A Walk along Paseo de la Princesa
Skirting the curved walls on the south side of Old San Juan, the charming Paseo de la Princesa connects the port where the cruise ships dock to the gates of the old city. Neatly paved and lined with trees touching overhead creating a passageway of greenery, Paseo de la Princesa (Walkway of the Princess) is the perfect place to take a relaxing stroll. Originally built in 1853, Paseo de la Princesa has been renovated in recent years, becoming a popular attraction among locals and visitors alike. Paseo de la Princesa is also a great place for a family outing, as children can make use of the broad pathway to ride their bicycles or roller skate in a safe, traffic-free, shaded area.
Vendors and craft stalls are dotted along the walkway in the shade of the trees, with a wide variety of foods available, as well as knick-knacks and mementoes to buy. Be sure to try a thirst-quenching treat of shaved ice topped with the tropical fruit flavoring of your choice, known as a Piraqua, or you may want to experience the distinctive taste of a pina colada. The Café La Princesa is a popular open air café set against the towering walls of Old San Juan. Depending on the time of year, the café offers live Jazz, Blues and Salsa music. The promenade often plays host to cultural events as well.
The tourist offices are located nearby in a historic building that served as a prison when it was first built in 1837. At the end of the walkway, near the water’s edge, is the beautiful Raices Fountain, with bronze statues of Spanish, Amerindian and African people. The fountain was created by Spanish artist Luis Sanguino to depict the diverse culture and heritage of Puerto Ricans. From the fountain you can look across to Isla de Cabras which lies at the entrance of San Juan Bay, and you can look back down the Paseo de la Princesa – 360 degrees of beauty that characterizes this part of the capital city of Puerto Rico. Don’t forget your camera, because whichever way you look, there are photo opportunities galore along the Paseo de la Princesa.