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.
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 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
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 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
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 2022)
⛵ 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)
👪 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
📄 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)
📄 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)
• 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)
• 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.

Self Guided Walking Tour of Old San Juan – Part 2

El Morro

Part 1 of our Old San Juan Self Guided Walking Tour series started at the Visitor’s Center and ended just as we approached El Morro Fort. This article will pick up where the prior one left off.

You can’t help but see the massive Castillo de San Felipe del Morro (“El Morro”) across a large field. This field is always windy, so everyone flies kites here – especially on weekends! Off to the right is the San Juan Cemetery – an interesting (though morbid) side trip. When you are ready – make your way across the field until you get to the entrance to the fort.

El Morro is a huge, six-level fortress built to protect the city from sea invaders. The Fort itself was originally “completed” in 1589, but the massive walls were added in the mid 1700’s . The fort is a National Historic Site administered by the US National Park Service. You can do a self-guided tour with the map you get upon admission..

El Morro has all sorts of neat areas to explore: the barracks, kitchen, latrine, chapel, storage, etc., all connected with ramps and stairways. And the views are great – just seeing a massive cruise ship, dwarfed by this large fort is amazing! There is a small military museum, and gift ship on the premises. The fort is open to the public daily (except Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving) from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. There is a $10 admission fee valid for entrance to both El Morro and San Cristobal forts for people 16 years old and up. Phone 787-729-6777 for more info.

After you have completed your tour of the fort, cross the long yard and continue straight into the Plaza de Ballaja. In this building (an old barracks) you will find many wonderful museums – Museo de las Americas – which contains 3 permanent exhibits including folk arts, Indigenous Indian museum and a study of African influence. There are also some rotating temporary exhibits. There is a small fee for some exhibits. Open Thursday through Sunday from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Phone 787-724-5052 for more info.

At this point you will be close to The Iglesia San Jose. Go through the Ballaja and cross the Plaza with the fountain and the Totem. And go to the right toward town. You will almost walk right into the church! It is almost 500 years old, it is the second oldest church in the Americas. It has recently been restored…it is just beautiful inside. Open Wed-Sun 11am -5pm. They ask for a donation to enter.

The Gardens at Casa Blanca

When you exit, turn left, go one block and then turn right onto Calle San Sebastian. Walk to the end of the street where you will find Casa Blanca . Casa Blanca was built in 1521 as a “strong-house” for Ponce de Leon, but he died before it was completed. Today it is a a National Historic Monument, and a “museum” of period furnishings. The house is open Tuesday- Sunday from 8:30am to 4:00pm (closed 12-1 for lunch) . However, the gardens are free to walk around in during the day( 9am -4:00pm). They are a lush area, full of plants and water features. It is a nice tropical, cool retreat from the city. Admission to the Casa Blanca museum with guided tour is $5/adult, $3 children. Gardens are free to enjoy for all. Phone 787-724-0700 ext. 1341. or 787-725-1454 for more info.

La Rogativa

When you leave Casa Blanca, go down San Sebastian street a little bit, then turn right and go down the steps to Calle Sol. Turn right onto Calle Sol. This street has beautifully painted houses. At the end of Calle Sol, turn to the left and you will see La Rogativa plaza. This statue commemorates the night a march through town by the Bishop and townswomen scared off British invaders. There is a small window across the street from the statue that says Limbers. Stop and get one. If no one is at the window, just knock loudly or call out a greeting. For $0.75, you will get a sweet fruit flavored ice. Very refreshing on a hot day. Then continue up Las Monjas street to Cristo Street.

Once on Cristo Street, turn right. You’re now in the shopping district! Stop in any and all of the stores and galleries! Here you’ll find everything from brand name outlet stores, to quality jewelry, to handmade items and souvenirs.

When you get to Fortaleza Street, turn right. At the end of the street, you’ll see a pretty blue building – La Fortaleza – which was built in the early 1500’s as the first fort to protect the city from sea invaders. It was soon realized it was inadequate to guard the entrance to the harbor. So, in 1846, the building was remodeled from a fort to the mansion you see today. Now it is the official Governor’s Residence, and a World Heritage Site. There are “garden” tours available ($3 donation requested) throughout the day, either in English or Spanish. Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 until 3:30 pm. You need to make reservations -either call or stop in at the yellow building on the left side of the street a few doors up from the Fortaleza. Proper attire (long shorts are allowed, but no sleeveless shirts, etc- think casual vacation clothing, just not too sexy!). Phone 787-721-7000 for more info and reservations.

Capilla del Cristo

Return to Cristo Street, turn right, and go to the end of the street. This beautiful old chapel is Capilla del Cristo (Cristo Chapel). It was built in 1753. There are different versions of the story of why it was built – either by a thankful father whose his son lived after his son and his horse fell over the wall, or by a sad father whose son died after falling over the wall on his horse. Either way, the altar is made from thousands of the silver "promesas" that are given as offerings for a wanted miracle. The Chapel is taken care of by volunteers, which open it occasionally every week. If you are lucky enough to be there when it is open, take a close look at the altar.

If you turn to your right , you’ll find Parque de las Palomas (Pigeon Park). Here you will be able to feed hundreds of pigeons that call this park home. The views are great from this area on top of the city wall. Open Tues-Sun during the day.

If you turn to your left at the chapel, you can wander back down to La Casita plaza, and perhaps cool off at the Visitor’s Center on the corner across the street. That’s where Part 3 of this self guided walking tour will resume.

Plan at least one full day to wander the streets of Old San Juan.

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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