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5 1/2 Hour SJU Layover - Any Suggestions?

 
thoogie
(@thoogie)
Advanced Member

We've got a 5 1/2 hours in SJU on Saturday 3/24 from 8:27am to 2:10 before heading to MIA. Is it possible and/or practical to try and see of the sights and still have time to get back and go thru security without being in constant panic mode or should we just suck it up at the airport? Are there any one stop must-see historical sights or restaurants near the airport?

Thanks

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Topic starter Posted : March 7, 2012 12:43 am
ChanelCinq
(@ChanelCinq)
Advanced Member

We've got a 5 1/2 hours in SJU on Saturday 3/24 from 8:27am to 2:10 before heading to MIA. Is it possible and/or practical to try and see of the sights and still have time to get back and go thru security without being in constant panic mode or sh. ould we just suck it up at the airport? Are there any one stop must-see historical sights or restaurants near the airport?

Thanks

My suggestion would be to catch a cab to Old San Juan. Old San Juan is just adorable and there is a ton of stuff to see or just walk around and explore. It is a fixed rate and I believe it is 16 USD if the site I saw was updated. It is about 8 miles. I maped the airport to some random address in OSJ. Here it is:

http://maps.google.com.pr/maps?q=sju+map&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozillaofficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&sa=N&tab=wl

A closer option would be to go to Isla Verde. It is right next to the airport. It's about 1 mile away. There is nothing there but the big hotels and casinos but it is better then staying in the airport. Maybe you could have breakfast at one of the casinos. I maped that route and here it is:

http://maps.google.com.pr/maps?q=sju+map&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozillaofficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&sa=N&tab=wl

But really I would go to Old San Juan even if it is for only a couple hours. Your bags wil be checked so you don't need to get to the airport any earlier then an hour so you would have 4 hours in OSJ. Have fun!! And don't stay at the airport. It is an awful airport. If for some reason you do then at least buy day passes to the AA Admiral's Club. Yeah I can tell you are fying AA because of your routing. Maybe you are already an AC member. 🙂

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Posted : March 7, 2012 3:01 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

There is a casino attached to the airport hotel.*-)

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Posted : March 7, 2012 11:55 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I would go to Pinones. It's closer than Old San Juan, and it's a beautiful boardwalk area. It's a very popular local hangout on weekends, so Sat would be a good day to go.

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Posted : March 7, 2012 12:17 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

The time required to get through security in SJU varies, so don't cut it too close. I would plan to be back at the airport an hour or more before takeoff. You could also call the airline from OSJ to check for delays to your flight before heading back. Might as well kill any extra time in town rather than in the airport.

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Posted : March 7, 2012 12:38 pm
ChanelCinq
(@ChanelCinq)
Advanced Member

I would go to Pinones. It's closer than Old San Juan, and it's a beautiful boardwalk area. It's a very popular local hangout on weekends, so Sat would be a good day to go.

Piñones is VERY local. And it is basically a beach with food stalls. I ride my bike down there all the time but there really is only the beach and food and drink. And the beach is not very nice in my opinion as it is very rocky.

Old San Juan is picturesque. And there are a lot of things to do and it is super small. It is like one mile by one and a quarter mile.

I have lived here for 18 months, have flown out 8 times and always show up to the airport an hour and 5 minutes before departure WITH checked bags and always have time to spare. I have flown in the morning and the afternoon and never felt rushed. I had plenty of time. So if you arrive over an hour without checked bags you will be more than fine. Oh my experience is all with the AA terminal. I am unfamiliar with other terminals.

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Posted : March 7, 2012 1:35 pm
thoogie
(@thoogie)
Advanced Member

Thanks for all the advice. This is our 18th trip to STX so we've flown thru the SJU airport and know how lame it is but never had this long of a layover. Our tickets on AA were FF tickets and the only way to change them to the direct STX/MIA flight (also leaves after7am) is to wait until 12 hours before the flight, hope for open seats, and pay $50 each. Right now there's 4 seats in the first leg and 6 on next leg to Detroit. We'd get in 7 hours earlier. So where are we going to spend $100? On the ticket change, airport food, or sightseeing?

Also, is there a place to store our carry-on luggage while sightseeing or do we lug it around?

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Topic starter Posted : March 7, 2012 4:03 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

For me, it's so easy lose track of time in Old San Juan, because it's such a beautiful city with so many options.

If you decide to go to Old San Juan, taxi fare from the airport is approx $23 per cab each way. You can store your bags at Aloha Restaurant directly across the street from the cruise terminal for $3 per bag, or at Barrachina Restaurant (home of the pina colada) for free (I think). There are other places, but can't think of them right now.

There are designated taxi stands throughout the city, so getting one back to the airport shouldn't be a problem.

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Posted : March 8, 2012 1:07 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Be careful tho. We did this last April before a flight to Europe and there was some kind of a strike - traffic was HORRIBLE and we almost didn't make it back to the airport.

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Posted : March 8, 2012 2:51 am
ChanelCinq
(@ChanelCinq)
Advanced Member

Be careful tho. We did this last April before a flight to Europe and there was some kind of a strike - traffic was HORRIBLE and we almost didn't make it back to the airport.

They don't really strike here as far as I know but if it was when Obama visited then that was a nightmare. I couldn't get home for several hours. They completely blocked off any road I would need to use to get to the beach. Also if there are any 10K or 5K races that can mess things up but usually traffic is fine. Maybe inquire about anything out of the ordinary before leaving the airport.

I don't know of any place in the airport that holds carry on but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

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Posted : March 8, 2012 5:44 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

it was a strike.

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Posted : March 8, 2012 6:57 pm
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