Puerto Rico á Cristóbal Colón


The English name is Plaza Colón; in Spanish, literally translated, Puerto Rico á Cristóbal Colón means “Christopher Columbus to Puerto Rico.” Colón translates to Columbus, as in “colon-ial”. Perhaps the largest park in Old San Juan (OSJ), Plaza Colón is bordered by San Francisco and O’Donnell streets, and Fortaleza, which becomes Constitution Avenue, where a few blocks east you can visit the Capitol Building, Walk of the Presidents, and the awe-inspiring San Juan Holocaust Memorial. There are fountains, an enormous Columbus statue carved from gleaming white stone, and a major gathering place for locals and tourist, just south of Castillo de San Cristóbal (Saint Christopher fort/castle). This park/plaza features many levels, and connects to streets leading to the heart of Old San Juan, perhaps an all-time favorite travel destination. Performers serenade and make music for the soul, if not for “dinero,” (money). At night, the plaza comes to life with light refracted in constant Trevi Fountain-like water cascades. 

Use this peaceful plaza time to collect your thoughts, orient yourself to what OSJ has to offer, and enjoy a café con leche (espresso with warm milk and sugar) to invigorate. The cost of admission is nothing, and the café is a reasonable two bucks at most bodegas.