Ponce is the second largest city of Puerto Rico after San Juan. It was founded in 1692 by Loíza Ponce de León and has a population of around 195000. Ponce has many beautiful buildings that date back centuries. Beautiful colonial homes, fountains, plazas and churches are some of the architectural marvels that have been preserved in Ponce. There are a number of places to visit and numerous things to do in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Downtown Plaza de las Delicias is one such must visit places with lovely fountains, cathedral and ample sitting space. Others include history museum, art museums, parks, malls etc. Below is a list of some of the things to do in Ponce that will make your visit worth remembering.
1. Appreciate creativity of artists at Museo de Arte de Ponce
It is a great museum and one of the finest in Puerto Rico, with a variety of permanent exhibits including sculptures, framed works, glass pieces etc. Exhibits of European artists as well as Puerto Rican artists are displayed at this museum. Staff is attentive, welcoming and helpful. There is something for every age group and this is a very good destination to visit with family. The atmosphere is pleasant and cosy. This is a place where creativity is appreciated for sure.
Museo de Arte de Ponce
Address: 2325 Av. Las Américas, Ponce, 00717, Puerto Rico
Website: Museo de Arte de Ponce
Opening hours: Mon, Wed - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Tue)
Price: 6 USD
2. Admire the waterfront view from La Guancha Seaside Boardwalk
If you are looking for some nice views of the waterfront, then the La Guancha Seaside Broadwalk is a place you should have on your list when you visit Ponce. In addition to the beautiful seaside walk, there are a number of eating options provided by various food joints you will find there. It is a family-friendly place with some amazing night views to mesmerize its visitors.
La Guancha Seaside Boardwalk
Address: Calle C, Ponce, 00716, Puerto Rico
Website: La Guancha Seaside Boardwalk
3. Visit Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center
Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center was discovered by a local charcoal maker from Ponce. A group of ceremonial plazas and ball fields were a part of the buried remains that resurfaced after a flood in 1975. Researchers believe that some of the plazas may have been astral observatories. A cemetery with 186 skeletons was also found. Though small, this museum has a number of artefacts and is a good, quick stop at a historical site.
Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center
Address: Rte. 503, Ponce 00730, Puerto Rico
Website: Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 3pm (closed on Mon)
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4. Learn the art of making coffee at Hacienda Buena Vista
Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce dates back to 19th century. It is spread over 81.79 acres (33.1 hectares) of a fertile piece of land. There is a plantation house that was built in 1833 and the museum was opened in 1986. The museum is owned and managed by the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust. The surroundings are beautiful and there is a lot of information on how coffee is processed.
Hacienda Buena Vista
Address: 8 Carr 123 | Km. 17.3, Ponce 00728-2759, Puerto Rico
Website: Hacienda Buena Vista
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 9am - 4pm; (closed on Mon & Tue)
5. Visit Parque de Bombas, a unique fire-station-turned-museum
Parque de Bombas Museum is a fire station turned museum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Situated at Plaza las Delicias, it is one of the most well-known structures in Ponce. It was built in the year 1882 and was used as a fire station. In 1990, the building got converted into a museum when the fire station closed. It also finds a mention on the national register of historic places.
Parque de Bombas Museum
Address: Plaza las Delicias, Ponce, 00731, Puerto Rico
Website: Parque de Bombas Museum
Opening hours: Mon: 8am – 4:30pm; Tue - Fri: 8am - 5pm; Sun: 9am – 5pm
6. Drop by El Negocio de Panchi for a delicious meal
If you are looking for delicious, fresh food, coupled with superb service, then El Negocio de Panchi restaurant is a place you should definitely visit. The flavours are very unique, be it the stir fry with shrimp, stuffed mushrooms or chicken crepes. Some of the dessert dishes are truly out of the world, with the recommended ones being guava cheesecake or flan with cheese.
El Negocio de Panchi Restaurant
Address: Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
Website: El Negocio de Panchi Restaurant
Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 5pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
7. Explore art and culture at Centro Cultural Carmen Solá de Pereira de Ponce
This is a very special place in Ponce that is full of art, history, architecture and culture. There are a number of activities that take place at this centre, which are both educational and cultural in nature. It was founded in the year 1963 and was initially known as The House of Culture. Now it hosts exhibitions and offers courses in painting, sewing etc., to benefit the larger population.
Centro Cultural Carmen Solá de Pereira de Ponce
Address: 70 Calle Cristina, Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
8. Catch a show at Teatro La Perla
Inaugurated in 1864, Teatro La Perla is a historic theatre of Ponce and is the second oldest in Puerto Rico. Located in Tercero barrio of Ponce, it was designed by Juan Bertoli Calderoni and has a six-column entrance resembling the architecture of the time it belongs to. The place was renovated in 2006 and is a nice place to catch some good theatre with friends and family.
Teatro La Perla
Address: Calle Mayor, Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
Website: Teatro La Perla
9. Enjoy the fountains of Plaza Las Delicias
Plaza Las Delicias or the Plaza of Delights in English is the main plaza of Ponce and is known for its fountains and other monuments. The plaza spans over an area of 8800 square metres (94722.4 square feet) and is divided into north and south sections. One of the best attractions of the plaza is a fountain called The Fuente de Los Leones. Parque de Bombas, the historic firehouse building, is also located at this plaza. This is a just-visit for all art and architecture lovers.
Plaza Las Delicias
Address: Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
10. Acquire a souvenir at Utopia
If you are looking to take back a memory of Ponce from your vacation, then Utopia, a souvenir store, has everything you need and that too at reasonable prices. It is a perfect gift store that has a coffee shop inside. The food and coffee are delectable and are offered at reasonable prices. Staff is friendly and attentive and the store has a kind of museum look to it that is nice! Perhaps you would want to buy a small gift for your friends back home.
Address: 953 Calle Isabel-Munoz Rivera, Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 6pm; Sat: 8am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm
11. Catch the best city views from Castillo Serrallés
¡Solo puedes disfrutar de esta vista desde nuestra terraza durante el recorrido del Castillo Serrallés! Abierto hasta...Posted by Castillo Serrallés on Saturday, 24 August 2019
Built in the 1930s, Catillo Serrallés is a mansion that has now been converted into a museum. It was built by Juan Eugenio Serrallés, who was the son of Juan Serrallés, a local businessman. The property is spread over 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) of land. This museum provides some of the most beautiful views of the city of Ponce and also provides information about sugarcane and rum industries. There is a short tour of the museum available, which tells about the history of Serrallés family and the lifestyle of rich at the time.
Address: Sector El Vigia, Paseo De La Cruceta, Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
Website: Castillo Serrallés
Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 9:30am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Wed)
12. Visit one of the biggest cathedrals in Puerto Rico, Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ponce is one of the biggest cathedrals of Puerto Rico. It is the largest and most beautiful cathedrals with fine architecture reminiscent of the old Spanish and Portuguese style. The statues in the cathedral are breath-taking and there is a particular calm when you walk around the place. It is a very well maintained cathedral and a nice place to visit when in Ponce.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral
Address: Calle Concordia/Calle Union, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Website: Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral
13. Relish some delicious local ice-creams at King's Cream
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Nuestro Delicioso e irresistible Helado de Nutella. #heladoschinos #kingscreamponce #complaciendopaladaresPosted by King's Cream on Monday, April 26, 2021
If it is the best homemade ice-cream in Ponce you are looking for, then King’s Cream is just the right place for you. It is located right across the street from Plaza Las Delicias. They serve some extremely delicious local ice creams in different fruity flavours. The texture is more like sorbet than like an ice cream and this is one of its specialties. The place isn’t very expensive either, and this is the real cherry on top!
Address: 61 Calle Vives, Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
Website: King’s Cream
Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)
14. Go fishing at Lake Cerrillos
Created with the purpose of controlling flood by acting as a water reservoir and then serving the purpose of supplying water to the city, Lake Cerrillos is a man-made lake in Maragüez town of Ponce. It is a beautiful place that is perfect for family outings and offers a number of recreational activities like fishing. A large number of fishes are available that include largemouth bass, bluegills, catfish and tilapias.
Address: Ponce 00730, Puerto Rico
Caja de Muertos is a beautiful island in Ponce where an entire day with family or friends can be enjoyed. It has a beautiful white sand beach called “Playa Pelicano” that is the recipient of the first Blue Flag award by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). This Catamaran Beach Trip to Caja de Muertos includes a ride on the 65’ power catamaran. It is a day-long trip that let tourists discover the beauty of Caja de Muertos at their own pace. There are various activities that can be undertaken once on the island, which include snorkelling, a visit to the lighthouse, the museum etc.
From Salinas: Catamaran Beach Trip to Caja de Muertos
Ponce: a destination with something for everyone
Ponce as a tourist destination has a lot to offer travellers. From museums showing world-class exhibits to plazas housing historical monuments; from lazing around at some of the most pristine beaches to fishing at Lake Cerrillos, a man-made lake. It has a number of attractions that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. This is where you can not only enjoy with friends but also with family. Come and explore this beautiful town and enjoy a peek into its history.
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