Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, San Juan

Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, San Juan (must see)

The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is the Roman Catholic temple and the seat of the Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico. This cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in San Juan, and the second oldest cathedral in the Americas (the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, is the oldest). The original cathedral in the then city of Puerto Rico (renamed San Juan after the Spanish-American War) was constructed from wood in 1521. It was destroyed by a hurricane, upon which the current church was built in 1540 to be reshaped several times in the course of the later centuries, with the last remodeling taking place in 1917.

The first school in Puerto Rico (and the oldest school in the United States after Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States) was the Escuela de gramática (Grammar School). The school was established by Bishop Alonso Manso in 1513, in the area where the cathedral would later appear. The school was free and the courses taught here included Latin language, literature, history, science, art, philosophy and theology.

The cathedral contains the tomb of the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León. It also houses a shrine to the Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago, the first Puerto Rican, the first Caribbean-born layperson and the first layperson in the history of the United States to be beatified.

Why You Should Visit:
A rare New World example of medieval Spanish architecture. The restored frescoes and the fact that it is still an operational church make it absolutely exceptional.
Traditionally, travelers entering San Juan Gate would make this cathedral their first stop in San Juan to thank God for their safe journey.

Tip:
In this quiet and reverent atmosphere you can almost hear the angels singing. You can walk through it in less than 30 minutes, but you might as well want to take a few hours and savor the spirituality resonating from the structure.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of San Juan, Puerto Rico within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Cathedral of San Juan Bautista on Map

Sight Name: Cathedral of San Juan Bautista
Sight Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Create Your Own Walk in San Juan

Create Your Own Walk in San Juan

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Juan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
San Juan Art Museums And Galleries Tour

San Juan Art Museums And Galleries Tour

San Juan is a great place to learn more about Caribbean, Latin American and Puerto Rican art. It has many interesting museums and excellent galleries, featuring fine works by talented international and local artists. Check out San Juan’s most popular art museums and galleries on this self walking tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
San Juan Historic Buildings

San Juan Historic Buildings

San Juan proudly features the country’s oldest quarters and historic buildings. In addition to having the oldest occupied residence in the Western Hemisphere, visitors can also admire the old City Hall, the Cristo Chapel, the historic El Arsenal and many other fascinating attractions. Take this self guided tour to see the most popular and famous historic buildings in San Juan!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave San Juan without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Juan, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Old San Juan East Side Walking Tour

Old San Juan East Side Walking Tour

The east side of Old San Juan is home to several interesting historical sites, including Castillo de San Cristóbal, El Capitolio, Casa De España and Monumento de la Recordación. Take the following tour to discover the fascinating attractions located in Old San Juan’s east side!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Old San Juan Walking Tour

Old San Juan Walking Tour

The old town of San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico, is a lovely historic area with a wealth of colorful Spanish colonial architecture. The most notable landmarks include 16th-century El Morro and La Fortaleza fortresses, towering over the Atlantic, and the Paseo de la Princesa bayside promenade, to mention but a few. To explore Old San Juan's most prominent sights, follow this self-guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Old San Juan Squares

Old San Juan Squares

A distinctive feature of Old San Juan is the number of quaint historic squares. Many of them are adorned with beautiful fountains, prominent monuments and intricate sculptures recounting rich history of this amazing city. Check out San Juan’s most popular squares on this self-guided tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


13 Distinctively Puerto Rican Goods to Bring Home from San Juan

13 Distinctively Puerto Rican Goods to Bring Home from San Juan

The uniqueness of Puerto Rico is partially associated with its political status - part of the United States yet with a Latin twist. Other than their widely-acknowledged musical talents, e.g. Carlos Santana and Ricky Martin, Puerto Rico is just as rich in many other good things. When you're in...