Castillo san cristóbal puerto rico: Castillo San Cristóbal | Discover Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Day Two: San Juan: Castillo San Cristobal

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After a light breakfast at my hotel, I began my second day in San  Juan by heading to the massive fort that prevented me from observing the sunrise earlier in the  morning.

Construction of Castillo San Cristobal was started by the Spanish in 1634 and took over 150 years to complete. It was the largest fortification in the New World. 

I was able to enter the castle with my admission receipt from my visit to “El Morro” the day before. 

Once inside I again learned so much history about the fortress and San Juan  from the many exhibits throughout  the castle. They ranged from the defenses of the fort to how the soldiers were housed and fed. 

The fortification was built because of land assaults on San Juan by the Dutch and British in the 17th century. This newer  fortress protected the city for the next 300 years 

I roamed the many passages and tunnels throughout the fortress.

Along the way I visited the dungeon which had these drawings on it’s walls. They were probably made by some poor soul awaiting a long prison sentence or execution. You probably didn’t wind up in the dungeon for petty crimes. 

There were spectacular views from atop the walls of the fortress, including this view of the Capitol of Puerto Rico. 

While enjoying a view of the ocean from one of the casements I saw a rainbow form over the water. The weather is usually sunny here this time of year but there were a lot of showers during my visit.

The exhibits told the history of how the lives of the  soldiers who defended the fort changed over the years, ending with the American troops who were stationed here in World War II. 

Once again time prevented me from seeing all there was to offer in this spectacular and historic fort.

Hopefully I will get the chance to return to San Juan and visit it again. But there are so many countries to explore and I am running out of time. So I am glad I can share this visit with my blog readers. Here is a link to some more photographs from my visit to the castle. Puerto Rico Day Two Castillo San Cristobal. February 9 2018. 


i have been 
A guest in 
Many castles 
Yet the 
Which i 
Is the oasis 
Where the heart 
And the silence 

~silent lotus” 
― silent lotus


Exploring the Dungeons of Castillo San Cristóbal – Doug Goodman

Of the two fortresses in Old San Juan, El Morro is older and more popular, but when we visited Castillo San Cristóbal on our first day, we were all blown away by this strange and mysterious fort. It was built by the Spanish in the 1700s to protect their interests in the Caribbean. As the castillo grew, the generals in charge kept manipulating and changing its fortitudes to make it an even more and more impenetrable fortress. The confusing, illogical geometry the fort employs is almost inhuman, and for good reason. This not only frustrates invaders, but also makes firing upon them easier. Several triangular hidden towers, called Revelins, housed cannons that overlapped each other’s range so that they could fire anywhere and everywhere – along the Atlantic, and if necessary, on San Juan itself.

When you visit, one of the things you must see is the Devil’s Sentry Box. La Garrita del Diablo. The guerite overlooks the Atlantic, far from the other sentry boxes. Older than the rest of the fortress, secluded, and loud, some soldiers thought it was haunted by ghosts or local monsters. Stories recount that it was difficult to hear the soldiers over the crashing waves. Can you imagine being so isolated at your post, in the middle of the night, with nothing but the crashing waves accompanying you? No wonder soldiers swore they heard voices, both sweet and monstrous at the outpost. At least one soldier disappeared one night, either taken away by sirens or running away to meet his girlfriend. In the morning, all that remained was his uniform and his rifle.

La Garrita del Diablo

Dragons surround the premise. This is the biggest surprise, though it shouldn’t be. The iguanas ranged in size from 1 to 4 feet, with spines on their back, banded tails, and those long claws. They don’t care about the tourists except to watch us closely with a mean eye. I imagine some of them were chased by horrible little children who should be stowed in the Devil’s Sentry Box for a night as punishment.

We spent most of the afternoon climbing up and down the many tunnels and wandering the ramparts and Revelins, and even covering the wide field. This innocent-looking field was sinister in its design. For one, it was angled upward to the fort. Small lines of rocks, and an occasional waterway, created nuisance spots for whatever army tried to invade. As always, the walls were lined with firepower deliberately set up to shoot on the approaching army as they fought their way up this field. And finally, most sinister of all, the commanders of the fort built tunnels beneath the field so that they could detonate explosives underneath the invaders. I am telling you, every point of this fortress was designed to repell.

I have visited many old forts. None of them are so deviously planned as this one.

The last place we visited, and it was just my son and I, were the dungeons. Since first walking into the castillo, we’d wanted to tour the dungeons. The dungeon tunnel is long and cool and descends into the bowels of the fort. This tunnel was shorter and narrower than the rest in the fortress, and I could see where iron bars or hardwood gates had been reinforced in the stonework. There were many “gates” between the dungeons and the main fortress area. You can see what it is like in the top photo from this post.

Only one dungeon is available for entry. It is long and cold, with a singular opening to the outside world. The small slit is maybe an inch wide and less than a foot long. For the poor souls imprisoned in this dungeon, their view showed them only more of the fort.

Tiny, creepy dungeon…

We happened upon a tour. The guide, who was not part of the National Parks Service, was leading a class of high school students through the fort. He spoke in Spanish, and although my Spanish is not very good, I could make out some of the story:

One night, a well-regarded captain of the fort went crazy. He mutinied against his commanders because he claimed they were all being controlled by beings from another realm. So the mutineer was locked in the dungeon for twenty years. After twenty years, they finally let him out…to walk him out of the dungeon and hang him in the main square outside the soldier’s barracks. His stay is of historical significance because of the strange, dark Spanish Galleons that he drew on the walls of the dungeon. He was able to draw the Galleons because they gave him a pencil and paper to confess. Instead, he drew these dark pictures. If you look closely, you can see spectral figures in the lines of his art, as if the Galleons are supported by the spirit world.

What is even more interesting is what isn’t there. Some of the captain’s artwork has been “erased.” Somebody has physically removed from the walls what else he drew. Were they the beings from another plane of existence, more galleons, or perhaps just irrational graffiti from a sick mind? We may never know, but it is fun to imagine.

The galleons. See the removed art?

The tour guide left with his group, which gave us more time to explore this eerie cell. There isn’t much there, mostly modern graffiti, but I did find several words written in the same dark pencil. “Me encanta la phantasma” and “Siempre mal,” and “R’lyeh” written in various parts of the cell, I imagine, before the madman’s instruments were seized.

I smile for the camera. My son is ready to leave.

With this strange story, our time was up, too. We returned to the colorful streets of Old San Juan and ate at a lively and popular restaurant, Raíces. You know how people say that when leaving a spooky place, they feel a weight lifting from their shoulders? It wasn’t quite like that. It was more like, a visual weight, a dark weight, being lifted from our eyes. The bright blue streets and intensely colored houses of Old San Juan lift you up from the experience. I wonder if they are like buttresses against the strange and dark creation that was Castillo San Cristóbal.

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World’s Best Places to Visit in October

About Getting a Visa

Depending on the location, you must obtain a visa to visit certain countries. In some cases, certain countries do not require a visa, while in others, obtaining a visa is a prerequisite. For trips in October, you may be interested in the articles «Issuing a visa to South Africa», «Issuing a visa to Japan», «Issuing a visa to India», «Issuing a visa to Italy». If you would like more information about visa policy in your country, go to the site in the «Services» section.

Best Places to Visit in October

When people look for the best places to visit in October, they get confused about where to go on holiday in October. If you are interested in best places to stay in in October, then continue reading this article.

Here are some of the best places to visit during your vacation in October:

Cape Town, South Africa

This place is considered one of the best places to visit in October because it is the peak of the spring season in the Southern Hemisphere. This means that you can plan various outdoor activities , such as a walk through the spring blooms of the Kirstenbosch botanical garden or a vineyard tour in Franschhoek. You can also spend your entire holiday moving between the best beaches in Cape Town. Windmill Beach (10 minutes walk from Boulders Beach) and Camps Bay Beach (10 minutes walk from Boulders Beach) are well worth a visit for the views of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles.

Darjeeling, India

This month marks the end of the rainy season, so this is the perfect time to visit India’s most famous hill station when the rain and fog clears to reveal breathtaking views of the Himalayas. A sunrise tour to Tiger Hill, where you can see the frozen peaks of Mount Kanchenjunga bathed in peach hue, should be top of the list. Mid-October is considered to be the optimal time to observe this phenomenon; follow Everest on the left. In addition, at this time it is nice to try «champagne teas» on nearby plantations, ride the UNESCO-listed steam railway (nicknamed the «toy train») and enjoy afternoon tea in Victorian-style hotels.

Japanese Alps, Japan

People who are looking for places to go on vacation in October do not notice this place. The public may be captivated by the cherry blossom season, but the Alps in autumn are undoubtedly Japan’s most stunning sight. The ranges are covered in vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, reflected in jade green lakes and rivers.

Roads can get crowded, but the breathtaking view more than makes up for it, and the Japanese are masters of high mountain huts where you can get a private room and bento box style food. After that, tired limbs can be relaxed in the resort towns around Takayama. Kamikochi, where private cars are not allowed, is one of the best places in the Alps.


Known for its northern lights and breathtaking scenery, Iceland is one of the best places to visit in October. The best months to visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights are February, March, September and October. In Iceland, the winter season starts in October and the weather is relatively cold. There are not only northern lights here, but also geysers, hot springs, active volcanoes, glaciers and fjords, which makes this place fantastic to study. Flying to Keflavik International Airport and then taxi to your chosen destination is the best way to arrive in Iceland.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park turns visitors into trailblazers: Each trail leads to a rugged, unspoiled landscape just waiting to be photographed. Cobalt waves crash against jagged granite slabs protruding from the banks, which are crowned by spruces. Inland forests and ponds are surrounded by rocky paths and primitive wagon routes that beckon to explore. The park caters to casual outdoor enthusiasts, with a focus on high-adrenaline sports such as horseback riding, cycling, hiking and even rock climbing.

Warm places to visit in October

If changing leaves and sweater weather can be attractive for some, for others, the first pre-winter chores are the perfect time to soak up the sun before the onset of winter cold. Here are some of the warm places to visit in October:

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

One of the best tropical places to visit in October is in Costa Rica. It is located in Central America and is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.

From the pristine Santa Teresa to the San Jose rainforest, cloud forest and rainforest, whether you’re a beach bum, adventurer or wildlife lover, there’s something here for you.

Costa Rica should be on your bucket list because it’s one of those hot spots for ziplining, surfing, hiking and shopping during the warmer months.

Galapagos Islands

Speaking of warm places, the Galapagos Islands are one of the best tropical places to visit in October. When you visit the Galapagos Islands, an unspoiled archipelago of over 120 islands where rare creatures and plant species are waiting to be discovered, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the most intriguing places on the planet.

The Galapagos Islands, located near the equator, enjoy pleasant weather all year round, so October is a great time to visit this eco-friendly site and immerse yourself in its diverse marine life.

Start your journey on the island of Baltra, which is called the «gateway to the Galapagos». Then head to San Cristobal, a sea lion colony and one of the largest islands in the region, formed by the confluence of three or four volcanoes.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is one of the warm places to visit in October. Start your journey with a visit to San Felipe del Morro, a six-level castle built by Spanish emigrants that has long been considered impregnable. Then visit the Castillo San Cristobal, the largest European fort in the Americas, designed to protect San Juan from land attacks.

In addition to Puerto Rico’s many beautiful beaches around San Juan, you can take a tour of the El Yunque National Rainforest, the only rainforest in the United States. Hike through gorgeous tropical scenery and cool off in a waterfall.

Inexpensive places to visit in October :

There has always been an opinion that travel is expensive and only rich people can visit any country. However, if you take into account some rules, such as booking tickets and hotels in advance, visiting at a certain time, etc., then the trip may be cheaper than than usual. Here are some cheap places to visit in October:


Almost any Caribbean island will be cheaper in October, from the US Virgin Islands to places like the Turks and Caicos. Due to weather fluctuations, this time is considered low season in the Caribbean and tourism suffers. However, this means that prices will be among the lowest of the year. You will also find that the beaches are less crowded and more peaceful.

Abruzzo, Italy

Abruzzo is one of the cheapest places to visit in October. Head to Abruzzo for the most incredible, freshest cheeses (and wine) (it’s only two hours from Rome if you fly). Since the terrain here is predominantly mountainous, the panorama is breathtaking.

If you’re feeling braver after all that wine and cheese, go hiking in a national park like Gran Sasso or Majella (don’t worry, there’s a settlement inside Fara San Martino called «pasta house» where you can rest if you get hungry).

New Orleans, Louisiana

October is one of the most beautiful months in New Orleans. The summer scorching heat has passed, and the air has become a little cooler and less humid. With no summer tourists or Mardi Gras visitors, the spring is also less busy. Enjoy a Café Du Monde coffee and a beignet cake while walking around the French Quarter without getting burned. Even better, if you book your tickets in advance, you can purchase Spirit Airlines tickets for around $100.

Scary places to visit in October:

One of the best scary places to visit in October in the world is Savannah. Many believe that the spiritual strength of the city is due to the fact that entire squares were built on the site of former cemeteries. Ghost tours and haunted site walks provide a fascinating glimpse into Savannah’s spooky past, but strolling through any of the city’s lovely public gardens or cemeteries — don’t miss Bonaventure Cemetery on the banks of the Savannah River — is an easy way to immerse yourself in the city’s darker side.

The Stanley Hotel: Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel, which served as the backdrop and inspiration for The Shining, is still open today, according to staff, and is haunted by «merry ghosts only.» After spending one night here, renowned novelist Stephen King was inspired to write a book for the film. He stayed in room 217, which is haunted by the ghost of a housekeeper who was electrocuted in 1911. It is alleged that Freeman and Flora Stanley, the founders of the hotel, also roam the grounds, doing their usual business and making regular appearances in front of guests and staff.

Whaley House: San Diego, CA

If you have spooky places to visit in October on your bucket list, Whaley House is the place to go. The Whaley House, built in 1856, was originally a granary, San Diego’s first commercial theater, and home to the Whaley family. It is now a California Historic Landmark and a must-see for ghost hunters.

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