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

Outdoor Art in Old San Juan: It’s All Around You

Pharmacy with Mosaic Tiles in Old San JuanOld San Juan is a 400 year old city, that has come into the modern age. The original great old buildings blend well with the modern conveniences. Luckily, there are many ordinances for refurbishment, so little of the historic integrity is lost during building renovations. Many of the hotels, restaurants and bars are in refurbished 200-300 year old buildings, most of which maintain their original charm. You can really see how it looked way back then. A quick stop into El Convento Hotel will show you exactly what I mean!

But the city has also grown culturally, with modern art mixed in with the old ambiance. Of course you can go into the many museums and galleries that offer all types of art. But you can also see art (old and new) all over as you walk around outside in Old San Juan. There are sculptures galore, in all sizes and styles, depicting all sorts of people and things. There is also Spanish tile work and modern tile work all around. The ornate iron work on the buildings is sometimes so detailed that it can be considered art itself. Some of the architectural details are so lavish that the whole building is a work of art! If you really care to look, there is art all around you in this old city. Just enjoying all the pretty colorful buildings (some with the little balconies) along the blue cobblestone streets are beautiful!

Some of my favorite sculptures

Raices Fountain 
Raices Fountain – This beautiful bronze fountain, designed by Spanish artist Luís Sanguino, is located at the end of the Paseo de la Princesa. Raices (which means roots) was sculpted in 1992. It depicts the origins of Puerto Ricans – a people with descendants from the Taino Indian, African and Spanish, all blended and rising out of the sea with dolphin escorts.

La Rogativa 
La RogativaLa Rogativa stands at the end of Caleta de las Monjas, right on the edge of the city wall, just inside the San Juan Gate entrance. It is a modern style bronze sculpture made by Lindsay Daen in 1971. It depicts the 1797 procession of the Bishop and religious women which is said to have scared off an invading British fleet. Allegedly, the British assumed the procession was actually military reinforcements.

Fuente de la Herencia de las Americas 
Fuente de la Herencia de las Americas – This group of bronze sculptures were created by José Buscaglia in 1992. The grouping is currently located along the south side of the Paseo de la Princesa, in the Jardin de la Princesa park. This is a set of 5 individual sculptures that go together. This work is said to symbolize the various periods Puerto Rico has been through in the last 5 centuries – from the coming of the Spanish Conquistadores to the start of the US presence.

Quincentennial Square 
Totem pole – This sculpture is in the Plaza del Quinto Centenario (Quincentennial Square). Designed by Jaime Suarez in 1992, the totemic monument was the main part of the 500th anniversary commemoration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World. It is about 40 feet tall and is made of black granite and (supposedly) actual Taino ceramic pieces.

Plaza del Armas Fountain 
Fountain at The Plaza de Armas – This plaza is located on San Francisco Street, between San Jose and Cruz Streets. This lovely fountain is over 100 years old and has statues representing the four seasons. Shown here is “Winter”.

Jorge Zeno Gata Jirafo 
Jorge Zeno Animal Sculptures – There are 3 whimsical works by Jorge Zeno located in the little square across the street from the Cathedral. They are penguins in a boat, a cat/giraffe, and a rooster. Here is “cat/giraffe”. There is another copy of this sculpture in front of the Banco Popular building.


Important People In Puerto Rico’s History

Christopher Columbus 
Christopher Columbus – A statue of Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) is located in Plaza Colon, right by the Fort San Cristobal. Erected in 1893 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the his arrival in Puerto Rico (1493), the beautifully sculpted base depicts Columbus’ life.

Eugenio María de Hostos 
Eugenio María de Hostos – This statue of Eugenio María de Hostos (The Citizen of the Americas), by José Buscaglia, commerates this famous Puerto Rican educator, philosopher, intellectual, lawyer, sociologist and independence advocate. Located in the plaza near Casa Blanca ( which I call skateboard park due to the teenagers that hang out there skateboarding).

Ponce de Leon 
Ponce de Leon – Located in the Plaza de San José, this bronze statue was made from British cannons captured during the attack in 1797. Commemorates the first governor of Puerto Rico, Juan Ponce de Leon.

Felisa Rincón de Gautier 
Felisa Rincón de Gautier – If you go into the gardens along the Paseo la Princesa, you will see this sculpture of a sitting lady on a park bench. She was the first female mayor of San Juan. She was much beloved by the people, holding the office of mayor for 22 years, from 1946 to 1968.


Less Traditional "Objects de Art"

Old San Juan Cemetery 
Old San Juan Cemetery – During the day, you can make a stop in at the Old San Juan Cemetery (Cementerio Maria Magdalena de Pazzis), which is located down a small street to the east of El Morro. It’s (supposedly) open 8am – 3pm weekdays and 7am – noon on the weekends. Some of the memorials on family plots are absolutely beautiful sculptures. Even if the gates are locked, you can look in. I would avoid this place after dark, as it is situated very close to a questionable neighborhood.


Tilework in Old San Juan 
Spanish Tile Work – Some other "artwork" that you should keep an eye open for in your walks are the Spanish tiles and mosaics. They are not always easy to spot, but here is a hint – take a peak inside open doors on homes or businesses and look at the steps leading to the upper floor, many will have beautiful old tile work. Also keep an eye out for it on the outside of the buildings, sometimes above windows. Some of the tiles are just beautiful. There is even one old building that is a 120 yr old tile billboard for itself (an old soda factory!). See the first picture in this article.


Ironwork – Locally called rejas, you can’t avoid seeing the ironwork on windows and doors throughout the city. It was (still is) used as decoration that also acts as protection, from both burglars and wind storms. Some of it is very ornate.

Banco Popular Building 
Architecture – The architecture of some of the old buildings and intricate painting is art in itself. Some notable examples are the art deco of the Banco Popular building and the Customs House by the Casita.

Senor Frog 
Senor Frog – And of course- if "artsy" art is not your thing, you might want a picture of Senor Frog! See? Something for everyone!


This is just a tiny introduction to the artwork and sculptures you will see around town. So take some time and walk all around the streets and small alleys in Old San Juan. All sorts of artwork awaits you!


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There are 3 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

Thanks, i took some 3d pics of it and hope to have it published later this year. paul

Comment by paul on 19 Jun 2010

Paul- yes, it is an interesting piece. It was made by Victor Ochoa and put in place in 1992.

Comment by Gwenn on 17 Jun 2010

nice. but i didnt see the exotic sculpture "Ballaja" right across from the El Morro and next to the Cuartel de Ballaja. Do you know who did that and when?

Comment by paul on 05 May 2010

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