10 Reasons to Visit Ponce in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico declared a national treasure.

It was founded in the middle of the 17th century.

The other name of Ponce is the Pearl of the South.

You can enter old churches and walk through the picturesque squares.

Numerous fountains and decorated colonial buildings decorate the city.

The central square Las Delicias has most of the cultural institutions and architectural monuments.

There are at least 10 reasons to visit this beautiful city.

Boat on the beach
Boat on the beach

1. Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe

In the center of Las Delicias there stands the blue Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Its slim towers can be seen from any part of the city.

Three main museums are always open to visitors here.

The cathedral was built in the 20th century in place of the old religious building destroyed by an earthquake.

Guadalupe
Guadalupe

2. Tibes Ceremonial Center

Tibes Ceremonial Center is the main attraction of the city.

It is a reconstructed village of the first settlers of the island.

Therefore, the lives of the Arawak Indians always get much attention from the scholars.

The archaeologists regularly work on the territory of the center.

The area is protected, but you can take a tour to visit and watch them working.

Skull
Skull

3. Castillo Serralles Museum

The museum is a real treasure of the architecture of the 20th century.

This is a splendid castle of the Serralles family who were rich sugar producers.

The atmosphere of royalty and prosperity awaits you here.

In this building, you will learn the impact of the sugar industry on the economy of Puerto Rico.

The sugar cane industry gave rise to the production of rum.

Therefore, the museum will acquaint you with the history of the production of this drink.

Also, you will have the chance to walk through the garden full of exotic plants.

You’ll find a cafe and a souvenir shop in the territory.

A glass of rum
A glass of rum

4. Coffin Island

The city hosts tours to the island of Isla de Caja de Muertos or Coffin Island.

The scenic views of this place are amazing.

An abandoned lighthouse and a beach which was chosen by the turtles are here.

The most interesting thing is the lagoon where you can take a cruise and see nature’s treasures, the waters as clear as a mirror.

A few legends explain the name of the island, and you’ll be able to learn them on your way there.

Turtle on the beach
Turtle on the beach

5. La Guancha Boardwalk

After a hectic day full of adventures and discoveries, you should get some time to slow down and relax.

The La Guancha boardwalk is the right place to be.

Slow walking down the street with one of the famous Puerto Rican desserts in hand should be on your list.

Enjoy the views of the sea here.

Boardwalk
Boardwalk

6. Museum of Art

Museum of Art is one of three main museums in Ponce.

This is the most large-scale structure in the city.

The building houses a rich collection of jewelry, sculptures, and paintings.

Many exhibits are already several hundred years old since the collections began to form as early as the Middle Ages.

More than 4 hundred exhibits display the Spanish Golden Age as well as Baroque and Pre-Raphaelite.

Pre-Raphaelite painting
Pre-Raphaelite painting

7. Carnival

Each February of the year, Ponce hosts a colorful carnival which resembles Rio de Janeiro or Venice.

The Carnival Ponceno is one of the carnivals celebrated across the Carribean and lasts for a week.

You will see colorful costumes, smiling faces, and masqued dances.

During the carnival, massive parades in musical accompaniment walk around the city.

They choose the Child Queen and the Adult Queen of the carnival who takes place on the stage during the performances.

At the end of the carnival, there’s a large dummy fish that gets burned as the symbol of burning the sins.

Carnival mask
Carnival mask

8. La Perla Theatre

La Perla Theatre is a vintage theatre not far from the central square for the true connoisseurs of art.

Get ready to enjoy the high-class performance from the very beginning till end.

The seats are comfortable, and the staff is very attentive.

If you rent a car, make sure to arrive in advance as parking problems may arise.

Rows of red chairs in the theatre
Rows of red chairs in the theatre

9. Parque de Bombas

Parque de Bombas is located on the Las Delicias square.

It is a former fire station which was initially intended to be a museum pavilion.

The fire station had operated here for about 100 years before it became a museum again.

Parque de Bombas is a historic place in Puerto Rico which is on an official list of the city heritage.

You’ll be amazed by the architecture of the building.

Fire engine
Fire engine

10. Hacienda Vives

Hacienda Vives or Hacienda Buena Vista is an old coffee plantation in the mountains which is simply charming and worth visiting.

In October, they give you a chance to taste coffee.

Sure, you will learn the history of the plantation and coffee production, see the plants and the farm, old turbines, furniture, and a small museum.

In the 19th century, this was the largest coffee plantation in Puerto Rico.

Initially, food was produced at this place for slaves working on the plantations nearby.

The Vives family started growing the coffee bean here.

Today, European countries import around ten thousand pounds of coffee annually.

Coffee beans
Coffee beans

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