Located on the North Coast of Puerto Rico, San Juan is the capital of the country, and one of the most popular visitor destinations on the island. San Juan is 27 miles west of Fajardo and 52 miles northeast of Ponce.
Inside San Juan Bay are a variety of facilities and anchorages for the visiting boater, and there are also plenty of shopping opportunities ashore for restocking the galley or just finding that perfect souvenir to remember your trip by.
The explorer Ponce de Leon started the original settlement on San Juan Bay in 1508, and the city was officially founded in 1521 in the area now known as “Old San Juan.”
Although wide and quite deep, the entrance to San Juan Harbor can get quite adventurous during the winter months when strong north winds tend to pile up waves into the inlet. Despite this, San Juan Bay is one of the finest, best equipped and most protected bays on the island of Puerto Rico.
San Juan Bay is approached from the north via the Atlantic Ocean. Flashing green “1” and flashing red “2” mark the beginning of the entrance channel into San Juan Bay at Punta del Morro. Once you have cleared the first two markers, you can then proceed to the south along a channel that is lined with well placed buoys.
Two marinas are located at the eastern end of the San Antonio Channel, which is on the eastern side of San Juan Bay, and they are probably the easiest to reach. Ashore around the marinas are many marine facilities, and if you need repairs for propellers, engine, hull, or electrical components, you are likely to find a shop here that can facilitate your repair. Most visiting boats usually anchor off the marinas here.
As with any large shipping port, you will want to be on the lookout for large ships and other commercial traffic when you are navigating in and around San Juan.
See our “Local Notices to Mariners” blog for updates on the latest conditions and advisories for this area.
The Metropolitan Bus Authority (the Spanish acronym is “AMA”) operates busses and shuttles in the San Juan Metropolitan area on regular schedules. To find a bus stop, look for the orange, white, or magenta signs that read “Parada.”
The San Juan International Airport has major commercial service provided by worldwide carriers.