The other side of the art pendulum from Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico  is Museo de Las Americas (Cuartel de Ballajá , second floor, on Calle Norzagaray beside Plaza del Quinto Centenario, Old San Juan, 787/724-5052, fax 787/722-2848, musame [at] prtc [dot] net, www.prtc.net/~musame , Tues.–Fri. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., free). Inside an enormous structure that once housed 1,000 Spanish soldiers, the museum contains a fantastic collection of Latin American folk art, including masks, musical instruments, clothing, pottery, baskets, and tools. Highlights include altars representing Santeria, voodoo, and Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration. Don’t miss the collection of vintage Santos, Puerto Rican wood carvings of saints.
Wall text is in Spanish and English except in the second smaller exhibit dedicated to Puerto Rico ’s African heritage. The Tienda de Artesanías on the first floor (Tues.–Fri. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., 787/722-6057) has a small but quality selection of locally made crafts for sale.