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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Palacio de Santa Catalina

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The White House of Puerto Rico

Also called La Fortaleza - "The Fortress" - the building dates back to 1532, when the Caribbean was war-torn, as the Spanish, British, Dutch and French struggled to establish their power in the region. For nearly five centuries (amazing!), the building has been the center of power of the island. Yet, here it still stands, a wonderful Spanish colonial building that still remains the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico.

You can tour the Palacio, with knowledgeable bilingual guides. Ask your cruise boat or hotel concierge for information on how to get a pass; you will need valid identification. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes - the cobblestone streets in the Palacio complex are very historic, but not particularly navigable with heels or dress shoes.

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