Ponce Things to Do

  • The Cathedral in the Town Square
    The Cathedral in the Town Square
    by gdilieto
  • The Beach at Guánica
    The Beach at Guánica
    by gdilieto
  • The Beach at Guánica
    The Beach at Guánica
    by gdilieto

Most Recent Things to Do in Ponce

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    Armstrong-Poventud Residence

    by briantravelman Written Jan 11, 2014
    Armstrong-Poventud House

    We found this house on accident walking around town. I thought it looked nice, but I had no idea what it was until afterwards.
    This is the Armstrong-Poventud Residence, designed and built by architect, Manuel Victor Domenech, in 1899, in an architectural style known as Ponce Creole. It is also known as the Armstrong-Toro House, and Casa de las Cariatides.
    The house as built for the family of Carlos Armstrong-Toro, one of the first bankers in Puerto Rico.
    The house was originally white and blue, but was later repainted red and white. I think it looks a lot better now.
    The house is now a museum, but we didn't go inside, because we didn't know what it was, and we were in a hurry, but if you have some time, check it out.

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    Stop by at La Cruz del Vigia

    by risse73 Updated Oct 8, 2009

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    Cruz del Vigia as seen from the Japanese Garden

    La Cruz del Vigia (Cross of Vigia) is situated in El Vigia hill, thus the name. It is a 100 foot observation tower from where it gives you a wonderful vantage point of Ponce and its surroundings. The views of nearby rolling hills descending into the coast and ending in the Caribbean sea make this tower a particularly great look out spot.

    Enjoy your visit to Cruz del Vigia!

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    Visit La Guancha

    by risse73 Written Aug 13, 2009

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    Postcard of La Guancha

    La Guancha is the famous beachfront boardwalk of Ponce filled with eateries/restaurants and shops. It is a place to see & be seen in Ponce. The boardwalk is full of life at night with lots of people-watching and mingling going on. It gives off a carnival-like atmosphere with music playing in full blast and people getting ready to be in a party mode. This is a good place to stroll around, get some snacks/food if you haven't eaten yet, and get some nice cold drink/beer if you're in the mood for it. Some of the stall vendors do sell liquor & you can bring it with you as you sit in one of the benches admiring the scene and inhaling the fresh air of the sea.

    Enjoy!

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    Visit Castillo de Serrallés

    by risse73 Written Aug 13, 2009

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    Castillo de Serrall��s

    Located in El Vigia hill, the Serrallés mansion is a must-see destination in Ponce for its history, its distinctive Spanish Moroccan architecture, and its significance in the area. It was previously owned by a wealthy Puerto Rican sugar cane baron, which was later bought by the municipal government, and subsequently turned into a museum (a rum & sugar museum). You get wonderful views of Ponce from here and a nice breeze.

    Enjoy your visit!

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    See the fountain & take a picture!

    by risse73 Written Aug 12, 2009

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    Fountain in Ponce

    There is something mesmerizing and relaxing about fountains. I, for one, find them to be a relaxing way to reflect on life & the day's activities, engage in deep profound thought, and/or to plainly disengage from the mentally arduous task of thinking about "what to do next" and "where to go." :-) If you are in Ponce, stop by, enjoy the fountain, and even take a picture of it!

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    Visit the Cathedral in Ponce

    by risse73 Written Aug 12, 2009

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    Nuestra Se��ora de la Guadalupe Cathedral

    The cathedral is an ornate and grand structure located in the heart of Ponce. The area around it is abuzz with activities typical of city environments, and filled with local color and flavor. There are shops and eateries around, and people passing by. The cathedral is in a central area, but the "small town" feel is quite palpable. If you have time and the will for it, do stop by inside and reflect on the day's journey or say a little prayer of thanks.

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    Visit Parque de Bombas

    by risse73 Updated Aug 12, 2009

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    Parque de Bombas of Ponce

    The historical Parque de Bombas of Ponce served as its official firehouse for many years. It was later transformed as a museum in dedication to the city's firemen. The building is visually captivating with its unique architectural design, and its brightly colored painting of red & black. Definitely give this historical gem a visit if you are ever in town.

    Enjoy!

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    Visit the Japanese Garden

    by risse73 Written Aug 12, 2009

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    Jardines Japones in Ponce

    The Japanese Garden is close to the Castillo Seralles and located in El Vigia hill where you get sweeping views of Ponce. It is a lush and tranquil place in a fantastic location. There are some tourists, but it hardly appears crowded. Not only do you get wonderful views from here, but also a relaxing atmosphere conducive to reflection and meditation.

    Enjoy your visit!

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    • Sailing and Boating
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    Visit El Vigia hill

    by risse73 Written Aug 12, 2009

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    Somewhere in El Vigia hill with views of Ponce

    A visit to El Vigia hill is a must when in Ponce. This is one of the highest hills around, so the views of Ponce from here are stunning! Not only is it just a hill with picturesque views, but it is also home to famous points of interest: the Castillo de Seralles, the Cruz del Vigia, and wonderful gardens. Although this area is a tourist magnet, somehow it maintains a quaint & less tourist"y" appeal.

    Enjoy your visit!

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    • Sailing and Boating
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  • gdilieto's Profile Photo

    Must-see: The Town Square

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 16, 2009

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    The Cathedral in the Town Square
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    Like traditional Spanish-colonial towns, the Town Square is the center of the city life. In Plaza Las Delicias you will find the Cathedral and some of the most remarkable colonial and historical buildings.

    As far as architecture is concerned, Plaza Las Delicias is a terrific site. The neoclassic Cathedral with its silver-colored twin domes is magnificent. Water fountains, statues, trees, lamps and benches enrich the ambiance. Along with the Cathedral, the Old Fire House (with its odd Moorish architectural style) and the Fuente de Leones (the Fountain of Lions, better at night when it's lighted) are the other gems of the square. There are also few other historical buildings of interest, such as the City Hall and, just a block away, the Theater and the Museum of History of Ponce.

    The city center is compact and you can walk it around easily. Unlikely many other colonial towns I have visited in Latin America, it is a place worth more for its architecture and setting than for the street/city life that as a matter of fact is quite boring. At night, when it lights up, Plaza Las Delicias is even more picturesque but still no much going on.

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    Nice-to-do: The Beaches near Guánica

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 15, 2009

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    The Beach at Gu��nica
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    The friendly concierge of my hotel in Ponce recommended me the beaches near the town of Guánica for spending few hours at the beach. With exception of Playa Caña Gorda, a developed public beach with lifeguards and few basic facilities (do not expect too much), all other beaches that I saw are undeveloped and isolated.

    All those beaches are at easy access through the coastal highway. The surfer guys in one of the photos attached, told me there are few more picturesque beaches outside the beaten track but it takes a 4WD vehicle to access them.

    If you like quite beaches, you can come here for few hours of relax and choose the one that inspire you most. Expect windy weather.

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    Must-see: The Old Fire Station

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 15, 2009

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    Detail of the Old Fire Station
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    I have read it is one of the most-photographed buildings in Puerto Rico and I have no hard time in believing it. In the town square, no way you can miss the red-and-black wooden building with Moorish architectural elements that for over a century has housed Ponce's firefighters. Built in the late 1800 as an exhibition pavilion, it has served for 108 years as firehouse until its decommissioning in 1990. Today it hosts a small (free) museum with few firefighters' photographs and memorabilia and the Tourist Information Center. Stop by, note the peculiar architecture and take a photo.

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    Nice-to-do: An Evening Stroll at Paseo La Guancia

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 14, 2009

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    La Guancha at Night

    "La Guancia", few-mile off Ponce's city center, is a boardwalk overlooking the yacht marina featuring a concert pavilion, few eateries and a public beach. I can't say during the day-hours, but at night, especially in the weekend days, it is good place for some people watching and some finger-food tasting.

    The Saturday night I was there, there was no much going on other than people strolling back and forth or sitting and chatting at one of the many eateries along the boardwalk (all selling the same bad food at the same price). In that same night there was also a vintage car exhibition in the parking lot across the street that indeed did not make the place any more interesting or fun. Not a place for people with high expectations, anyway, if you are curious enough, I guess you can come here and enjoy some people watching and relax.

    From the city center, it takes a 15-minute drive (~US$10 taxi fare) to get there.

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    Must-see: Museo de la Historia de Ponce

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 14, 2009

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    This is a terrific small museum that - as the name does not say - will guide you through not only the "history" but also the political, social, cultural, economic and everyday life of Ponce and its inhabitants. There are plenty of posters with photographs and useful explanations that will make the visit pleasant and instructive.

    The museum is in the city center one block East the Town Square. Depending on your level of interest, the visit can take from half an hour up to a couple of hours. The staff will assist you and provide explanation in both Spanish and English.

    I have frankly been impressed by this museum and recommend visiting and spending some quality time.

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    Nice-to-see: Cruceta El Vigía

    by gdilieto Updated Jan 13, 2009

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    View of the Cruceta El Vig��a from the City Center
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    A key Ponce's landmarks, Cruceta El Vigía is just a cross-shaped concrete building on the hills overlooking the city, worth as a viewpoint over the city and the ocean not much for the building itself. Once there, a glass elevator will take you to the skybridge. The view is nice but non impressive (see other photo attached) so, in my view, if you have little time you can skip. Worth coming here instead if you have a hour to spare.

    At about a couple of miles off the city center, you will have to drive. You can couple the visit with a visit to the Serallés Castle Museum, on the way to/from, right past the Cruceta. You can walk from one site to the other.

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Ponce Things to Do

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