Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ›’ All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ” ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ›’ The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 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. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 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 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚒 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and 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 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. 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.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ 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.
πŸ“„ ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

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.

The Gardens at Casa Blanca

When you exit, cross the Plaza de Beneficial (view the sculptures) and Casa Blanca will be on your right, at the end of San Sebastian Street. 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- Sundayday 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 live in this park home. The views are great from this area on top of the city wall.

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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