Hurricane Sam (updated 24 Sep 2021 @ 8am)
📍 Hurricane Sam is expected to strengthen to a "major" hurricane (Category 3) on Friday night or Saturday. The current forecast projection has the storm passing to the northeast of Puerto Rico. We will be keeping an eye on this system over coming days to monitor its development.
🌊 Expect storm surge from the hurricane to affect our beaches, especially on the north and east sides of the island, during the first half of the coming week.
🌦️ Keep an eye on our weather page for updates from the National Hurricane Center
Temporary Mandates from 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 (updated 20 Sep 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces, and in outdoor spaces where 50 or more people are gathered.
🛒 Restaurants, bars, and stores must remain closed from 12 midnight to 5am. This limitation does not apply to supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, food take out and delivery, or healthcare.
🍺 Alcohol cannot be sold anywhere, nor consumed in public, from 12 midnight to 5am.
🚩 Effective 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 per executive order EO-2021-065. Note that this executive order was extended until 14 Oct on 20 Sep.
Current COVID-19 Mandates, with no end date (updated 30 Aug 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces.
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Effective 16 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-062.
🍔 In order to be admitted to a bunch of different places (restaurants, bars, theaters, tours, excursions, casinos, etc) you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Other types of businesses may, at their option, require this documention to access their facility.This applies to all people 12 (twelve) years old and older. Effective 23 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-063.
✈️ All domestic travelers arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older.If you are un-vaccinated and do not have negative results when you arrive to PR, you have 48 hours to produce those results. Otherwise you will be fined $300 per person. See the PR Government Travel Safe site for details, and to submit your contact tracing information

Casa Doña Bisa – A Wonderful Surprise

After seeing a photo of the Casa Doña Bisa (or the San Sebastian Museum of History), I had to see it in person. I am so glad we did! It is one of the prettiest and well preserved houses I have seen in Puerto Rico. The fact that they offer a free, bilingual guided tour, with docents in period costumes was the topping on the cake. It is really worth the trip!

Located right on the town square of the town of San Sebastian, this grand house still commands respect. The original smaller house of the Rabell family was built in the same area. Don Manuel Rodríguez Cabrero, who was the last mayor of San Sebastian appointed by the Spanish regime, lived here with his wife, Violante Rabell. The original house was destroyed by fire in 1906.

Casa Doña Bisa

After receiving a large inheritance, Violante decided to build this grand house on the property. Constructed from 1915 to 1917, it was designed to be a marvel of the time — 4 stories tall, made of concrete, with electricity and indoor plumbing. It was called the Rodrigues/Rabell house. Their daughter, Doña María Luisa Rodríguez, inherited the house in 1945 and lived there until 1967. It was passed down through the family until the town of San Sebastian bought the house in 2008.

Casa Doña Bisa

Doña María Luisa Rodríguez was very active in town politics and town matters. She was much loved by the local residents, and she would sit almost everyday on the porches or parlor and welcome people into the house to spend time with her and enjoy the cool breezes that run through the home. She was so friendly to everyone. She was known by all in town by her nickname Doña Bisa.

When the town of San Sebastian obtained the house, it was in disrepair. After 5 years of much effort and money, the house was restored to its former glory and became the Historical Museum of San Sebastián, informally called Casa Doña Bisa in her honor.

Casa Doña Bisa

Our Visit

The town really has spared no expense, they even have a number of docents (Ashley is amazing and 100% bilingual) to take you around the house and explain everything. The main floor of the house is set up as it would have been when initially built. The rooms have period furniture and design pieces from 1850-1920 and there are bilingual information plaques outside each room. Everything is really nicely set up.

Casa Doña Bisa

The architecture is really impressive. The ornamentation, woodwork, and flooring are beautiful. The kitchen and bathroom are something to see! There is one room set up as an art gallery, another with information on the history of the house. Upstairs is the history museum part — from pre-Columbus artifacts to the history of the town. So much information (most in Spanish, but the docent can help translate). You can also go to the outside areas and upstairs for some amazing views of the town square.

This really was one of the nicest restored houses/museums I have seen in Puerto Rico. I highly recommend a visit. Located right on the town plaza, there are other museums and the murals along Paseo September 24. Ask the docent about that if you don’t read Spanish — it was interesting! San Sebastian offers a lot of other great things … their tourism office is very active, .and you can contact them on Facebook!

Casa Doña Bisa

Details

Tours of the house and museum are free.

They are open Friday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. No reservation needed.

Allow 1 to 2 hours to tour the home and museum.

You can call them at 787-896-2300 for more information.

The Museo Historia Casa Doña Bisa is located at 2-8 Cll Luis Muñoz Rivera in San Sebastián. There is parking just in front of the home, at the town plaza.

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates 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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Thank you for the article and the heads up. What a beautiful building. I would have never picked that olive green color for the house, but I must say, it works. I like the finished product.

Comment by Joshua Reyes on 10 Sep 2021

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