The Forts of Old San Juan highlight the Spanish efforts to protect its claims in the New World, which started in Puerto Rico, and grew to establish settlement patterns that persisted throughout the Spanish period of dominance in the region. La Perla fort was built and given its name because of the limestone that covered the walls which reflected to the sea white as a pearl.
La Perla was established in the late 19th century. Initially, the area was the site of a slaughterhouse because the law required them and homes of former slaves and homeless non-white servants – as well as cemeteries – to be established away from the main community center; in this case, outside the city walls. Sometime after, some of the farmers and workers started living around the slaughterhouse and shortly established their houses there.
Only four access points exist, through both doors of San José and Santa Rosa and two staircases, one right in the center of the northern wall and the other on Lucila Silva street.
Local Salsa and Hip Hop concerts are held with the intention of shedding the historically bad image of the community. Art shows, skateboard & surfing contest and an oceanfront community arts-and-crafts fair occur yearly.
OSJHF strives to become the premiere Heritage Tour Enterprise of choice in Old San Juan by providing professional bilingual Tourist Guides whose goal is to share and impart Heritage, Fun, and WOW with all Good Neighbors. We celebrate our Heritage and Good Neighbor Policy with a Call to Action Toast to Preserve and Protect our World Treasures for Generations to Come.
Most of our tour experiences are catered for private groups. Private group tours are arranged for a minimum of 20 participants, with a maximum 40 participants per tour. We kindly ask that you book your tour at least 3 weeks in advance of your planned date.
Old San Juan Heritage Foundation, LLC is a nonprofit organization supporting the arts and culture in Old San Juan. Funds raised through private tours cover our costs for a guide, any applicable stipends for participating artists or speakers, and provide support for our operations.