A Relaxing Park in the Center of the City
Luis Muñoz Rivera Park (Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera) is a 27-acre gem located at the eastern end of the San Juan, Puerto Rico district of Old San Juan in the Puerta de Tierra neighborhood (see map below). It is just west of the Commonwealth Supreme Court and south of the beautiful Balneario El Escambron (Escambron Beach). It is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service with origins dating back to the early 1900s.
The park, named in honor of Luis Muñoz Rivera, (July 17, 1859 – November 15, 1916) a famous Puerto Rican statesman, journalist, and poet who was most famous for leading the fight for liberty and political self-government of Puerto Rico during the late 19th century. There is a statue to honor him near the west end of the park.
Luis Munoz Rivera is more like the combination of a park, arboretum, botanical garden, art gallery, architectural display, and historical museum. As you take a walk around the park, families can enjoy play, sightsee and relax. There is a playground for children, bust sculptures of influential Latin American public figures, sidewalk murals, a romantic gazebo, water fountains, and hundreds of species of beautiful unique trees, plants, shrubs, bushes, and flowers. The park features a large outdoor pavilion event center and stage Pabellón de La Paz (Pavilion of Peace), and a historic Spanish military structure that houses a U.S. Liberty Bell replica. There are plenty of rustic benches and picnic areas in the park where you can rest and enjoy the tranquility and scenery.
All these things and the wide concrete pathways running around it on three sides and throughout makes it perfect for walking, jogging, or bicycling. It is a must-visit for nature and garden lovers, artists, romantic couples, families with children, history buffs, and photographers.
Things to See
Be sure to look at the map signs inside the park that will help guide you around to see the main attractions. On the sign, you’ll see a map of the park, information with a brief history, in Spanish, as well as a 16 mini-attraction / landmark legend.
List of things to see at Luis Muñoz Rivera Park
Below we have listed the 16 attractions/landmarks appearing on the park legend including translations to English and additional information or photos.
1) Polvorin de San Geronimo – San Geronimo Powderhouse
Built-in the 18th century as part of the Spanish defense of the city, it was used to store ammunition and currently serves as an area for art exhibitions, including a replica U.S. Liberty Bell.
2) Pabellón de La Paz – Pavilion of Peace
Cultural, music, arts & crafts, civic, and educational events are held here throughout the year.
3) Escultura de Luis Munoz Rivera
The statue of Luis Munoz Marin Rivera, an artistic masterpiece is the centerpiece monument located near the west end of the park.
4) Paseo Norte – north pathway
Along this wide, paved pathway you can walk, ride bike, jog, access the playground, the bridge to El Escambron, the administrative building, and the San Geronimo Powderhouse.
5) Escalinata – main staircase
This is a large, beautiful concrete staircase that leads down to the Ave. Munoz Rivera sidewalk.
6) Area de Juegos de Ninos – a playground for children
7) Administración / Café / Banos
The park administration building, café, and bathrooms are located just north of the Powderhouse.
8) Paseo Central y Fuente Lineal – central walkway and linear fountain
This is another great place to sit on a park bench and relax, walk, jog, or bike.
9) Paseo Sur – south pathway
Like the north pathway, this is great for walking, jogging, biking and is lined with many statues of people of historical importance.
10) Jardines – gardens
Hundreds of species of tropical plants and trees are here and all around the park.
11) Gazebo y Laberinto Espiral or “El Caracol” – gazebo and spiral labyrinth or “the snail”
This gazebo is a heavenly spot for taking photos, especially romantic ones.
12) Fuente Central – central fountain
Seemingly magnificent, apparently, the fountain is not working and under renovation at this time.
13) Entrada y Estacionamiento
The main entrance and the parking lot is on the northeast end of the park off Avenida Munoz Rivera. More information on parking below.
14) El Mirador
An open grass terrace with a very large staircase – an architectural beauty
15) El Bosquesito
A small forest located at the east end of the park between the park and the Supreme Court Building.
16) Puente al Parque del Tercer Milenio / El Escambron
A Pedestrian bridge that crosses Ave. Munoz Rivera to Third Millennium Park & Escambron Beach
More Notable Attractions not shown on the Park Map
Paseo de los Próceres (walkway of heroes)
See many bust sculptures of famous Latin American historical figures along this gravel path that parallels Paseo Sur.
The Pergola is beautiful and great for pictures as seen on the top of this page. See it for yourself.
…see if you can find it…and use it to set your watch!
Things to Do in the Park
- Take your kids to the playground
- Walk or Jog
- Ride Bike on the wide pathways
- Engagement or wedding photos or related events
- Just sit and relax on one of the many benches, and maybe read a book
- Play dominoes
- Hold an outdoor meeting
- Attend a cultural, music, arts & crafts, civic, or educational event