Although I didn’t stay in the city of San Juan when in Puerto Rico, Fajardo was close enough to the capital city to do a day trip and see one of the most impressive forts I think I’d never heard of. The Castillo San Felipe del Morro is a citadel that was original built by the Spanish colonists in Puerto Rico to defend the city against enemies coming in from the sea, and its massive walls are worth scaling to see what’s inside.
Walking up the slight incline towards the entrance of the Castillo, the sprawling lawns were scattered with people picnicking, enjoying the sun shining, flying kites and loitering in the best way possible. The gardens also seem immaculately kept here, and are so inviting that you can see why this attraction is celebrated by its visitors and the people that live in its shadows.
The castillo is big enough to get lost in for a couple of hours, and the deeper you move into its very thick walls, the more interesting the whole experience gets. There are some terrible exhibits with mannequins, but there are some tragic stories told through very realistic means. Scratchings from past prisoners and soldiers alike are found in obscure places across the fort, while a small bookstore sells all the usual souvenirs you’d expect from a tourist attraction.
Luckily, because of the size of the castillo, it didn’t really matter that it was pretty full of milling tourists. The darkened rooms and turrets to explore mean you will find a space for yourself to chill and enjoy the view over San Juan and the harbour. Massive cruise ships chugging out the harbour as the sun went down also depleted all the visitors that had just stopped in for the day and gave us time to appreciate the coloured buildings of the intricate city and it’s maze of roads beneath us.