What Is the Capital of Puerto Rico?

The colourful streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The colourful streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

San Juan is Puerto Rico’s capital city and is located along the country’s north-eastern coast. It is also the most populous city in the country. The municipality of San Juan covers an area of 199 square km and the municipal population was 395,326 in 2010. Of the total area of the city, 37.83% is occupied by water. Two natural lagoons and the San Juan Bay are primary water bodies of the city. The city has a tropical monsoon climate.

History of the Capital of Puerto Rico

The first recorded settlement in the area of Puerto Rico was established in 1508 by a Spanish conquistador and named the Caceres. Gradually the settlement grew and soon became an important settlement of the Spanish Empire. Its harbor would host many merchant and military ships traveling between Spain and the Americas. Fortifications were built in the city to protect it against foreign invasions. Due to its strategic position between the Americas and Europe, many strong powers of the time like the British and the Dutch made several attempts to capture the city. Despite the invasions, San Juan continued to thrive and expand rapidly. Finally, in 1898, after a brief battle between the Spanish and the US forces, Spain ceded the island of Puerto Rico to the US by signing the Treaty of Paris. Today, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the US and San Juan serves as its capital city.

Economy of the Capital of Puerto Rico

The city of San Juan underwent an industrial revolution after the Second World War. The manufacturing industry is highly active here and produces chemicals, textiles, medicines, fertilizers, electric devices, etc. Tourism is also an important industry in the city. The city’s beach area hosts several luxurious resorts. The country’s busiest airport is also only 5 km away from the city. San Juan also has several multinational companies and national and international and national banks operating in the city.

Tourism in San Juan

The capital of Puerto Rico has immense potential for tourism and is already a popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. The mild climate and the natural setting of the city make it an ideal getaway for vacationers. Several tourist attractions are present in and around the city like the Ocean Park, Isla Verde, and Old San Juan. Recreational areas like beaches, restaurants, shopping arcades, etc., are also present in the city. San Juan is also noted for its rich culture and has been the birthplace of many noted musicians and artists.


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