At Atabey Tours, we specialize in several alternative tours for those of you who really want to try something different in Puerto Rico. One of these is our own custom tour of “Viejo San Juan”, our historic and mystical colonial city which we call home. Traditional tours of the old city are informative but may not take you beyond the touristy experience. We are the only local guides living within the fortified walls which have stood for over 400 years guarding our sacred city, which was fought over by British pirates, Dutch, Spanish and other European powers who wanted control of this “gateway to the Caribbean and the Americas”.

Today, history, architecture, cafe culture, music and art merge within these ancient walls and create a fascinating experience for the savvy world traveler. Our alternative Old San Juan tour begins with a bang as we sip fresh, wild harvested coconuts atop the 40 foot high walls of San Cristobal fort. We take in the stunning Atlantic Ocean views just below along with the wild prairie as we spot huge green iguanas and ocean birds while drinking sweet native coconut water and learning about the history of this fort and the folk legends surrounding it. Then we explore the fort itself which is a true wonder with its subterranean tunnels featuring old rock art, embrasures for cannon firing and surreal panoramic ocean views. We go on to explore “La Perla”, the ultimate Puerto Rican barrio by the shore at the foot of Old San Juan’s historic walls. This neighborhood has its own culture, history, design and is a very autonomous and independent community living within prime beach front real estate. This is the opposite of gentrification as we see the rambling colorful houses and alleys full of surprises like wandering crowing roosters, a beautiful ocean front cemetery and a cast of very friendly characters. We continue down towards the Southern section of the wall and along the way we check out some of the best Puerto Rican coffee spots where we can relax and enjoy a cup. We also will enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the hidden “locals-only” spots where Sanjuaneros fill themselves with home cooked foodie goodness. We will spot wild parrots, ancient native trees, learn much more about the lore and legends of the old city and in the end, you will come away with a true local perspective on this unique and magical colonial city.

Prices and details:

$55 per person (includes fresh coconuts)

4 hour duration