Are you planning to race the Ironman Puerto Rico in San Juan? You better do it, and I will tell you why.
San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, is the oldest European-founded city in all of the Americas. This incredible city will play host to the Ironman 70.3 San Juan, aka Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico event set to take place on the 17th of March 2024.
That’s just around the corner for those still thinking about entering – so you best get training!
Why race the Ironman Puerto Rico 2024?
The city, named after Saint John the Baptist, is the perfect combination of old and new. Casinos, bars, and nightclubs along the Isla Verde are coupled with a historic center that is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This little slice of Caribbean paradise pie has it all – from pristine beaches and mountains to exceptional food, a rich history, and beautiful culture. This all adds to the “buena gente” vibe the locals put out.
Roughly translated, this boricua slang means “kind and friendly”. When it comes to the Ironman triathlon, Puerto Rico might just be the perfect race venue. But wait, there’s more!
San Juan Weather
The weather in San Juan is a treat! Another reason for you to ensure one of the limited spots.
Average air temperatures hover in the 27°C /80°F region, while average water temperatures sit at almost the same temperatures as the air.
How does 27°C /80° F water temp sound to you?
Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico Course
Now let’s talk about the Ironman Puerto Rico course – it comprises the usual run, bike, and swim format.
Ironman Puerto Rico swim course
The 1.9km/1.2-mile swim takes place at the Condado Lagoon – the perfect location for athletes and supporters alike.
After the swim, athletes will transition to the bike ride at the Sixto Escobar Stadium, adjacent to the Caribe Hilton Hotel (our first hotel suggestion for Ironman Puerto Rico).
Ironman Puerto Rico bike course
It’s then onto the 90 km/56-mile bike ride, which takes place in the northern stretches of the island.
It starts in San Juan and heads west towards Dorado, taking athletes over some challenging hilly sections, albeit short.
The Ironman San Juan route has 3 bike aid stations where the athletes will pass during both loops.
Ironman Puerto Rico run course
Finally, the event concludes with the 21km/13.1-mile run, which takes athletes through the historic Old San Juan for three loops.
Still about the Ironman 70.3 San Juan, Puerto Rico
Don’t forget to plan your arrival in San Juan at least two days before the race day.
The event starts on Friday and there are separate days and hours for you to go to the Athlete check-in Ironman Village to get your athlete kit and do the bike check.
The events happening before the race are a fantastic opportunity for interaction with pros and meeting your age group athlete peers.
Keep an eye on the event schedule and plan your racing experience accordingly.
Now that you’ve got an idea about the city and the race, let’s talk about travel planning, an important part of your Ironman San Juan experience, and not many sites talk about it.
Whether you’re competing or supporting, you need a place to stay in the city. Something comfortable that is close to the start and/or finish lines of a triathlon, preferably in one of the best places to stay in San Juan.
But before we talk about where to stay in San Juan, here are a few things you must consider when booking a hotel for an Ironman competition.
Things to consider when choosing your Ironman Puerto Rico hotel
When deciding on where to stay in San Juan (or any other Ironman race), there are a few things you want to consider before making your booking.
This will ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for to have a comfortable stay while competing in the Ironman Puerto Rico.
Let’s take a look below:
- Location! First and foremost, you want to be conveniently positioned at the start/finish lines for the events. You don’t want to have the stress of traveling far to reach the main hub.
- Sights and main attractions. What main sights and attractions are close to the accommodation? This is good for post-event when you have some time off to explore.
- Is the accommodation bike-friendly? Important as you’re going to have your trusty old steed with you, remember.
- Budget! Yes, that’s normally the first thing everyone looks at, and rightly so. You want bang for your buck and a decent place to stay during the Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico event.
- What is the cancellation policy? Life happens, as we all know. Don’t get caught out with a poor cancellation policy that causes you to lose money should things change.
- Is there a sauna, steam room, or fitness center? These are all great amenities to have as an athlete.
- Is breakfast included? Is there also an on-site restaurant for other meals throughout the day and night?
- Remember, reading reviews will always help give you an idea of what you’re booking!
The Best Hotels for Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
Right, now down to the real nitty-gritty of the article – finding a hotel in the best area to stay in San Juan for the Ironman event.
Not all hotels were created equal, so let’s take a look at the top five picks for accommodation in San Juan, in no particular order:
- Address: Avenida Fernandez Juncos 580, 00907 San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Distance to the start: 23-minute walk (1.6km/1 mile)/ 8-minute cycle (2km/1.2 mile)
- Distance to the finish line: 33-minute walk (2.3 km/1.4 mile) / 4-minute drive
First up on the list of the best places to stay in San Juan is the Hyatt Place San Juan. Great location – check. Sea view – check. Outdoor swimming pool – check. It already sounds like the perfect place to stay for an Ironman event. There’s also an on-site restaurant, parking, and a humble 8.9/10 rating.
- Address: 200 Convention Boulevard, 00907 San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Distance to the start: 27-minute walk (1.9km/1.2 mile) / 8-minute cycle (2.1km/1.3 mile)
- Distance to the finish line: 37-minute walk (2.6km/1.6 mile) / 6-minute drive
Next up is the Sheraton Puerto Rico Resort and Casino – one of the best resorts in San Juan. The resort has an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, and a spa and wellness center (you’ll thank me later for the massage and body treatment suggestion). The restaurant serves international and local Puerto Rican dishes so you can get a taste of the local cuisine during your stay – bliss.
- Address: 801 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Miramar, 00907 San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Distance to the start: 17-minute walk (1.2km/0.7 mile) / 5-minute cycle (1.4km/0.9 mile)
- Distance to the finish line: 27-minute walk (1.9km/1.2 mile) / 5-minute drive
The Courtyard Hotel is a mile from Condado Beach – I could probably stop there, but I won’t. There’s also an on-site restaurant for all those breakfast, lunch, and dinner needs, private parking, and a fitness center. All the amenities you need to ensure a comfortable stay for the Ironman Puerto Rico event.
- Address: Clemenceau Street #6 Condado, Condado, 00907 San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Distance to the start: 25-minute walk (1.8km/1.1 mile) / 8-minute cycle (1.9km/1.2 mile)
- Distance to the finish line: 35-minute walk (2.6km/1.6 mile) / 9-minute drive
The Abitta Boutique Hotel kickstarts your day with an American buffet breakfast, and you know what they say – it’s the most important meal of the day. The beach is close by, there’s an outdoor swimming pool, and air-conditioning in all rooms – trust me, you’re going to enjoy the cool air!
- Address: 615 Ave Distrito De Convenciones, 00907 San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Distance to the start: 24-minute walk (1.7km/1.1 mile) / 7-minute cycle (1.9km/1.2 mile)
- Distance to the finish line: 33-minute walk (2.4km/1.5 mile) / 5-minute drive
The final hotel recommendation for your stay during the Ironman Puerto Rico is Hyatt House San Juan. The hotel is conveniently located from some of San Juan’s top sights and offers guests sea views, BBQ facilities, an outdoor swimming pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Breakfast is also included in your stay and the restaurant serves some delicious meals at both lunch and dinner time. Oh, and before I forget, there’s a bar too that serves delicious cocktails and chilled alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for post-event. Just one more reason to choose Hyatt House as your accommodation choice.
How to travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico
Getting to San Juan is a breeze, trust me.
Flying to San Juan
American, Delta, United, JetBlue – you name ’em, they’re here.
You can check all the flight options on Skyscanner.
Cruising to San Juan
Ah, the open seas! If you’re on a Caribbean cruise, San Juan’s probably a sparkling stop on your map. Just dock at the Old San Juan Cruise Port and let the magic begin.
Getting around San Juan
The best place to rent a car is at the airport, where you will find the majority of car rental options.
Remember to book your car in advance to get the best deals.
Things to do in San Juan after your Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
Here are 5 tourist attractions in San Juan that you should visit after racing the Ironman San Juan.
You are traveling all the way here, so you must have some cultural experiences, admire the Spanish architecture, and recharge your energy after crossing the Ironman finish line.
- El Morro (Castillo San Felipe del Morro)
El Morro is an ancient fort that feels like a time machine to the 16th century. Picture yourself wandering through its walls, the salty breeze of the Atlantic Ocean in your hair, as you soak in the stories of Puerto Rico’s colonial times. It’s magical!
- San Juan National Historic Site (Old San Juan)
Get lost through Old San Juan, where vibrant Spanish colonial buildings bring history to life. From the towering El Morro to the formidable Castillo San Cristóbal, every cobblestone street tells tales of resilience.
Discover hidden plazas, museums, and the pulse of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Have a look at this sunset boat tour departing from San Juan Old Town, it’s gorgeous.
- La Fortaleza (Palacio de Santa Catalina)
La Fortaleza, the Governor’s official residence, whispers stories from centuries past. While you can’t peek inside, the grandeur of its exterior and the surrounding gardens paint a vivid picture of Puerto Rico’s enduring history.
- Cathedral of San Juan Bautista
Step into the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, a silent witness to centuries of prayers and history. Its Gothic and neoclassical charm echoes with tales of explorers, and the tomb of Juan Ponce de León adds a touch of mystery to this sacred space.
- Condado Beach
For a break from historical wonders, you should escape to Condado Beach. Feel the warm sand beneath your toes and let the crystal-clear waters wash away your worries and pains from the race.
Surrounded by vibrant hotels, restaurants, and colorful souvenir shops, it’s the perfect spot to relax and soak in the lively spirit of San Juan.
That’s all! I hope this Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico guide helps you to plan your Ironman trip wisely and have an amazing race experience.
Check out the box below in case you are looking for other 70.3 Ironman races or full-distance events.
I wrote this article based on my experience running 4 Ironman events in Italy, Malaysia, Thailand, and Brazil. This race is organized by Ironman, Love and Road is not associated at any level with the organizers. Love and Road is also not associated on any level with Nirvana, a company that organizes Ironman experiences for athletes. We are proud to be part of a triathlon family made of international athletes who are always looking for a new sporting destination.