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We "think" we want go to El Morro with our kids when we're in San Juan this summer. We want to see some of the historic stuff (my 8 yo may too) and both our kids would like the kite part. However, we can't decide if we just want to trolley it (and don't know how to go about finding it at port) or if we should try to walk there and see other sites along the way (without pushing it too far because they'll get tired/whiny at a certain point). Thoughts and suggestions on this?

 

Thanks!

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If your ship will be docking right in Old San Juan here is my suggestion.  Walk outside of your ship towards the first street you come to.  Either take a cab/van there or go across the street and do the same.  El Morro is an uphill walk and usually the weather is warm to hot.  Tour the fort and look for schedule of ranger activities. Maybe go to the national park site before you travel to see what looks interesting Depending on how tired the kids are you can use the same cab method back down to your pier or you can start to walk down the main streets maybe resting/eating at any number of restaurants.  You want to avoid the area on other side of fort or the old cemetery for I have been told it is not very safe.  Never had any trouble going down the wide grassy area towards the shopping and restaurant area.  You should also make use of tourist map info when leaving the ship.  I have seen the trolleys, but never when I needed to use them.

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While visiting El Morro, you may want to plan some kite flying time- it's a great place to do it because of the constant wind, and it could really energize your kids.

 

You can get a kite at a stand on the east corner of the field, OR you can surprise your kids with a pocket kite.  I got one on Amazon for less than the cheap ones I found at the stand.

 

FWIW, it's pretty hard to walk to the "dangerous" area from the field.  You have to intentionally walk down a road that does not have a side walk- and it's a tunnel.  There's actually a really great restaurant down there, but it's a real pain to get down there, even with a car.

 

The other thing that's nice to get energy- either street ice cream (coconut is really good) or piragua (shaved ice) that you can get before walking back into the city.  

 

The walk does take a little wandering to find the main roads- but the IMHO, the direction you want to walk back down is Calle del Cristo- which takes you by the cathedral.  Back down to the main "shopping" area, which also has some restaurants.  And hopefully, the umbrellas on Calle Fortaleza are still there (they are from Calle del Cristo to the La Fortaleza governor's home).

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  • 2 weeks later...

It has been awhile since we went (before the hurricane) but it is definitely walkable to get to the forts.  We rode the free shuttle up to the first one, then walked to the 2nd (which is where you fly the kites) and then walked back to the ship.  The shuttle makes a loop so you can pick it up at stops along the way.  Just a note, the free shuttle is just a shuttle no narrative about the island.

 

 

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