Founded by Spanish colonists in 1521 who named it Ciudad de Puerto Rico (“Rich Port City”), today’s San Juan Puerto Rico is the capital of the unincorporated U.S. territory. It’s the oldest European-founded settlement under U.S. jurisdiction and the 2nd oldest in the Americas (after Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). Despite being the Caribbean’s busiest port, the colonial Old Town of San Juan charms visitors with cobbled streets and pastel-colored storefronts. The 16th century citadel of Fort San Filipe del Morro (also known as Morro Castle) was designed to protect Old San Juan from seaborne enemies by guarding the entrance to San Juan Bay. Today, it’s one of San Juan’s top visitor attractions and the first thing many arriving cruise ship passengers spot from the sea.
Fort San Felipe del Morro along the San Juan coast