In July of 2016, we went on an adventure in search of Ponce De Leon at the San Juan Bautista Cathedral in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Come along on this adventure with us, we found him.
We took a cruise for our 10th Wedding Anniversary, and one of the stops (shore excursions) on the cruise was San Juan, Puerto Rico. When we we started researching the different spots on the island that we wanted to visit during our stop, we found out that Ponce De Leon's final resting place is at the San Juan Bautista Cathedral. The only thing was to figure out how to get there. The Cathedral is located at 151 Calle del Cristo, San Juan, 00902, Puerto Rico.
If you would like to learn more about Ponce de Leon and our trip, we made a video about our adventure that is posted to our YouTube channel that you can watch below as well.
The first thing that we needed to do was to book an excursion on the island. We booked the San Juan city tour which took us to the capital building, the fort, and to the downtown market area. The first thing we did after leaving the ship was boarded a bus heading to the capital building.
Outside of the Capital building (where we got on/off the tour bus), there are bronze statues of former U.S. Presidents that was interesting to see. A lot of people where getting their pictures taken with the statues.
When we were finished at the Capital Building. The tour loaded back up on the tour bus and rode around the city for a little bit while the tour guide told us about the various buildings, what events took place in different areas, and what films were filmed there. We had other things on our mind, like how are we going to to be able to find the church where Ponce de Leon is buried? Our next stop during the tour was one of the locations that we wanted to visit, the Castillo de San Cristobal. A wonderful, historic, and haunted fort on the island. We will be doing another post and videos about this location in the future, but for now you can see some of those amazing photos.
After the fort, we were taken to the market area where everyone who was on the tour was permitted some time for themselves to get something to eat and do some shopping before heading back to the ship. We asked the tour guide if she knew where the church was, that we wanted to walk down there, and she found someone to give us some directions. We decided to take this time to walk down the church to find Ponce de Leon and a store called "The Butterfly People" that Marianne has purchased many butterfly displays from in the past. So, we were cut lose and ready to begin our own personal adventure.
Before we left the group, we did spend some time with a new friend that we met. He was quite interesting, but he didn't talk very much.
We then began walking towards the church. There were storms rolling in and it rained on and off the whole time that we were on the island, but there was nothing that was severe or we had to worry about. There was just some rain that we would have to duck into a building to wait out, but as fast as it came on and started, it stopped. It was interesting to get off the main touristy sections and down some of the narrow roads of San Juan. Some of which were barely wide enough for two vehicles to fit down in between the buildings.
After a little rapid walk, we made our way to the church. We found it. Now, the question was, "Is it open?" We have come all this way, will we be able to go inside and see the actual final resting place of Juan Ponce De Leon? The answer was, Yes! We were able to walk right and inside, look around, and pay our respects.
After looking around inside the church for a little while, there it was. The final resting place of Juan Ponce de Leon. Simply amazing. As we stood there for a little bit, and Marianne was snapping off pictures, I noticed something. Nobody else from our tour was there. Should we have mentioned this location to others? Would they have been as interested as we were? Hard to say, but we did achieve our goal, and found him.
We were short on time. We now had to make our way back to the market area to catch the tour bus back to the ship, and we wanted to find and stop at the "Butterfly People." So, we quickly headed back East, towards the market area. Thankfully, while on our way to the church, we spotted the side street where the shop was located, and it was almost half the way back to the market area. Again, we reached our goal, and Marianne was happy to see the little shop she had made purchases from in the past. Of course, she had to pick up a couple of souvenirs while she was there.
Thankfully, we did make it back to the market place area in time to catch the bus back to the ship. We decided to not eat lunch in San Juan, since well, there was so much food on the ship. We just waited until we got back and had a late lunch on the ship. What a great adventure we had, and now it is so wonderful to share it all of you. Please let us know down in the comments if you have visited San Juan in the past, or if you visited either the Butterfly People or Ponce de Leon's resting place. We hope you enjoyed this post. We would love to hear form you.