San sebastián pr: San Sebastián | Discover Puerto Rico

San Sebastián | Discover Puerto Rico

Explore the magnificent San Sebastián Falls. 

Located in the northwest corner of Puerto Rico, San Sebastián offers travelers a mix of historical tourism and outdoor recreation.

The municipality’s full moniker is San Sebastián de las Vegas del Pepino, and its citizens are known as pepinianos.

San Sebastián borders Isabela, Camuy, and Quebradillas to the north; Las Marías to the south; Lares to the east; and Moca and Añasco to the west. San Sebastián is about an hour’s drive from Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla and two hours from San Juan.

History and Culture

Several sites of interest are dedicated to preserving the area’s past and celebrating the local culture.

The Historical Archive in the center of town includes a collection of original documents containing important information about the town. Down the street, Casa Doña Bisa was once a stately private residence and now serves as a museum housing a collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century furniture. The nearby Museo de la Hamaca details the Puerto Rican hammock-making process and includes a marketplace for local artisans to sell their crafts.

The Plaza de la Identidad Pepiniana is a permanent outdoor exhibit that recounts the political, cultural, sports, and religious contributions of the pepinianos. A colorful outdoor mural chronicling the town’s history adorns Paseo 24 de Septiembre. 

Set on land that was once used to grow and process sugar cane, coffee, and cotton, the Hacienda La Fe agricultural museum displays antique machinery and other farming-related artifacts.

The Pedro Tomás Labayen exhibition hall includes, among other displays, a permanent space that honors the heroes of the Pepino Power Authority, a grassroots effort organized by the municipality to restore electricity to the area after Hurricane María in 2017.

Pro Tip: Book a guided tour with local expert Tour Guide Debbie to make the most out of your visit to this mountainous town.  

Outdoor Recreation

Adventurous travelers find much to do in San Sebastián, where you can surround yourself with nature at Lago Guajataca. This picturesque reservoir sits amidst lush greenery and offers an idyllic setting for fishing, kayaking, and camping.

Accommodations

Staying over in San Sebastián is the best way to experience all that the municipality has to offer.

The romantically rustic Hacienda El Jibarito spans 20 acres and features guestrooms and villas, waterfalls, horseback riding, a restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools, and a café. Each of the rooms at Casa Campo includes a private balcony, a refrigerator, a microwave, free Wi-Fi access, and complimentary daily breakfast along with an outdoor pool and a communal guest lounge. The family-friendly Hotel El Castillo boasts 22 guestrooms, a game room, a pool, a Jacuzzi and a kiddie pool. Conveniently located, San Sebastián Bed & Breakfast is within walking distance of museums, churches, and restaurants.

San Sebastian, Puerto Rico Walking Tour

San Sebastian, Puerto Rico Walking Tour






«San Sebastián Walking Tour»

Rate:


$45pp

Schedule:   10AM   Hours:  2

When: Fridays & Saturdays
Groups: Call for availability on weekdays.

Meet:  Plaza Angel Mislán

Language: English

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Español

«The Story of San Sebastián» is about a 2 hours walking tour where you will get to know the uplifting culture, see unique architecture and take pictures of scenic Puerto Rico. My hometown has always played an important role in Puerto Rico’s history. Exploring the 18th century historical sites will tell you who are the «Pepinianos». I will be narrating how and why we have been developing a progressive town full with traditions since the 1700’s.

«Take the steps beyond San Juan City limits. Head North West were you will find charming towns with beautiful scenery, historical sites, foods prepared with fresh ingredients and a different lifestyle.»




Debbie Molina Ramos, Tour Designer and Licensed Tour Guide since 1999.



Story telling tour guide

Tour Guide Debbie has been guiding tours in Old San Juan and around Puerto Rico since 1998. During this 2 hours walking tour in San Sebastián, she will be leading a fun cultural tour at landmark historic buildings; such as, a Palladino style house, church and museums.

Meeting location

Click the Google Map for directions. Lots of free parking available around the Angel G. Mislán Huertas Plaza. I will be standing near the coat of arms.

This tour is about…

…the foundation, battles, art and architecture of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico.

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The heart of the town

San Sebastián Martir church is registered as a historical building at the Park Services, Department of Interior of the United States.

Italian sculpture that creatively tells the story of San Sebastian Matyr, the town’s patron saint.

Explore a historical house

You will only find the Palladino architecture in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. Built in 1917, the house museum have a 360º espectacular view of the town. Doña Biza’s home have eyewitness the town’s progress in the 20th century.

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Weave a Hammock

San Sebastián is the capitol of hammock weaving in Puerto Rico. Artisan at the Hammock museum will show you and let you weave a hammock. Tour Guide Debbie will narrate the history.

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A story of survival

The international news told the World how the people of San Sebastián overcame the wrath of Hurracaine Maria and forever changed Puerto Rico’s emergency response to natural disasters. You will see what really happen.

Rain or shine…

Available: Mornings
Schedule: 10AM to 12Noon.
Meet me «Tour Guide Debbie» at Plaza Angel G Mislán Huertas between Padre Feliciano and Luis Muñoz Rivera Streets.


Statue at Plaza Angel G. Mislán Huertas across the street from the church Tour begins at 10AM.

BOOKING

  1. The currency use for our transactions is the United States dollar.
  2. Rate includes admission to museums.
  3. Tax and other fees will be shown during check out.
  4. Booking confirmation will be received at time of booking. Check your inbox and spam folders. We accept paper voucher or the e-mail using your smartphone.
  5. We refund when we cancel; however, do read the details for our no refund policy.
  6. Sites: Booking this tour is an acceptance and understanding that Tour Guide Debbie LLC has no control of the availability of a site (s) and activity listed in this tour. Tour Guide Debbie LLC will do her best to look for substitute site (s) or activity in according to the tour’s theme.

TOUR

  • Check-in: Meet 10 minutes before the tour starts.
  • Tour ends: Museum
  • Language: English or español
  • Does not include: Transportation.
  • Group size: 2 up to 16.
  • Physical level: medium-low — 2 miles leisure walk on uneven surfaces, flat and steps.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Bring water.
  • Will be entering a church; therefore, no sleeveless shirts and blouses. Required length of pants and skirts are two inches above the top of the kneecap or longer.
  • Tour is not wheelchair friendly.
  • Weather: Tour takes place rain or shine.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

  1. Wearing a mask is optional: however, places visited might require wearing one.
  2. Protocols are according to the guidelines established by the Puerto Rico Government and the Centers for Disease Control.

Reviews

available at



Open customer recommendations about www. tourguidedebbie.com

Frequent asked questions

for this tour


Where can I park my vehicle?


Plenty of free parking space at streets around the plaza.

  • Plan ahead to find parking, park and walk to the meeting location
  • Required to be 10 minutes before the tour starting time.
  • The tour guide will turn off the mobile 10 minutes after the tour starts.
  • No refunds for late arrivals.

.



Do you provide directions on how to meet with the tour guide?

Yes I do. Please look for the Google map with the meeting location and pictures posted on this page.

  1. Plan to be at least 10 minutes for check in before the tour’s starting time.
  2. No refund for late arrivals.
  3. The tour guide will turn off the mobile 10 minutes after the tour starts.
  4. Expect heavy traffic heading to San Sebastian.
  5. Please plan time to park and walk to the meeting location.



Does the tour includes food?


No. I suggest bring a snack and a bottle of water.


What is the standard tipping percentage?

  • A 20% of the tour rate.
  • Tips are tax exempt.
  • Thank you for asking.
  • General Frequent Asked Questions

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    San Sebastian: everything you need to know about the most beautiful city in Spain.

    Spain in Russian

    The city of San Sebastian in the Basque Country is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Spain. Its population is 183,000 people, and it is located 103 km from the capital of the Basque Country, Vitoria, 473 km from Madrid and only 18 km from the French border.

    The Basques call this town Donostia or Donostia and since 1980 it has been officially called Donostia-San Sebastian.

    History of San Sebastian

    The monastery of San Sebastian gave its name to the city. The city was founded in 1180 by the king of Navarre, Sancho the Wise, although some historians attribute the date of its foundation to a century and a half ago. The city was a seaport of the kingdom of Navarre, but after 1200 came under the rule of the Castilian crown, which gave impetus to its rapid development. This heyday made possible the multiple revival of the city: in the first two centuries of its existence, it burned to the ground six times. Fire in January 1489years turned the city into a pile of ashes, after which it began to rebuild from stone.

    The revived San Sebastian became a naval fortress and the base of the Cantabrian Armada, which fought until the 19th century against the French, Dutch and English squadrons. The city was repeatedly under siege by the enemy. The constant state of war undermined its economy. In 1719, with weakened fortifications, a small garrison and a lack of weapons and food, San Sebastian was first captured by the French, who left it in 1721 after the conclusion of the Hague Peace Treaty. Exactly 200 years ago, in 1808, it was again captured by Napoleon’s army and released in 1813. During the struggle for the city, only two churches and 35 houses survived the fire.

    Revived once again, the city in 1854 became the capital of the Basque province of Gipuzkoa. In 1863, after fierce disputes, it was decided to dismantle the fortress walls, which limited the growth and development of the city. After the death of King Alfonso XII, on the advice of doctors, his widow Queen Regent Maria Cristina chooses San Sebastian as her summer vacation destination. The city begins to quickly change its appearance: it was in those years that buildings began to appear, which later became its hallmark.

    In 1914, with the outbreak of the First World War, San Sebastian became one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Spain: it hosts Russian ballet companies, French operetta actors, opera singers and artists of other genres, and casinos are visited by such characters as Leon Trotsky, Mata Hari, Count of Romanones.

    San Sebastian Attractions

    San Sebastian, or simply Sanse, is also called the small or southern Paris for the architectural style of the city’s development borrowed from the French capital. One of the finest buildings in San Sebastian is City Hall of , formerly the site of a casino built in 1887.

    Rising majestically in the central part of the city is the Buen Pastor Cathedral, the construction of which was completed in 1897. The Urumea River, with amazingly beautiful bridges, divides San Sebastian into two parts. Particularly impressive are the bridges of Maria Christina and Kursaal.

    Miramar Palace , also called the Royal Palace, was commissioned by the Royal House of Spain in 1893, designed by the English architect Selden Wornum, to whom the building owes its purely English style. From the palace, amazing views of the Conch Bay open up. For many years, it served as a summer residence for the royal family, which increased the city’s attractiveness for tourists. Spanish and European nobility spent their summers in San Sebastian. Currently, the palace and its wonderful gardens are open to the public.

    Every August from 1940 to 1975 in San Sebastian at 9Dictator Francisco Franco also lived in the palace of Ayate , where he also held meetings of the Council of Ministers. Ayate Palace is located in the microdistrict of the same name, located on a small hill in the city center.

    In 1909, the three-year construction of the theater and the adjacent elite hotel «Maria Cristina» began simultaneously. The hotel was designed by the French architect Charles Meves, the author of several Ritz hotels in various European cities, including Madrid. It is in the «Maria Christina» that the stars arriving at the famous San Sebastian Film Festival stop.

    On Mount Igueldo there is amusement park built at the beginning of the 20th century. There is a funicular from the square, which is called: Funicular Square. From the mountain you can enjoy magnificent views of the city’s beaches and the bay.

    In the old part of the city at the end of the promenade, you can visit the aquarium with a transparent tunnel from where you can watch sharks and other sea creatures. The Museum of Oceanography, located in the port, acquaints visitors with the maritime history of the city. AT Museum of San Telmo interesting 11 frescoes by the Catalan artist José María Serta with episodes from the history of Gipuzkoa, made in sepia and gold on a red background. Its main commercial and financial artery, Libertad Avenue, passes through the city center. This is the longest street in the city; a huge number of banks and boutiques are concentrated on it.

    See the tourist notes for how to plan a trip to San Sebastian.

    San Sebastian Beaches

    San Sebastian’s coastline is interrupted by mountains, forming seashell-shaped beaches, hence the name of one of them, La Concha Beach, which is opposite the Miramar Palace. Beaches with the finest white sand are the pride of the city.

    • La Concha is the most famous beach in Spain, located within the city. Its length is 1450 m, average width is 40 m.
    • The 600 m long Ondarreta beach, lying between the Miramar Palace and Mount Igueldo, is less «prestigious» than La Concha. At the end of this beach is the composition of the famous sculptor and native of San Sebastian Eduardo Chillida «The Comb of the Wind».
    • The 800 m long Zurriola beach is more open to the sea and is especially popular with young people and surfers.
    • Another small beach is located on the island of Santa Clara, which can be reached by shuttle boats or by swimming: it is located 500 m from Ondarreta.

    San Sebastian International Film Festival

    In September 1953, on the initiative of a group of local entrepreneurs, the first International Film Festival was held in San Sebastian. The organization of the festival had two goals: to extend the summer season of the city and to restore to it the former cultural life and glamor lost as a result of the Civil War. The success of the festival was enormous, in connection with which the Francoist regime took it under its wing. It has gained weight over the years and has grown into one of the best film festivals in the world. Until 1999, the Victoria Eugenia Theater was the stage of the festival, and since 1999 screenings are held in the modern congress hall Rafael Moneo, built opposite the Zurriola beach.

    Cultural events

    In addition to the International Film Festival, San Sebastian hosts other cultural events.

    • In July, the Jazz Festival is held here annually, born in 1965 and becoming one of the main ones in Europe.
    • Since 1939, classical music concerts have been held in the city every year for a month and a half.
    • In 1990, the traditional Horror and Science Fiction Film Week begins.
    • Since 2003, a film festival has been held, the program of which includes films related to the theme of human rights.
    • Other cultural events include a theater festival, an advertising festival, a surf film festival and an electronic music festival.
    • Several times a year San Sebastian hosts stages of various world and European sailing regattas.
    • On January 20, on St. Sebastian’s Day, a children’s «tamborrada» takes place in the city: about 5,000 children from local schools march through the central streets of the city with drumming. At the same time, during all 24 hours of the holiday, fifty adult groups with drums defile around San Sebastian.

    Gastronomy

    San Sebastian is said to have the highest number of Michelin stars per square meter in the world. There are only two cities in the world with three three-star restaurants: San Sebastian and Paris. It is no coincidence that gastronomy is a local attraction.

    In the old part of the city there are many bars and restaurants specializing in pintxos, miniature gastronomic art. A trip to these establishments is part of the local culture and a kind of ritual that is mandatory for tourists.

    Weather in San Sebastian

    The weather in the Basque Country is different from the weather in other regions of Spain: it is much windier and rainier here. However, if you remember the weather in most Russian cities, the locals are still lucky. The average temperature in summer is 20-25 degrees Celsius, in winter — about +10, which makes the city and the region an ideal place for water sports.

    If you are going to the north of Spain or straight to the Basque Country, by all means spend a few days in San Sebastian — you will not regret it. Please call the company and we will help you organize interesting individual or group excursions with the best guides in the country.

    Now you can read the most popular articles about life in Spain and useful life hacks from insiders on our Yandex.Zen page. Subscribe!

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