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S A N

J U A N

THE PUERTO RICO TOURISM COMPANY

A GASTRONOME’S TOUR

Dining is an integral part of discovering Old San Juan, as much as sightseeing or shopping. TACAR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The neighborhood called SOFO — South of Fortaleza — is known for fine dining and for outdoor food festivals that draw many a hungry crowd. In the chic Condado and Isla Verde areas, chefs combine modern Latin-fusion meals with traditional Creole cuisine, and diners enjoy mouthwatering blends of Latin,

Sweet, scrumptious flan

French, Asian and even Indian cuisines.

TRADITIONAL TASTES

a blend of onions, peppers, cilantro,

The lively town of Santurce offers

garlic and salt pork. And you’re sure

fashionable Spanish restaurants, a

to give in to a dessert of flan — baked

local farmer’s market and the delightful

custard topped with a caramel glaze —

fondas: small eateries serving home-

or tembleque, a bread pudding made

style Puerto Rican cooking at moderate

with coconut milk and custard. No meal

prices. Here you might enjoy asopao, a

is complete without a cup of rich Puerto

hearty chicken-and-rice gumbo. Your

Rican coffee; the locals often enjoy it

meal will likely come with a generous

with some frothy boiled milk.

helping of arroz blanco (white rice) and

ABOVE: The silver altar in Capilla del Cristo is said to cure those who seek its help. RIGHT: Illustration of Ponce de León.

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Typical Puerto Rican lunch served at a local fonda

PUERTO RICO TOURIST BOARD

It stands to reason that the history of one of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere — it was founded in 1521 — would have some colorful characters, some better known than others.

WIKIPEDIA.COM

LEGENDS AND LORE

¡Buen apetito!

Seafood by the sea CHRISTIAN SUMNER/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

habichuelas: beans stewed in sofrito,

Who hasn’t heard of Ponce de León

If you believe in miracles, a visit to the

and his search for the legendary Fountain

Capilla del Cristo, at the end of Cristo

of Youth? Unfortunately, Ponce de León’s

Street, might work wonders.

mission was cut short before he realized

Long ago, the story goes, the rum-

his dream: He met his fate at the hands

fueled young men of San Juan used to

of local Natives while searching out

race their horses down the steep city

magic potions in Florida.

streets. One day, a particularly lucky

His remains were eventually shipped

daredevil narrowly escaped death

to Puerto Rico, where he had served as

when his faithful horse stopped short

the island’s first governor. He was buried

just inches from the edge of a seaside

in the San José Church, the second-

precipice. The rider’s grateful family built

oldest church in the New World. In 1913,

a small chapel, the Capilla del Cristo,

his body was moved to the San Juan

on the spot of the near mishap. Now

Cathedral, where it lies today, encased in

true believers, hoping to be cured of

a marble crypt. Although Ponce de León

whatever ails them, place tiny replicas

never discovered the secret of eternal

of arms, legs and hearts on the chapel’s

youth, he did manage to find immortality

silver altar, dedicated to the Christ of

in Old San Juan.

Miracles. —G. D.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES FUN ASHORE

1112 POC San Juan.indd 468

10/5/11 2:52 PM

Carnival FUN ASHORE  

Fun Ashore -- POC (ports of call) book, which includes Carnival Cruise Lines marketing, regional articles and port information.

Carnival FUN ASHORE  

Fun Ashore -- POC (ports of call) book, which includes Carnival Cruise Lines marketing, regional articles and port information.