San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan Bautista) Tours
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Built in 1521, San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan Bautista) is one of the highlights of Old San Juan. The second-oldest cathedral in the Americas, this landmark in the heart of Old San Juan has an impressive array of religious and historical artifacts. The church is still operational, with services held throughout the week.
Experience a traditional Catholic Mass or, when no service is being conducted, wander the nave free of charge, gaze at the huge stained glass windows, and take in the construction of the oldest church on US soil. Among its artifacts are the wax-covered mummy of 1st-century martyr St. Pius and the tomb of Ponce de León, notorious Spanish conquistador and the first governor of Puerto Rico. Guided walking tours of Old San Juan typically include a stop at the church.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entrance to San Juan Cathedral is free though donations are accepted.
- The church offers visitors a peaceful place to cool off and get away from the busyness of San Juan.
- The cathedral is currently the seat of Puerto Rico’s archdiocese and home to the Archbishop of San Juan.
How to Get There
San Juan Cathedral is located at 151 Calle del Cristo, across from El Convento Hotel and close to the San Juan Gate. Old San Juan offers a free trolley system with three different routes that include stops at top attractions such as the cathedral, allowing you to hop on and off where desired.
When to Get There
Mass takes place Sundays at 9am and 11am and weekdays at 7:25am and 12:15pm. If you’re traveling to Puerto Rico during the holiday season, you can attend Misa de Gallo, the Roman Catholic Mass that is celebrated before midnight on Christmas Eve. At San Juan Cathedral, watch enactments of the Nativity scene and see the festive decorations.
The Tomb of Ponce de León
On his search to discover the elusive Fountain of Youth, Ponce de León landed at a place he called Florida and later conquered Puerto Rico, eventually being appointed governor of the island in 1509. His original resting place was Iglesia de San Jose, but in the early 1900s he was transferred to San Juan Cathedral, where his body lies in a marble tomb near the transept.
Address: 151 Calle Del Cristo, San Juan 00902, Puerto Rico
7 Tours and Activities to Experience San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan Bautista)
Explore the colorful buildings and charming streets of Old San Juan in a small group with the help of writer David Rodriguez, author of ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Barbate.’ During the course of your day, the knowledgeable author helps you discover the area’s key historic sites and gain new insight into Puerto Rican culture. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the many stories of the people who helped to define this unique neighborhood. Your walking trip’s length is flexible based on your needs, and also includes bottled water.
Get a taste for the flavor and culture of Puerto Rico on this small-group Old San Juan food tour featuring several local eateries. Join your guide for a culinary exploration of island staples like plantains and sofrito, all with the cobblestone streets and colorful facades of the city’s oldest neighborhood as your backdrop. Your tour includes an alcoholic beverage or non-alcoholic substitute if you prefer.
San Juan Done Right! Experience Old San Juan in a delightful ode to its seat of honor within the history of the New World’s conquest. Receive insight into the life of the common city dwellers, as well as the military origins of the Spanish stronghold that is the City of Saint John the Baptist. Our licensed tour guide will impart on a walking tour along the Paseo de la Princesa (Princess Promenade) to enter the old city through the historic San Juan Gate. Believed standing since approximately 1540. Once inside see Plazuela La Rogativa. Then it’s on to visit the Basilica Manor Cathedral San Juan Bautista, full of devotion, architecture, and art. Our guide walks you through its history and mystique. Later learn about La Fortaleza, today it remains the official residence of Puerto Rico’s governor. Close by, take pictures of Cristo Chapel, Pigeon Park and La Casa Estrecha (the Narrow House), one of the skinniest houses in the world. Finish with a Piña Colada at Barrachina Restaurant.
Discover the historic delights of Old San Juan as you pound its ancient cobblestones on a 5-hour walking tour. Take a comprehensive look at the wealth of colonial landmarks in this former Spanish colony, visiting ‘La Fortaleza’ (Governor’s House), the imposing San Felipe El Morro Fort, 16th-century San Jose Church, the Ballaja Barracks and much more. As you stroll, your expert guide provides additional insight into the design and famous personalities that once inhabited this charming area.
Tour the colorful streets and winding alleys of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old San Juan, the second-oldest city in America. This guided small-group tour, capped at 11 participants, ensures a comfortable and personalized introduction to the city's major attractions and historical areas. Continue your tour at the Bacardi Rum Factory, an integral San Juan icon, before concluding with hotel drop-off at your accommodation.
Experience San Juan, Puerto Rico; one of the Americas’ oldest cities on a slow paced tour specialy oriented to having you create your own ever lasting momentos and capture pictures while discovering how us, fellow american citizens lived 400 years of struggles with Spain, how we have flourished after becoming part of USA and how you can help us stop inequality a d keep being considered an alien race and uncivilized by the territorial clauses of the 1930's wich still rule us as a Comonwealth of the USA. Learn about the city’s history and must see buildings like San Cristobal and El Morro Forts, El Convento, Saint John's Cathedral and monuments like Ponce de Leon square and La Rogativa by the hand of our historians while driving it's narrow streets. After that visit new San Juan's main touristic areas of Condado where you will get to know historic landmarks and buildings in a relaxed and fun way.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
A guided tour where you will learn the history of the founding of Ron del Barrilito and visit different areas within the factory. Includes a welcome cocktail. Duration 30 minutes. Starting from 9:15 a.m. and repeating every half hour until 4:00 p.m.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan Bautista)?
The best ways to experience San Juan Cathedral (Catedral de San Juan Bautista) are:
- Old San Juan Walking Tour
- Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour
- San Juan Done Right! Driving Tour
- Unique Walking Tour through Old San Juan