I've been a photographer in San Juan, Puerto Rico for almost 6 years now and I’ve scouted quite a few photo locations during that time. There are so many epic locations in and around San Juan, but not all are equally good for photo shoots. Sometimes clients already have a place in mind when they contact me, but the picturesque spot they found on google images might not be the best choice for a photo session, as they can be difficult to reach or get overrun by tourists. I've decided to put together a list of my go to photo locations in San Juan, that offer gorgeous and fun backdrops while still being conveniently located.
If you're looking to have your pictures taken while on vacation in Puerto Rico, this little read can help you get some ideas for your upcoming photo session.
1. Callejón de la Capilla
When you stroll around Old San Juan you’ll see that it’s full of beautiful architecture and colorful walls, but you’ll also notice that you’re not the only visitor enjoying the sites. Old San Juan can get quite crowded, but I’ve found this cute little alley way, which is usually pretty quiet. At first sight, you might not think of it as the ideal photo location, but you’ll see in the pictures, that it gives you the perfect colorful, cobble stone Old San Juan vibe. It’s only a short walk from Plaza Colon, and even walkable from the cruise ship terminal. The setting works well for couples as well as family sessions, and therefore one of my go to photo locations in town.
2. Calle Fortaleza
Fortaleza street, or better known as the “Umbrella Street” is a popular spot in Old San Juan that many of my clients want to shoot at. Understandably, the umbrellas and the colorful houses make a perfect backdrop!
During the day time it can get packed with tourists who are all trying to get that famous umbrella shot. So, this one is reserved for the early birds. I offer early morning sessions which start before 8 am, to make sure we have street to ourselves.
The decoration of the street changes regularly, so please check in with me before your session. If the umbrellas are up and you don’t mind getting out of bed early during your vacation, you’re good to go!
3. Escambron Beach
I love this location for many reasons. First of all, it’s only a short drive away from Old San Juan, as well as other tourist areas, it has parking, and last but not least, some epic views, even though we’re technically still in the city. The sunsets are amazing, the water is pretty calm, and the rocks give it that extra pop and variety in backdrops.
4. Parque Luis Munoz Rivera
Located right next to Escambron beach, this park offers a great opportunity to add some not so average shots to your photo session. It’s not a typical tourist destination, yet beautiful, with a historical structure and lots of gorgeous trees and plants. This park is a dream to shoot at, so if you're up for something a little different, I would love to take you there.
5. Caleta de las Monjas
Right in the heart of Old San Juan, next to the Hotel El Convento you’ll find a beautiful area that has been my go to location for many years. So many different photo options, basically on one street. You can get some fun walking shots in the middle of the street, colorful walls, a gorgeous staircase that never disappoints as a background, without having to walk around the whole town. Perfect for families with small children!
6. Punta Piedrita
If you’re staying in the Condado area, and don’t have a rental car, this location is great for you! It’s only a 5 minute walk from the Marriott Hotel in Condado, and even though it’s in the middle of the city and close crowded beaches, the rocky area makes it less attractive for swimmers, so it never gets too crowded. And if the timing is right, it gets blessed with a wonderful sunset!
Of course there are many more amazing locations in and around San Juan, but I wanted to show you, that the most epic locations aren't always the most obvious ones, and you might not necessarily come across them during your google search. That all being said, even though I have my go-to starting points, I come across new locations every single time. In every session I find a new wall, door or simply a new angle and I spontaneously change routes.
Seeing locations with a photographers eye often makes a big difference, so feel free to contact me with any questions you might have regarding photo locations!