Landmarks in Puerto Rico are absolutely incredible. Powerful reminders of the island's history and culture, they're among the coolest places to visit in Puerto Rico.
Here’s everything you need to know about Puerto Rico’s top landmarks, from Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan to La Guancha Boardwalk in Ponce.
The iconic fortress Castillo San Felipe del Morro (or more commonly, “El Morro”), has stood guard over San Juan’s shores for centuries. Originally built by the Spanish in the 1500s, El Morro is one of Puerto Rico’s most recognizable landmarks.
Locals tell us that visiting the fort is one of the top things to do in Puerto Rico. Kids love the adventure, adults adore the rich sense of history, and everyone digs the stunning ocean views.
Local tip: The trail from the fortress to the sea leads through a bit of light jungle, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Locals tell us that one of the most romantic places in San Juan is the Raices Fountain (so Puerto Rico honeymooners, listen up!).
This Puerto Rico point of interest, which hugs San Juan’s southwestern shoreline promenade Paseo de la Princesa, is best enjoyed at sunset. Then, you can enjoy the gorgeous fountain, the dazzling sky, and the sprawling ocean.
If you visit during the day, be sure to indulge in another of San Juan’s best attractions—a walk around the grand promenade itself, where locals say you’ll find great local food and crafts.
This bright red and black building — originally opened as a fire station in 1883, now a fire station museum — immediately catches the eye. (Locals note you’ll see a lot of black and red in Ponce, as they’re the town’s official colors.)
Local tip: If you’re wondering where to stay in Puerto Rico with fewer crowds but as much energy as San Juan, consider Ponce. As Puerto Rico’s second-largest city it offers plenty of fantastic activities and sights but has significantly fewer tourists.
Not only is Capilla del Santo Cristo one of San Juan’s oldest churches (it dates back to the 18th century), but this Puerto Rico landmark also has one of the best origin stories.
Legend has it a reckless rider galloped too close to the cliff’s edge. As he and his horse toppled over the bluff, someone in the crowd cried: “Christ of Good Health, save him!” The rider, saved, built this classic Puerto Rico attraction on the spot where he fell.
Beautiful, colorful, historic Old San Juan is by far one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico. And locals tell us that wandering the cobblestone streets will inevitably lead you to the baby-blue La Fortaleza, the governor’s residence.
Just off San Juan's western coast, La Fortaleza's color and size make it hard to miss. Like most of the neighborhood, it's a vibrant building with an equally colorful history. The fort was originally built between 1533 and 1540, and remains a powerful symbol for Puerto Ricans to this day.
Local tip: Old San Juan is a popular stretch for locals and tourists alike. This neighborhood is definitely one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico.
La Placita de Santurce, a grand public plaza at the heart of San Juan’s up-and-coming Santurce neighborhood, serves two purposes. During the day, it’s an awesome place to hang out and browse for fruit from local vendors. At night, the plaza explodes into life. It’s definitely the best place to be once the sun goes down if you’re looking to dance the night away with locals.
The glamorous Serralles family made their money in sugarcane and eventually created the largest rum distillery in Ponce. (HBO, call us—the Serralles family would make for an awesome miniseries).
Love of water draws people of all stripes to The Island of Enchantment. And sure, there are plenty of adventurous things to do in Puerto Rico on the water — just ask a local about setting up some scuba-diving.
Us? We’re happy just being close to the water. La Guancha Boardwalk in Ponce offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the fresh sea air, gorgeous ocean views, and, of course, plenty of local food.
Local tip: If you’re looking for a fun Puerto Rico activity in Ponce, hop on the ferry from the boardwalk to the isolated and awesome Caja de Muertos. “Coffin Island” sounds scary, but it’s anything but. The waters around the island are absolutely gorgeous, and it's a cool opportunity to enjoy a unique Puerto Rico beach.
The Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, also known as the "Old San Juan Cemetery," is a beautiful and peaceful Puerto Rico landmark.
This gorgeous 19th-century relic stands out gloriously along Puerto Rico’s coast thanks to its rose-colored pavilion. And the cemetery itself is lovely—oceanside and quiet, it’s a wonderful way to get a sense of the island’s long history.
Local tip: Visiting the cemetery is a great free thing to do in San Juan.
When it comes to good ole Puerto Rico tourism, wandering around San Juan can’t be beaten. And this last landmark, El Capitolio is smack dab in the center of it—of Puerto Rico’s politics, its history, and, yes, the center of San Juan itself.
The gorgeous marble exterior—Roman columns! A dome!—makes it a favorite among Puerto Rico sightseers. Locals tell us that admission is free and worth the time. Check out the illustrations of important moments in Puerto Rico history, and watch the island’s senate in action.
After reading about the best landmarks in Puerto Rico, have a Puerto Rican local plan your trip. They’ll design a unique itinerary based on your interests, budget, and travel style, which means you’ll see Puerto Rico like a local. And if you have questions, feel free to send us a message.