Savor San Juan's Culinary Delights
Experience a slice of Puerto Rican paradise through this guided food and culture walking tour of Old San Juan, where you’ll stop at 5 destinations along the route of the fortified colonial city to taste local cuisine and drinks. Leaving the port, you’ll pass Plaza Dársenas, uphill to Calle del Cristo through the historic center, where you’ll pass the Catedral de San Juan Bautista, before arriving at the historic El Convento Hotel, a former convent turned boutique hotel. Here, in El Convento’s romantic interior courtyard, you’ll try a refreshing cocktail and traditional Puerto Rican fritter. Next, you’ll wind through Plaza de Armas, and past City Hall, as you make your way toward Chocobar Cortés, a chocolatier that’s been run by the Cortés family for four generations, since 1929. Delight in the chocolatier’s specialty of dark chocolate squares on cheddar cheese, churros dipped in chocolate and Puerto Rican coffee infused with chocolate. Digesting this, you’ll head upstairs to explore exhibits in the family’s art gallery run by its non-profit Fundación Casa Cortés, whose mission promotes Caribbean art and culture in the region through education. The foundation’s post-Hurricane Maria efforts, which turned its gallery into a school for 105 local children and teachers for 3 months following the devastation, have been heralded throughout Puerto Rico. Leaving Calle San Francisco, you’ll head to Lounge Cultura, a private 19th-century 3-story home turned culinary school on Calle Tanca. Here, you’ll take part in a hands-on experience making “mofongo” with cassava and stewed chicken using a mortar and pestle, and learn to shake a traditional Puerto Rican passion cocktail. With more than 80% of the world’s rum coming from Puerto Rico, no tour would be complete without a piña colada, the national drink of Puerto Rico that originated in San Juan. On this note, you’ll end the night with a quick stop for dessert at Señor Paleta, where you’ll enjoy a refreshing artisanal gelato or sorbet paleta, before heading to La Casita de Rones, the official bar and distributor of Rums of Puerto Rico. Here, you’ll get a history tour of the protected landmark building, a lesson on Puerto Rican rum, including Don Q and Barrilito, and learn how to make the fruity cocktail. As this last stop is in Plaza Dársenas, near the port, guests can either follow guides back to the ship or linger longer on their own at La Casita, enjoying its rum selection, outdoor terrace and view of the port.