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

Discover Beautiful San José Church in Old San Juan

San José Church (Iglesia de San José), in Old San Juan, is the second oldest church in the Americas. This beautiful church, was constructed on land given to the Church by the Ponce De León family in 1532. It was one of the first “permanent” (stone) buildings built in Puerto Rico. This church lasted almost 500 years, through hurricanes, wars, and fires, but the ravages of time eventually took its toll on the structure. In 2000, the church was closed and restoration began. This restoration took almost 20 years to finish — the church just reopened to the public in March 2021.

San José Church

The church is a beautiful example of 16th century Spanish Gothic architecture. Construction took hundreds of years to complete, so you will see different architectural styles throughout. They did an amazing job restoring it. They removed all the repairs done over the years, and got down to the original walls. They uncovered some amazing things, little niches, windows, old entrances, some amazing frescoes and murals, even projectile damage. The restorers left some of the original walls, ceiling, niches, and frescos uncovered, so you can see how it originally looked. The remainder they plastered and painted. The massive gold alter can’t be ignored. But the other areas are so interesting!

San José Church

The church and the side chapels seems to have crypts. You can see a crypt opening in the floor of one of the side chapels. Juan Ponce de León, the first governor of Puerto Rico, was buried in the crypt of the church. However, in 1836, his remains were moved to the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, though other members of the Ponce De León family are still interred here. The San Jose Church still has the Ponce De León family coat of arms to the left of the main altar. The 16th century Puerto Rican painter José Campeche is also interred in the church. You will see a number of his paintings throughout the church.

San José Church

I wish they had a tour or signage to explain what they found, what things represented, and why they restored or left things unchanged. In one niche, they left it totally unrefurbished. I would love to know what those little clay people statues represented! And in another chapel area, this is the first time I have seen mermaids in a church!

San José Church

Details

There is no cost to enter the church, but they do have a donation box — consider dropping a few bucks into it as you enter.

The church is open for visitation (accurate as of July 2021) Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 4pm. It is open until 6pm on Saturday.

This is a working parish. Mass is held Wednesdays at 12:15pm, and Saturdays at 6pm (no mass on Sundays). Other events like weddings and funerals are still conducted here. Entry (for looking around) is not permitted during mass or other events.

Check out this website to find out more about the history of the church.

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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