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Museo de Casa Blanca, Old San Juan

1 Calle San Sebastián
Old San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00901
Tel: 787 725 1454's insider take:

Juan Ponce de León—who took a break from his search for the fountain of youth to found San Juan—had a house built for himself in what's now Old San Juan in 1521. He died before he could move in, but his descendants lived in what was the city's first residence for the next 250 years. Now a museum, the Casa Blanca may be the city's best-preserved colonial-era dwelling, with a string of small rooms with eye-popping views of the harbor (a necessity, as the house also served as the city's first fortification). A cleverly concealed stairway below one of the bedrooms leads to an underground room whose original purpose is a mystery. The gregarious guides here are full of gossip and will tell you their theories about subterranean tunnels and hidden dungeons. The shady gardens, open to the public, are a great place to escape the tropical heat.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 8:30 am to 4:20 pm.

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