Ponce Travel Guide

  • Coffee inside
    Coffee inside
    by melinanatalie
  • From the outside, Utopia in Ponce
    From the outside, Utopia in Ponce
    by melinanatalie
  • Shopping
    by melinanatalie

Ponce Highlights

  • Pro
    XanderDone profile photo

    XanderDone says…

     Atmosphere, People, Beauty 

  • Con
    gdilieto profile photo

    gdilieto says…

     Nothing going on in Ponce 

  • In a nutshell
    HAROLD_PR profile photo

    HAROLD_PR says…

     Come and see it, otherwise, you have not seen Puerto Rico 

Ponce Things to Do

  • Armstrong-Poventud Residence

    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...

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  • Stop by at La Cruz del Vigia

    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...

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  • Visit 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...

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  • Visit Castillo de Serrallés

    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 &...

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  • See the fountain & take a picture!

    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,...

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  • Visit the Cathedral in Ponce

    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...

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  • Visit Parque de Bombas

    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...

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  • Visit the Japanese Garden

    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...

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  • Visit El Vigia hill

    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,...

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  • Must-see: The Town Square

    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...

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  • Nice-to-do: The Beaches near Guánica

    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...

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  • Must-see: The Old Fire Station

    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...

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  • Nice-to-do: An Evening Stroll at Paseo...

    "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...

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  • Must-see: Museo de la Historia de Ponce

    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...

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  • Nice-to-see: Cruceta El Vigía

    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...

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  • Must-do: Eat an Ice Cream at King's...

    This is the best helado de fruta topical (tropical fruit ice cream) I have ever had in the whole Americas. Yes indeed, in the whole Americas, need any more reasons to make a stop? Across the street the Historical Firehouse, don't need an address, the people standing in line on the sidewalk will guide you there.

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  • Museo de Arte de Ponce

    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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  • Castillo de Serralles

    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...

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  • La Parque de Bombas

    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...

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  • Ponce Cathedral

    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 Plaza Delicia

    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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Ponce Hotels

See all 6 Hotels in Ponce

Ponce Restaurants

  • Ponce's Ice Cream Shop

    King's Cream is a beloved ice cream institution in Ponce that is right across Parque de Bombas. It sells sherbet-like ice cream with several tropical flavors to choose from on the menu. I happen to like this tropical-oriented ice cream. It serves its purpose and hits the right spot after walking around in extremely hot & sunny conditions. Enjoy!

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  • Great meal, great atmosphere.

    We never even made it inside, the weather was beautiful so we ate on the patio. This Argentinian steakhouse in Ponce is the restaurant to go to if you want to really enjoy yourself for the night. Truly delicious Aregntinian food: the seafood is fresh, the wine and beer is unique, and the service is very friendly. I'm no gourmet diner but it was...

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  • WORST HOTEL IN PONCE

    This is the worst hotel in Ponce. I visit the city twice each month unfortunately I had made last minute plans to go down on a local holiday weekend and all the hotels were full except for one room at Fox Delicias. We requested early check-in 2-days prior to arrival. A manager (Pedro) called us back and said that early check in was not a problem....

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Ponce Nightlife

See all 3 Nightlife in Ponce
  • Ponce's Boardwalk at Nights

    La Guancha is a lively area to spend the evenings/nights while you're in Ponce. It is a great place to people watch, to stroll around, breathe some fresh sea air, and enjoy some drinks/food or snacks with friends. The atmosphere is festive at nights with music playing in the background and with people getting ready for a fun night out on town....

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  • THE BLACK LIST

    NOTE THAT SOME OF THE SPOTS ARE OUTSIDE PONCE BUT IN THE AREA (THE ISLAND IS SMALL!) I AM NOT COUNTING ANY OF THE SPOTS IN THE METRO AREA.1- Monday - ummm, very little. If desperate, go to the Bowling Alley in Mayaguez (college town), it is packed, you won't regret.2- Tuesday- mayaguez is always an option. i know of some places there that are good...

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  • Nightlife in Ponce is quizzical

    Nightlife in Ponce is not the kind I like. It is not energetic and spontaneous, but if you are in the right place in the right time, it can be fun. Drinks are cheap. In Puerto Rico, we learned how to drink beer out of a can. Beer is almost never from a tap, therefore, it is quite cheap. Rum drinks are also cheap, or at least very strong. So, don’t...

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Ponce Shopping

See all 3 Shopping in Ponce
  • Best Souvenir and Coffee Shop in Ponce!

    The store is beautiful inside and out! It offers a variety of affordable souvenirs, gifts, local crafts, jewelry, clothing, and Coffee shop that sells local sandwiches and a variety of iced and local coffees. It has much to offer in terms of clothing, jewelry and Puerto Rican gifts to take with you! I depends on your budget, but you can get nice...

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  • Shops around Parque de Bombas & downtown...

    If you want to purchase souvenirs, postcards and the like, go to one of the shops around Parque de Bombas and downtown Ponce, and buy what you see/like. If you don't buy it as you see it, chances are you may never see the merchandise again in another area unless it is a commonly used item. I managed to buy some clothes, a souvenir PR bag, personal...

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  • Local Crafts!

    It looks like your average tourist shop where you have all the little things that you don't really need, but you buy anyway. It's really nothing special on the outside or the inside, but you get local art and local crafts here, and it makes it very special. The one thing I really wanted was a mask of my own. Everyone in my family has either one or...

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Ponce Off The Beaten Path

  • Centro Ceremonial Indigena in Tibes

    The Centro Ceremonial Indigena is close to Ponce and one of the most important indigenous sites in Puerto Rico. This site is believed to have been last inhabited by the Tainos who are PR's indigenous peoples. The Tibes site offers visitors a glimpse of the past through these visual representations: stone-lined courts, a small modern museum of...

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  • La Guancha Beach

    A short distance outside Ponce lies La Guancha Beach. This beach stays warm year-round. From the city center, take Highway 14 south to the beach.

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  • Ponce Hotels

    6 Hotels in Ponce

    178 Reviews and Opinions

Ponce Favorites

  • XanderDone's Profile Photo
    Parking

    by XanderDone Written Jun 10, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Well, I thought that parking was miserable if you're trying to see the Historical Center of Ponce. But there's a parking lot that's very inexpensive off Calle de Comercio. It's a one-way street that goes towards the outer streets, Route 14, etc. It's about three blocks from Plaza las Delicias, and is really not a long walk. The rates are $1.00 an hour, I believe, and when you come from a bigger city like New York or Miami, that's pretty cheap; less expensive than a parking meter!

    Fondest memory: Watching tourists circle the place, looking for a place to park on the streets that are filled to the brim with cars, knowing that we have a great place to park, and have known about it for a long time. It's a great place to see. You can see the Historical City in an hour or two, and still have time to go on to another town, like we did this time. You could also go shopping in the malls off Calle las Américas. From Ponce we went to San Germán to see my grandfather's grave.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
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    • Family Travel

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