5 free things in Puerto Rico

EL MORRO: There's an entrance fee to enter the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, but the best way to enjoy this U.S. National Historic Site requires no money at all. The fort that towers over San Juan Bay, known universally as just ``El Morro,'' is a great place to stroll, especially at sunset. The massive rolling expanse of grass at the foot of the fort has spectacular views in any direction. It's a popular place to picnic and fly a kite, sold by nearby street vendors.

OLD SAN JUAN: At the foot of El Morro is the old city, the colonial heart of San Juan. In recent years, Old San Juan has been on an upswing; its cobblestone streets are cleaner and livelier. New stores, restaurants and coffee shops have opened and many of the old homes have been restored. It's a working city, home to the governor's office and mansion _ said to be the oldest in the western hemisphere _ as well as other government offices and an increasing number of professional firms. It's also become an increasingly busy cruise ship port and outlet and luxury goods shops have proliferated in response.

MUSIC AND SALSA: A good place to catch free live music several nights a week is the Plaza Mercado, a fruit and vegetable market in Santurce, a neighborhood that is also home to what are considered some of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico. The lobby of the El San Juan in Isla Verde usually has live music and dancing on weekends. The bar of course isn't free but there's no charge to get in. The dancers can be intimidatingly good so the less-skilled may be content just to watch the scene. A number of restaurants and hotels also regularly advertise free salsa lessons.

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