Museum of the Americas and Cuartel de Ballajá, San Juan

Museum of the Americas and Cuartel de Ballajá, San Juan (must see)

Located in the old Spanish Military Barracks, Museum of the Americas is a multidisciplinary, multicultural and multidimensional non-profit institution, established in 1992 by San Juan's famed archaeologist Ricardo Alegria. Its mission is to offer a synoptic vision of the history and culture of the American continent, emphasizing Puerto Rico, through exhibition programs and cultural activities. Dedicated to the American culture, the museum displays four permanent exhibits, namely: the Natives in the Americas, the African Legacy, Conquest and Colonization, and the Popular Arts. Additionally, there are some changing exhibitions as well, featuring paintings, carved and other sculptures, and many more works by artisans from North, South and Central America.

Since its founding, the museum has hosted over 500 temporary exhibitions of art, history and anthropology. The diversity of its exhibition program allows offering a range of creative workshops, conferences, symposiums, musical presentations, among other activities, thus extending the field of impact to the community both inside and outside its headquarters.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the greatest museums in Puerto Rico – gem of curatorial design – offering superb display, from history of colonialism to current Puerto Rico. Cool building, perfect location in Old San Juan, fun and easy to visit.

Tip:
The main language of the displays is Spanish; some areas offer readable English translations, while others do not. If you do not read Spanish, consider recorded audio tours for rent.
It may take up to one and a half to two hours to tour all the eight galleries. The museum closes at lunchtime, so plan accordingly.

Operation hours:
Tuesday-Friday: 9 am-12 pm/1 pm- 4 pm; Saturday: 12 pm-5 pm; closed on Mondays.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Juan. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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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Museum of the Americas and Cuartel de Ballajá on Map

Sight Name: Museum of the Americas and Cuartel de Ballajá
Sight Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico (See walking tours in San Juan)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
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.
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 walking tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan was founded by the Spanish in 1521, which makes it the third oldest European-established capital city on the American continent. Owning to its long history, the old town of San Juan is filled to the brim with heritage colonial buildings.

Chief among them, La Fortaleza is the longest-standing executive mansion in continuous use in America, whereas the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Old San Juan Walking Tour

Old San Juan Walking Tour

Founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it "Rich Port City", San Juan is the third oldest European-established capital city in the Americas and the oldest one in the U.S. territories.

During the Spanish colonial times, most of the city population resided in what is now known as Old San Juan. Today, this part of the town is a lovely historical area renowned for its narrow...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. Among the crafts that followed the Spanish to the island was mundillo, a kind of decorative lace made of wooden bobbins. Over the next few centuries, the mundillo craft flourished on the island and today is one of the most popular local products sought after by visitors.

Being Caribbean, the country also...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 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

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