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How to Spend a Layover in Puerto Rico

As winter weather encroaches, sunny Caribbean destinations beckon travelers with deals on hotels and packages that include flights. Many flights to the Caribbean stop over in Puerto Rico. If you find yourself with a layover of three hours or longer in San Juan, use the time to add to your vacation photo album – many top attractions are a short distance away.

Old San Juan: Famous for its picturesque blue cobblestone streets, this historical area is just nine miles (a $20 cab ride) from the airport. Visit the tourist office near the baggage area to pick up a map before you leave. Attractions include:

  • El Morro: A 16th-century fortress and the city’s dominate landmark
  • Castillo de San Cristobal: An expansive fort that once enclosed the city. Take a picture in its famous garitas, or sentry boxes
  • San Juan Gate: Traditional entry to the city
  • Casa Blanca: Museum and ancestral home of Ponce de Leon
  • San Juan Cathedral: One of the oldest buildings in San Juan and home to Ponce de Leon’s tomb

Isla Verde Beach: Lined with hotels and dining, this beach is a five-minute cab ride away -- perfect for shorter layovers.

Flavorful dining: Known as comida criolla, Puerto Rican cuisine borrows influences from the Caribbean, Spain, and indigenous cultures. Try mofongo, a dish of mashed and seasoned plantains stuffed with vegetables, chicken, steak or seafood. Traditional Cuban fare is also plentiful.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Friday, November 26, 2010
See more Tips from
Kelsey Rexroat