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
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  • The Beach at Guánica
    The Beach at Guánica
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Best Rated Things to Do in Ponce

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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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  • gdilieto's Profile Photo

    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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  • gdilieto's Profile Photo

    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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  • gdilieto's Profile Photo

    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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  • 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: 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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  • XanderDone's Profile Photo

    Teatro la Perla

    by XanderDone Written Jun 10, 2005

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    Teatro la Perla

    Originally constructed in a neoclassical style in 1864, it's been partially distroyed in an earthquake and burned to the ground in a big fire. It was later rebuilt in 1941 to the same original design. Now, you will see local performances here.

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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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    Ponce Cathedral

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 15, 2008
    Ponce's Cathedral
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    This beautiful church is comparable to the one in San Juan. The first chapel was built here in 1670, followed by a larger one in 1839. The Pope declared it a cathedral in 1924. Damaged by earthquakes, it has undergone a number of renovations and restorations.

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    La Parque de Bombas

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 15, 2008
    La Parque de Bombas
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    Lt. Col. Maximo Meana, of the Spanish Army, designed this unusual building, which was built in 1882. It was part of Puerto Rico's agricultural exhibition, meant to be only temporary. The next year, a giant fire swept through the city, but the firemen put it out. In gratitude, the city made this their permanent home.

    Today, it's a museum dedicated to the city's firemen. Any visitor to Ponce should see this flamboyant, unique structure.

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    Castillo de Serralles

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 15, 2008
    Castillo Serralles
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    Pedro Adolfo de Castro designed this building for the wealthy sugar cane magnate Eugenio Serrallés. It was built in 1926, on the south side of El Vigia, a hill overlooking Ponce. Today, it's a museum, with exhibits about the Serralles family and the sugar industry. Guided tours explain everything. No photos are allowed inside the house, but the garden offers some fine opportunities. The house also affords a great view of the city.

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    Museo de Arte de Ponce

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 15, 2008
    Museo de arte de Ponce
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    This is Ponce's premier art museum. Designed by Edward Durrel Stone, it has 14 galleries containing about 3,000 pieces. This includes many by local artists. Dedicated in 1965, it was founded by Luis A. Ferré. This fine collection is a must-see for any art lover visiting Ponce.

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    Antiguo Casino de Ponce

    by XanderDone Written Jun 10, 2005

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    Antiguo Casino de Ponce

    Originally constructed in 1922 as a casino, now it's used as a government office, and is a center that you can contact for any activities that are happening nearby.

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    Fish and Pelicans

    by lonestar_philomath Written Apr 17, 2007

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    At the docks where tourists congregate, there are plenty of fish and pelicans. I did not see anyone feeding them so what draws them to this spot?

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    La Plaza Delicia

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 15, 2008
    La Plaza Delicias
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    Here is Ponce's central city plaza, the Plaza of Delights. With the lovely Cathedral, the Parque de Bombas, and a number of fountains and statues, this is truly a delightful place.

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