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 Cuartel de Ballajá (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.

Some of its past shows include a retrospective of Rafael Rivera Rosa's works, Catharsis: Re/building after Maria, Invictus: Cockfighting in Puerto Rico, and others.

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.
Domingos Familiares – workshops and activities for the whole family – are run every Sunday.

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

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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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
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.
San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan Historical 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
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
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
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

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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