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La guía de Pedro A

Pedro A

La guía de Pedro A

Sightseeing
Being our most beloved turistical asset, Old San Juan must always be at the top of my guide, but rotating the emphasis only to suggest which in my opinion is the best way to get the most out of a quick visit to it. The page is still under construction
One of the three oldest cities in America. My recommendation to enjoy it better is to surround the wall walking thru Paseo la Princesa which starts by the USCustoms, the big pink building fronting the Wall. Then will see the fountain paying tribute to our race mixture. After The steel sculptoric garden, will see the old gate to the City. Once get thru it will see the beautiful Caleta de las Monjas street with the Cathedral at the top. To the right will see Palacio Santa Catalina, home of the Governor. To the left will see a stair which will take you to La Rogativa Sculpture created by Australian artist Lindsay Dean. Going north will then see Casa Blanca (built for Ponce de León) to the right. Then Will see Casa Rosada and the ammo dome by the left done the hill. Next will get to El Morro fortress. After visiting el Morro, using the way out will get to Teluric Totem plaza and beautiful building Cuartel de Ballaja. From there can either head East thru Norzagaray Street thru San Cristobal Fortification or South toward Plaza San Jose and church as well as the Old Cathedral, Convento hotel and many other iconic places at Cristo Street with the Cristo Chapel at the end. Going down the street will get to Recinto Sur where there are plenty of restaurants. Going East will get to Tapia Theater, probably the oldest in América still operational.
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Viejo San Juan
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One of the three oldest cities in America. My recommendation to enjoy it better is to surround the wall walking thru Paseo la Princesa which starts by the USCustoms, the big pink building fronting the Wall. Then will see the fountain paying tribute to our race mixture. After The steel sculptoric garden, will see the old gate to the City. Once get thru it will see the beautiful Caleta de las Monjas street with the Cathedral at the top. To the right will see Palacio Santa Catalina, home of the Governor. To the left will see a stair which will take you to La Rogativa Sculpture created by Australian artist Lindsay Dean. Going north will then see Casa Blanca (built for Ponce de León) to the right. Then Will see Casa Rosada and the ammo dome by the left done the hill. Next will get to El Morro fortress. After visiting el Morro, using the way out will get to Teluric Totem plaza and beautiful building Cuartel de Ballaja. From there can either head East thru Norzagaray Street thru San Cristobal Fortification or South toward Plaza San Jose and church as well as the Old Cathedral, Convento hotel and many other iconic places at Cristo Street with the Cristo Chapel at the end. Going down the street will get to Recinto Sur where there are plenty of restaurants. Going East will get to Tapia Theater, probably the oldest in América still operational.
It's a nice experience to take a ferry to Cataño (50 cents cost) from Terminal 3 at Old San Juan ports and have a skyline view of the old city from there. Also from Catano ferry terminal, visitors can take a 100 meters walk to public transportation terminal and take next vehicle to Bacardi plant where will have a tour (has a slight cost) and will enjoy some of their coctails at a nice place sightseen El Morro fortress, the walls and the Old city at the other side of the bay. Once back to Pier 3 in San Juan, keep going to the left and right in there will feel the strong smell of coffee. It's a tiny place, bit if you a are a good coffee, must not miss it.
Cataño Boat Ramp
It's a nice experience to take a ferry to Cataño (50 cents cost) from Terminal 3 at Old San Juan ports and have a skyline view of the old city from there. Also from Catano ferry terminal, visitors can take a 100 meters walk to public transportation terminal and take next vehicle to Bacardi plant where will have a tour (has a slight cost) and will enjoy some of their coctails at a nice place sightseen El Morro fortress, the walls and the Old city at the other side of the bay. Once back to Pier 3 in San Juan, keep going to the left and right in there will feel the strong smell of coffee. It's a tiny place, bit if you a are a good coffee, must not miss it.
Mar Chiquita beach is one of the local sites with more views worldwide. It is a very good spot to visit because of it's beauty but not to have a swim since it could be dangerous. Nearby beach La Poza de las Mujeres, very beautiful too and a lot safer. On the way back can take Route #2 and by Km 47 will find Pastelillos Lamboy ( in front of Walmart) which has been selling a very special turnover for over 60 years. Finally, on the way back also would be a good idea to visit Lyn Manuel (Hamilton) Miranda's museum and memorabilia kiosk in Placita Wisin (his grandpa) at Munoz Rivera Street in Vega Alta.
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Playa Mar Chiquita
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Mar Chiquita beach is one of the local sites with more views worldwide. It is a very good spot to visit because of it's beauty but not to have a swim since it could be dangerous. Nearby beach La Poza de las Mujeres, very beautiful too and a lot safer. On the way back can take Route #2 and by Km 47 will find Pastelillos Lamboy ( in front of Walmart) which has been selling a very special turnover for over 60 years. Finally, on the way back also would be a good idea to visit Lyn Manuel (Hamilton) Miranda's museum and memorabilia kiosk in Placita Wisin (his grandpa) at Munoz Rivera Street in Vega Alta.
Another good sightseeing tip during the day is to walk to Old San Juan either from the House (approx. 5 miles) or from Condado (approx. 2 1/2 miles). Along the way will see iconic hotels like Condado Vanderbilt, La Concha and Hilton. Then will get to Escambrón neighborhood where will see the statue of Sixto Escobar, first local boxing (bantam weight) world champion as well as nice beach La Pozita de la Ocho. Like two hundred meters later must not miss El Hamburger, the best for it's price in San Juan for over 60 years. Later on will see Nice Restaurant Lady's with great views, then the Capitol with Fort San Cristobal which jointly with El Morro are operated by the National Parks Service and will finally see Plaza Colón, the entrance to Old San Juan. Have three options. By the hill will get to El Morro. On the way will get to the scenery where Despacito was recorded. It's by La Perla neighborhood. If go south will immediately get to Tapia Theater and then the food court of Recinto Sur. By the middle will get to the core of the city up to Cristo Street. For the way back must take Uber back at Colón square.
Puerta de Tierra
Another good sightseeing tip during the day is to walk to Old San Juan either from the House (approx. 5 miles) or from Condado (approx. 2 1/2 miles). Along the way will see iconic hotels like Condado Vanderbilt, La Concha and Hilton. Then will get to Escambrón neighborhood where will see the statue of Sixto Escobar, first local boxing (bantam weight) world champion as well as nice beach La Pozita de la Ocho. Like two hundred meters later must not miss El Hamburger, the best for it's price in San Juan for over 60 years. Later on will see Nice Restaurant Lady's with great views, then the Capitol with Fort San Cristobal which jointly with El Morro are operated by the National Parks Service and will finally see Plaza Colón, the entrance to Old San Juan. Have three options. By the hill will get to El Morro. On the way will get to the scenery where Despacito was recorded. It's by La Perla neighborhood. If go south will immediately get to Tapia Theater and then the food court of Recinto Sur. By the middle will get to the core of the city up to Cristo Street. For the way back must take Uber back at Colón square.
The UPR is our State sponsored University. Although there are many campuses all around the island, this review is about the Rio Piedras campus which besides being the first, it's where I studied. The Campus has very nice architecture being the original (tower complex and theater very classical. Buildings like the general library, students center and the anthropology museum were designed to get the most out of the wind without need of air conditioning. The museum holds El Velorio, the most renowned painting of Francisco Oller. The UPR theater was where Hamilton was to be presented in 2019.. Once having seen the UPR the tour can move to the UPR Botanical Garden to be able to admire the exuberant vegetation in the site as well as the Rio Piedras Aqueduct ruins being protected by Pro Natura. The aqueduct served San Juan until the 1930's.
University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras Campus
The UPR is our State sponsored University. Although there are many campuses all around the island, this review is about the Rio Piedras campus which besides being the first, it's where I studied. The Campus has very nice architecture being the original (tower complex and theater very classical. Buildings like the general library, students center and the anthropology museum were designed to get the most out of the wind without need of air conditioning. The museum holds El Velorio, the most renowned painting of Francisco Oller. The UPR theater was where Hamilton was to be presented in 2019.. Once having seen the UPR the tour can move to the UPR Botanical Garden to be able to admire the exuberant vegetation in the site as well as the Rio Piedras Aqueduct ruins being protected by Pro Natura. The aqueduct served San Juan until the 1930's.
El Yunque is the most visited spot in the Island by tourists and locals aside from Old San Juan. It's the only tropical forest under the helm of the National Parks Service. If go in rented car would have the option to stop by Luquillo Beach, one os the best in it's category in the USA. Outside. the beach there are plenty of food and art craft kiosks. After having seen this two spectacular attraction, best thing to do would be to go a little further to see the fluorescent bay at dark in Las Croabas, Fajardo, one of the very few in the world. The darkest the night, more spectacular will be the flashes. Good luck!!
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El Yunque National Forest
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El Yunque is the most visited spot in the Island by tourists and locals aside from Old San Juan. It's the only tropical forest under the helm of the National Parks Service. If go in rented car would have the option to stop by Luquillo Beach, one os the best in it's category in the USA. Outside. the beach there are plenty of food and art craft kiosks. After having seen this two spectacular attraction, best thing to do would be to go a little further to see the fluorescent bay at dark in Las Croabas, Fajardo, one of the very few in the world. The darkest the night, more spectacular will be the flashes. Good luck!!
Consists os seven rings, all them of singular beauty. Many important pirates pictures have their views. Petty close but not yet open, can also see from the road the Statue of Cristóbal Colón. On the fly, can also visit Poza del Obispo, small beach with singular beauty, by the light house. There's good sea food too. Their specialty (seasonal) is a plantain turnover (alcapurrias) which they fill with tiny fishes they call cetí. Enjoy!
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Cueva del Indio
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Consists os seven rings, all them of singular beauty. Many important pirates pictures have their views. Petty close but not yet open, can also see from the road the Statue of Cristóbal Colón. On the fly, can also visit Poza del Obispo, small beach with singular beauty, by the light house. There's good sea food too. Their specialty (seasonal) is a plantain turnover (alcapurrias) which they fill with tiny fishes they call cetí. Enjoy!
Piñones is a protected undeveloped beach and natural wild life area, very popular among locals because of it's kiosks that offer sea food including the famous bacalaítos and crab alcapurrias. At mile 8 from the Yatch Club bridge at the entrance, will see Vacía Talega beach, which is excelent attraction daytime when it's not so isolated. If you would like to see and maybe buy a painting from famed artist Samuel Lind, please set your Google maps and will be at his Studio and probably meet him like in 10 minutes. Good luck and nice day.
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Campamento Piñones
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Piñones is a protected undeveloped beach and natural wild life area, very popular among locals because of it's kiosks that offer sea food including the famous bacalaítos and crab alcapurrias. At mile 8 from the Yatch Club bridge at the entrance, will see Vacía Talega beach, which is excelent attraction daytime when it's not so isolated. If you would like to see and maybe buy a painting from famed artist Samuel Lind, please set your Google maps and will be at his Studio and probably meet him like in 10 minutes. Good luck and nice day.
Isla Verde is the first condominium area you see after leaving the Airport bound to San Juan. It has some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. Only that it's hard to get to them because of the condos. Poor planning. But you can get to one of them by setting your Google maps to Playa el Alambique in Tartak street. Also can get to Balneario de Isla Verde, right behind the airport. It's a public beach managed by the City of Carolina. It's on the way to Piñones but still close to turistic zone of Isla Verde.
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Isla Verde
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Isla Verde is the first condominium area you see after leaving the Airport bound to San Juan. It has some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. Only that it's hard to get to them because of the condos. Poor planning. But you can get to one of them by setting your Google maps to Playa el Alambique in Tartak street. Also can get to Balneario de Isla Verde, right behind the airport. It's a public beach managed by the City of Carolina. It's on the way to Piñones but still close to turistic zone of Isla Verde.
Nature and Preservation
Para la Naturaleza is a non profit entity dedicated during 50 years to save and preserve high historical value sites in Puerto Rico. Located at 155 of Tetuan St. in Recinto Sur of Old San Juan.
I recommend this place because besides being a well preserved historic building at #155 Tetuán St. in Old San Juan, visitors will learn about the monumental work this non profit has achieved through some 50 years to save and preserve for generations to come a significant number of paradisiatic sites and Haciendas with historical heritage. Places like Hacienda Buena Vista, Hacienda la Esperanza, Cabezas de San Juan, Canon de San Cristobal, Rio Encantado and many others can be visited by tourists in guided tours sold at very affordable prices by Para la Naturaleza as a means to raise money to continue their preservation journey.
Para la Naturaleza
155 Calle Tetuan
I recommend this place because besides being a well preserved historic building at #155 Tetuán St. in Old San Juan, visitors will learn about the monumental work this non profit has achieved through some 50 years to save and preserve for generations to come a significant number of paradisiatic sites and Haciendas with historical heritage. Places like Hacienda Buena Vista, Hacienda la Esperanza, Cabezas de San Juan, Canon de San Cristobal, Rio Encantado and many others can be visited by tourists in guided tours sold at very affordable prices by Para la Naturaleza as a means to raise money to continue their preservation journey.
Relax
Next time you visit El Yunque please go a couple miles further to see and enjoy Luquillo beach, one of the best in its category in the whole nation. Visitors must pay a small fee to access since it's operated by local parks service agency.
Nice spacious beach which is very safe for swimming with lots of palm trees and clean change rooms, bathrooms and showers. Although its very calm,iIt also has lifeguards.
Playa de Luquillo
Nice spacious beach which is very safe for swimming with lots of palm trees and clean change rooms, bathrooms and showers. Although its very calm,iIt also has lifeguards.
I recommend this place located at Fortaleza 56 and Cristo in Old San Juan because besides being a beautiful building , it houses a significant number of popula culture memorabilia. They dedicate the most of their limited resources to help new artists produce their projects and assist to start up their careers. The environment is good, fluid and very often can see rehersals in place for shows that the Foundation produces at affordable prices to provide a platform to starters.
Fundación Nacional Para la Cultura Popular
56 Calle Fortaleza
I recommend this place located at Fortaleza 56 and Cristo in Old San Juan because besides being a beautiful building , it houses a significant number of popula culture memorabilia. They dedicate the most of their limited resources to help new artists produce their projects and assist to start up their careers. The environment is good, fluid and very often can see rehersals in place for shows that the Foundation produces at affordable prices to provide a platform to starters.
The place is like farmer's market at daytime while at night is a place to hang out both for locals and tourists. Will find there good food, music and good environment for happy hour and beyond almost every single night but mostly on week ends.
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Chicharrón • La Placita de Santurce
176 Cll Dos Hermanos
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The place is like farmer's market at daytime while at night is a place to hang out both for locals and tourists. Will find there good food, music and good environment for happy hour and beyond almost every single night but mostly on week ends.
Nice place to visit in the beautiful neighborhood of Miramar. It's located in a historic building and it has a huge theater where they make important concerts to raise funds and the views to the lagoon and Condado are spectacular. During the academic semester their students and professors make presentations from Wednesday thru Sunday, most of them free. For example, they have Jazz sessions on Wednesdays after 3pm. The tour can also be combined with a visit to nearby Colegio de Abogados (PR Bar Association) with great history and a good restaurant too. There are also plenty of fine food restaurants in the nearby, a Fine Arts Cinema that is a luxury, a beautiful historic Jewish church and a beautiful house designed Antonin Nechodoma, all in 3 to 4 blocks.
Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico
951 Ave Juan Ponce De León
Nice place to visit in the beautiful neighborhood of Miramar. It's located in a historic building and it has a huge theater where they make important concerts to raise funds and the views to the lagoon and Condado are spectacular. During the academic semester their students and professors make presentations from Wednesday thru Sunday, most of them free. For example, they have Jazz sessions on Wednesdays after 3pm. The tour can also be combined with a visit to nearby Colegio de Abogados (PR Bar Association) with great history and a good restaurant too. There are also plenty of fine food restaurants in the nearby, a Fine Arts Cinema that is a luxury, a beautiful historic Jewish church and a beautiful house designed Antonin Nechodoma, all in 3 to 4 blocks.
Very popular restaurant in Old San Juan where the Piña Colada drink was created back in the 60's. Good environment for lunch and dinner in a beautifully decorated histórical building with huge interior patio.
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Barrachina
104 Calle Fortaleza
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Very popular restaurant in Old San Juan where the Piña Colada drink was created back in the 60's. Good environment for lunch and dinner in a beautifully decorated histórical building with huge interior patio.
Museums
There are many museums of different nature in the Metro area and out of town too which might be of interest to some of our visitors.
Located in a well preserved historical buildings at De Diego Street in Santurce, this museum holds and preserves in four levels a significant and representative number of art works of all sorts and sizes by local artists, some of them dated back to the 18th Century. Will see a huge carbon works by Antonio Martorel, oil paintings, huge acrylics like Arnaldo Rosie's triptic, ephemeral art sample (in screens) spectacular installations like the barber shop and also a section about works made out of recycled material. There is also a beautiful escultorical garden with a fish pond as can be seen in the photo. Three to four hours tour might be enough to have an idea and leave with interest to get back in another visit to the Island.
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Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
299 Avenida José de Diego
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Located in a well preserved historical buildings at De Diego Street in Santurce, this museum holds and preserves in four levels a significant and representative number of art works of all sorts and sizes by local artists, some of them dated back to the 18th Century. Will see a huge carbon works by Antonio Martorel, oil paintings, huge acrylics like Arnaldo Rosie's triptic, ephemeral art sample (in screens) spectacular installations like the barber shop and also a section about works made out of recycled material. There is also a beautiful escultorical garden with a fish pond as can be seen in the photo. Three to four hours tour might be enough to have an idea and leave with interest to get back in another visit to the Island.
Historical buildings
I recommend this place because is one of the most beautiful buildings in the City. Inaugurated as a monastery in 1651. Must take a look to the interior patio from the second level and have a mojito or good wine and tapas, especially in the stairs facing Cristo street. There is also an old chapel and can see old art works all around the public areas.
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Hotel El Convento
100 Calle del Cristo
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I recommend this place because is one of the most beautiful buildings in the City. Inaugurated as a monastery in 1651. Must take a look to the interior patio from the second level and have a mojito or good wine and tapas, especially in the stairs facing Cristo street. There is also an old chapel and can see old art works all around the public areas.
Inaugurated in 1832, the Tapia Theater is for sure the oldest theater in America still operational. It is located at the very end of Fortaleza street when going out of Old San Juan. Must see it.
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Teatro Tapia
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Inaugurated in 1832, the Tapia Theater is for sure the oldest theater in America still operational. It is located at the very end of Fortaleza street when going out of Old San Juan. Must see it.
Located at Cristo street in front of El Convento Hotel and Caleta de las Monjas. Some of it's Chapels date back to 1536 what positions it as one of the three oldest in América between Santo Domingo and Habana.
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San Juan Bautista Cathedral
151 Cll Del Cristo
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Located at Cristo street in front of El Convento Hotel and Caleta de las Monjas. Some of it's Chapels date back to 1536 what positions it as one of the three oldest in América between Santo Domingo and Habana.
Beautiful and magnificent building. It's construction finished by 1864. Fronting the Teluric Tótem Square. It's one of the biggest buildings constructed under Spanish tenure in the Caribbean. It now holds the Museum of the Américas, a fine arts theater, a beautiful flamenco tablao, a restaurant and a nice coffee shop and museum. It also holds special events like ópera al fresco, clowns and mimes festival, artisans and farmers sales and others.
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Cuartel de Ballajá
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Beautiful and magnificent building. It's construction finished by 1864. Fronting the Teluric Tótem Square. It's one of the biggest buildings constructed under Spanish tenure in the Caribbean. It now holds the Museum of the Américas, a fine arts theater, a beautiful flamenco tablao, a restaurant and a nice coffee shop and museum. It also holds special events like ópera al fresco, clowns and mimes festival, artisans and farmers sales and others.
Liga de Arte is a school of plástico arts for all in front of the Teluric Tótem and Ballajá. At day time will see a los of seniors practicing their assignments while on week ends the students are childrens, youngsters as well as their parents. The building is beautiful and they always have arte works Boeing exhibited done both by students and professsors. It's a nice experience.
Liga de Arte
Liga de Arte is a school of plástico arts for all in front of the Teluric Tótem and Ballajá. At day time will see a los of seniors practicing their assignments while on week ends the students are childrens, youngsters as well as their parents. The building is beautiful and they always have arte works Boeing exhibited done both by students and professsors. It's a nice experience.
Located right in the Wall at the very end of Cristo Street, beside the Pigeons Park. It has it's legend which you can read once in there.
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Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud
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Located right in the Wall at the very end of Cristo Street, beside the Pigeons Park. It has it's legend which you can read once in there.
Founded in 1848, it's the oldest restaurant in the Island and for sure one of the oldest in América. Good food served in a well preserved building in Old San Juan.
La Mallorquina
207 Calle San Justo
Founded in 1848, it's the oldest restaurant in the Island and for sure one of the oldest in América. Good food served in a well preserved building in Old San Juan.
Salsa and Merengue dancing
For some 25 years, every single week the San Juan Mariott Stelaris Casino has sponsored latin music productions at it's lobby free of charge. It's the most popular spot on that concept in town. No charge, no minimum. However, seats and tables are limited to people consuming food and or beverage.
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San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
1309 Ashford Ave
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For some 25 years, every single week the San Juan Mariott Stelaris Casino has sponsored latin music productions at it's lobby free of charge. It's the most popular spot on that concept in town. No charge, no minimum. However, seats and tables are limited to people consuming food and or beverage.
Jazz music in San Juan
The most popular spot to enjoy piano Jazz in San Juan is Carli's Restaurant at Tetuan Street in Old San Juan. The bar/restaurant founded by jazz musician Carli Munoz over twenty years back opens from Monday thru Saturday at 4pm. Carli has a strong resume since his days as a rock drummer, was member of renowned band The Bee Gees for over ten years.
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Carli's Fine Bistro & Piano
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The most popular spot to enjoy piano Jazz in San Juan is Carli's Restaurant at Tetuan Street in Old San Juan. The bar/restaurant founded by jazz musician Carli Munoz over twenty years back opens from Monday thru Saturday at 4pm. Carli has a strong resume since his days as a rock drummer, was member of renowned band The Bee Gees for over ten years.