Capitol building. It is a huge white marble building with a large dome, just across the street from the ocean.

Old San Juan

We started our day by going into the Capitol building, through the entrance that faces the Atlantic Ocean. There is always a guard at this door, but you are welcome to go in and look around.

The building is open to the public during the weekdays only. We visited the first floor and it is great!

The dome is magnificent, with mosaics depicting important events in Puerto Rico’s history — like the arrival of Columbus, Spain’s first encounters with the Tainos, the freeing of the slaves, and the end of the Spanish American war. Beneath the dome, in the rotunda, the Puerto Rico Constitution is on display.

Old San Juan

Inaugurated in February of 1929, the Capitol remains a beautiful symbol of liberty and democracy that should make Puerto Ricans proud. It is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

This really should be a must see stop for locals and tourists alike. You can call or email ahead of time to schedule a guided tour. Or you can just show up the people at the desk will probably tell you a little about the building, how it was made, where all that marble came from, and the significance of the scenes depicted on the dome.

Beyond the Capitol Building

Old San Juan

San Juan Bautista Plaza is on the north side of the Capitol building, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It contains a couple nice sculptures and mosaics of the Coats of Arms of each of the towns (municipios) Puerto Rico. There is a set of stairs that leads down from the Plaza to Playa Capitolio or Playa Bajamar.

There are a number of beautiful plazas and memorials on the south side of the Capitol building, along Constitution Avenue (Route 25).

Paseo de los Presidentes (Presidents’ Lane) is just across the street from the Capitol building. Here, you can find life-size bronze sculptures of all the US presidents who have visited (or even stepped foot in) Puerto Rico.

Old San Juan

There are monuments to Puerto Rican police who have died in the line of duty, Puerto Rico’s fallen soldiers from each of the wars, Puerto Rican teachers, important Puerto Rican women, Puerto Rican artists, and other important Puerto Rican figures.

There is plaza that has bronze busts of past Puerto Rican governors. There is the Altar de la Patria, which has a nice bronze statue and a relief mural depicting Puerto Rican history/culture. There is a playground with a garden and even a beautiful Jibaro on horseback sculpture, with the Lamento Borincano song written out (in Spanish). These plazas and memorials went on and on, one plaza after another. Some, like the Plaza de los Leones, are still under construction.

Old San Juan

The most moving monument is the Holocaust Memorial. Besides the beautiful sculpture, all around it are bilingual historical accounts of the atrocities committed during World War II. The photos and information are moving beyond words.

There is also a placard commemorating the 17 Puerto Rican tourists that died in the Lod Airport massacre in Israel in 1972. There is the Path of the Righteous — a walkway with names of people who have risked their lives to help others (many by hiding Jewish people during World War II). This site may be a bit sobering while on vacation, but it offers a reminder that people need every so often to accept others despite our differences.

Details

Old San Juan

The Capitol Building is open to the public Monday- Friday from about 9am to 5pm. Admission is free. Prearranged tours, offered in Spanish or English, last about 1 hour. You can make a guided tour reservation by calling 787-721-5200, ext. 301 or 311.

The plazas and memorials are outside, so no admission, "hours", nor tours. Just walk around on your own and look at stuff.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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