El Morro photos and history: Puerto Rico Travel Bucket List Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of Travel Bucket List Wednesday! Get inspired to wander thanks to readers’ submissions and my travel adventures. This week I uncover more of the beauties of my island, Puerto Rico. Hope you enjoy these El Morro photos and short historical overview!

To participate in Travel Bucket List  Wednesday inspirational series:

1. Submit a link joint article about your travel bucket list experience(s) via Mr. Linky below. It can be any type of travel inspiration, such as a blog post, Pinterest board, photo essay, etc.

2. Leave a comment on this post, describing your travel bucket list link and/or why it should be on our list, too.

3. Tweet all your travel bucket list items with #TravelBLI promise to RT!

Sounds good? Onto showing you some mighty El Morro photos!

El Morro photos, viewpoint

One of many viewpoints at El Morro. Old San Juan in the background

El Morro: The ultimate protector?

Due to its strategic, geographically-desirable position, Puerto Rico had been lusted after by every world power in colonial times. Since its discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492, La Isla Del Encanto has been the subject of attacks by other colonial powers (such as the English). For this reason, the Spanish conquistadors were compelled to come up with a strategy in order to protect the island.

In 1539, construction of the Castillo San Felipe Del Morro begun under the rule of King Charles V of Spain. The massive fortress and collection of 44-meter (145 ft) high, 5.5-meter (18 ft) thick walls we see today were not completed until late 18th century, though!

El Morro photos, view from the sea

El Morro: As seen from an arriving cruise ship (Photo: Jorge Quinteros, Flickr)

Fortress El Morro photos

View from one of El Morro’s upper levels

Despite fortification, Old San Juan was attacked by the Dutch, English, and even pirates (such as Sir Francis Drake)! the last attack? By US forces during the Spanish-American war. We know the outcome 😉

Learn more: Puerto Rico: The U.S. territory’s dilemma

Another interesting fact about this UNESCO World Heritage Site? Even though the entire fortress is known as El Morro, this is actually the name of the Port San Juan Light, which was built on top the Castillo San Felipe in 1843. Sixty-five years later, the U.S. military replaced the Port Light with the lighthouse that stands today.

El Morro photos, lighthouse

El Morro lighthouse (Photo: Marius Strom, Flickr)

El Morro photos, lighthouse views

Postcard views inside the lighthouse

While these El Morro photos were taken during my Puerto Rico press trip this past July, I have visited this site several times. As many of you already know, I was born and lived in Puerto Rico for 18 years. You can say I didn’t even have time to add this to my travel bucket list, as my first time there was early in my childhood! 🙂

El Morro photos, Garita watch post

Entrance to one of the infamous “garitas,” used as watch posts                   (Photo: Matt & Becky, Flickr)

Are these El Morro photos enough to convince you to visit? 😉

What other sites are on your travel bucket list?

17 thoughts on “El Morro photos and history: Puerto Rico Travel Bucket List Wednesday

  1. We loved our visit to El Morro. We underestimated the time spent there and didn’t get to explore it as much as we wanted. The lighthouse was also under construction. My kids loved rolling in the grass and flying kites. Beautiful photos and we’d love to go back.

    • I miss flying kites there! I used to do that all the time as a kid 🙂

      You should definitely go back. Even in these many years, I feel like there are still corners of the fortress I haven’t explored deeply enough

  2. I’ve been to El Morro but I didn’t have these views! Love them! Now I want to go back so I can see it again. I guess we’re on the same wavelength: I did two posts this week about the UNESCO Heritage Sites and Columbus. I’ll definitely be adding this to my bucket list. I definitely need to add the DR and S. America.

    • you have to go back and explore the hidden little corners, from which you have these fabulous views 😉 I have been to the DR (actually lived there for one summer in my childhood, as one of my aunts married a Dominican) and loved it. Gorgeous beaches! As for South America, it is in my travel bucket list as well. I can’t believe that, to this day, I haven’t stepped foot on that continent yet!

  3. I really enjoyed my visit to El Morro. I think I even have similar shots of a garita and the view from the upper level. My bucket link is to Fushimi-Inari Shrine. I’d been wanting to visit ever since I saw it in Memoirs of a Geisha years ago. But a) I wasn’t sure if it was just a movie set; b) I didn’t know where it was; and c) I didn’t know what it was called. My cousin recommended it, and I was so excited when I recognized the place.

    • you should stick around then! I talk about Puerto Rico all the time and would love for you to learn more about my island 😉 very rich, interesting history!

  4. When I visited El Morro, I thought it was both beautiful and strong. I have almost identical photos of the garitas and the view from the upper level. I linked Fushimi-Inari Shrine as my bucket list contribution. I’ve been wanting to see it for years, ever since I saw it in a movie. But… a) I wasn’t sure if it was just a movie set piece; 2) I didn’t know where it was; and 3) I didn’t know it’s name. Luckily, someone mentioned it to me when we were planning our trip to Japan, and it was guaranteed a spot on our itinerary.

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