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Cuartel de Ballajá

Cuartel de Ballajá: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Juan: Old Town Sunset Walking Tour

1. San Juan: Old Town Sunset Walking Tour

Meet your guide at Plaza Colón in San Juan and set off into the sunset on this 2-hour walking tour. The plazas are the perfect location to learn about the colonial history of Puerto Rico from your guide. From Plaza Colón, you will walk and see the Plaza de la Barandilla and Plaza de Armas. In Old San Juan, visit one of its most spectacular historic buildings: Antiguo Palacio de la Intendencia, originally built to house the treasury of the island and now the Department of State of Puerto Rico. Witness the 18th-century chapel at Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud and learn all about its urban legend. Visit also La Fortaleza-Palacio de Santa Catalina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour also takes you past San Juan Cathedral, the Ballaja Barracks, Catedral Basilica Menor, Cuartel de Ballaja, and San Juan's most valuable historic site, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, before ending at Plaza de San José.

San Juan: Old San Juan Walking Tour

2. San Juan: Old San Juan Walking Tour

Step back in time and learn about Old San Juan from your guide who will cover centuries of Puerto Rican history and culture. Discover many of the highlights of one of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere as you make your way through Old San Juan. Start your tour at Plaza Colon and learn about the centuries-long history of this city from your guide. Discover the city's well-preserved architecture dating back to its founding and hear war stories of how a small island beat back empires. Explore city highlights, like El Morro Fort, San Juan Bautista Cathedral, Plaza de Armas, Paseo de la Princesa, San Juan Gate, and more. Enjoy photo and water breaks along the way to make sure the tour is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

San Juan: Self-Guided Audio Tour of Historic Buildings

3. San Juan: Self-Guided Audio Tour of Historic Buildings

"Talking Buildings" is a first-person account of the historic buildings of Old San Juan. Created by the Saint John's School 6th grade Social Studies class of 2022, this self-guided audio walking tour will take you on a journey through time, from the 16th century to modern-day. If you'd like to donate to the San José Church, as mentioned in the route, please follow this link: The tour is ready whenever you are. Simply download it through the VoiceMap app while in a wifi zone to enjoy the tour with full offline accessibility.

Footsteps in San Juan: Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour

4. Footsteps in San Juan: Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which serves as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map, rolled into one! NOTE: This 1.8-mile-long tour covers the essentials of San Juan in 1-1.5 hours. Once downloaded, your self-guided walking tour begins at the colorful La Corazon Steps, which features a painted beating red heart! Next, stop by the Teatro Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, one of the oldest drama theaters in the US, and which is also supposedly haunted! Then you’ll come to the Plaza Colon, with its towering statue of Columbus. Hear how Columbus claimed the island and how San Juan got its name! As you stroll along these scenic streets, take in the majestic Castillo San Cristobal. You’ll unearth the story behind its construction and hear about the vast riches that brought so many explorers to this island Up next is the colorful and historic La Perla neighborhood by the seaside. You might recognize it as the music video filming location for the hit song “Despacito!” Then get to know Sir Francis Drake and revisit his fight to seize the island from Spain. Learn how his Spanish adversary, General Sancho pulled off a victory even though they were hugely outnumbered! You’ll also hear about the Second Battle of San Juan and find out why it was such a short-lived win for the English. Your historical journey takes even more twists and turns as you uncover subsequent Dutch efforts to take power. Learn how they torched the city and how the Spanish fought to prevent this defeat from repeating! As you keep walking, you’ll behold ancient walls and gunpowder magazines, then finally the awe-inspiring Castillo San Felipe del Morro itself! And speaking of attacks, hear about Puerto Rico’s struggles for independence and find out why the US got involved. Hear how the fall of El Morro marked a major turning point in world history. Also be sure to take in the breathtaking ocean views and give yourself a little respite! Pay a visit to the Cuartel de Ballaja, which now houses the Museum of the Americas, Then continue onto the Casa Blanca. Hear how it was meant for Ponce De Leon, and learn the story of the grandson who wrote one of Puerto Rico’s most critical historical texts! Also find out how Ponce De Leon himself met a poisonous end! The next stop is the historic Catedral Basilica Menor de San Juan Batista, the final resting place of Ponce De Leon. Learn how the oldest church in the Americas survived countless attacks over the centuries, including Dutch attacks and Hurricane Maria. As the journey winds down, stroll along lovely cobblestone streets to the Puerta San Juan, the only remaining gate from the old city. Your tour concludes just past the famous La Fortaleza, a towering fortress dating back to the 1530s!

Other Sightseeing Options in Cuartel de Ballajá

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What people are saying about Cuartel de Ballajá

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 208 reviews

Jorge was awesome. Beautiful sunset tour with a great group of people. Don't miss this tour. Mofango all the way. Love Shane and Nicole's Knockers.

When the your started, it was raining lightly but got harder as the tour progressed. Antonio gave an excellent tour in spite of the elements.

Note was friendly, knowledgeable about the island and was an all-around excellent tour guide. Highly recommend his company!

Lovely evening walk through the city with an informative and enthusiastic guide.

Antonio was fantastic!! Super knowledgeable and patient.