Puerto Rico is a US territory located north of the Carribean Sea. English and Spanish are the official languages, though Spanish is more widely spoken. San Juan is the capital, as well as the most populated city on the island. Though it is part of the United States, a citizen of Puerto Rico can’t vote for Congress, vice president, or the president of the United States during an election. It has a local Government.

Grandmom, mom, brother, and me spent a day trip in San Juan as a cruise destination. We took a city bus tour around the Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan) and Nuevo (New). It was sunny and very hot, so a tour in an air conditioned bus seemed wise.

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San Cristobal Fort

The first site we visited was the San Cristobal fort. Built in 1783, this fort has stood against foreign forces such as the British and Dutch. The Spanish ruled until after the Spanish American war of 1898, when it was given to the US. Since the 1900s, the fort was used for military defense during World War II. It is now a World Heritage Site.

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On the top of the fort, we got some amazing views of San Juan!

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Hero Avenue

Another stop on the itinerary was Hero Avenue. Here, metal statues stand to honor US presidents who visited Puerto Rico. These include Lyndon B. Johnson, Franklin Roosevelt and the then President Barack Obama.

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Condado Beach

The last stop we made was at the Condado beach for photos (one of five beaches in San Juan). It’s conveniently right off a walkway too.

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The bus tour ended afterwards, and we did some sightseeing on our own. We explored some of the calles in this colorful city.

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I also gave my Spanish a shot, asking for directions. It was meh at the time and sometimes an Italian word or two would slip out. But the locals seemed to understand regardless. Everyone I met was bilingual, switching to English at some point in a conversation.

By four, we had to return to the cruise ship, and said adios to Puerto Rico. I had a good time there but wish we could have had at least one more day!

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