Ponce is a city in the Porta Caribe region of Puerto Rico.
Mercedita International AirportOffers daily flights to the mainland US. JetBlue has direct flights to New York JFK and Orlando airports.
By carPonce is reachable via the main island expressway. It's located about 64 miles from San Juan. The drive takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The road (highway #52) is modern and convenient and restaurants and shops are readily available throughout the trip.
By públicoPonce has a large público terminal (787-842-1222) at the intersection of Calle Union and Calle Vives, a few blocks north of Plaza las Delicias. Públicos to San Juan (2 hrs, $20) depart from pier 5A, mostly early in the morning. Call Chóferes Unidos de Ponce at 787-764-0540 to make a reservation; they can also pick you up for a small extra fee.
Most of Ponce's sights are tightly packed around the main square of Plaza las Delicias.
- Parque de Bombas, east side. The former fire station, painted with highly distinctive red and black stripes, and the symbol of the city. The building now houses the tourist office and a free exhibition of the history of fire fighters in Ponce, and is the departure point for the sightseeing train around the city.
- Casa Alcaldía (City Hall), south side.
- Catedral de la Guadalupe, west side. Directly behind Parque de Bombas,
- La Guancha Paseo Tablado. A boardwalk south of downtown, near the harbor.
- Castillo Serralles
- Casa de la Masacre de Ponce
The Museum of Puerto Rican Musicphone: +1 787-844-9722address: 70 Christina StOpen W-Su 9AM - noon, 1-5:30PM. Free
- Ponce Museum of Art (787) 840-1510. Is quite impressive. A modern building, that is arguably one of the top and finest museums in Latin America. Covers European art most notably "Flaming June", the pride of the museum -- as well as some Puerto Rican art. The museum hosts many visiting exhibits, as well. Daily 10AM - 6PM Close on Tuesdays. Adults $6, children $3, students $3.
- La cruceta El Vigia. (Open Th-Su)
- Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Tibes - Indigenan Park about the Tainos (Puerto Rican Native Americans) Open Daily, close on Mondays. Adults $3
- Caja de Muertos (Coffin Island) is an uninhabited island just off the coast where you can visit an abandoned lighthouse, empty stretches of beach and a marked underwater snorkel trail. Ferries leave from the pier, weekends. $4. 787-842-8546
phone: +1 787 244-6283address: La Guancha1/2 day guided snorkeling excursions to Caja De Muertos. All snorkel equipment is provided. For the novice and non swimmer, we offer instruction and an actual 'hand holding’ experience, if necessary, as safety and education are our top priorities which in turn makes an enjoyable day for everyone.
- Hacienda Buena Vista Plantation, is a historic coffee plantation turned into a museum about growing and processing coffee. It is located north of the city of Ponce, along Carretera 123 in the Corral Viejo neighborhood.
Hacienda Pomarrosa PlantationTours on request, $15/person. Hacienda Pomarrossa is a privately run active specialty coffee plantation in the mountains north of Ponce at the intersection of highway 143 and 511 (note that highway 511 from Ponce is blocked off by a gate roughly 2/3 of the way to Pomarrosa; take highway 143). Owners conduct the tours themselves and speak English, Spanish and German.
phone: +1 939-265-5691address: Utopía Café, Calle Isabel # 6953 at Plaza Muñoz RiveraDaily cultural experience tours with walking tours of downtown Ponce and themed tours ("experiences") in Ponce and neighboring municipalities, including coffee, sugar cane, salsa music, and arts and fire experiences. Tours outside the Historic Zone include transportation. Owners conduct the tours themselves and speak English and Spanish. Registered with the Puerto Rico Tourism Department and certified by the Ponce Municipal Government Office of Tourism.
- El Tuque Beach
Caribbean Water Sportsphone: +1 787 244-6283address: La Guancha, PonceWe guide you on an exciting jet ski ride to near by deserted cays and islands. You can snorkel on the beautiful reefs of these cays or tour around them at your own pace. Fast or slow!
- Centro Comercial Plaza del Caribe
- Centro del Sur Shopping Center
King's Creamphone: +1 787-843-8520Calle Marina 9322 (opp Parque de Bombas). A Ponce institution dishing out hand-made ice cream in a dozen flavors for two generations. Generously sized portions start from $1.10.
- Classic Delights Calle Marina, Ssq Comercio Ste 3. If you've had your fill of heavy meat & fish dishes, head over to Classic Delights for some fresh baked breads, veggie wraps, pizzas and lasagna. They offer a full breakfast menu, fresh juices, and salads, soups and sandwiches too.
Belgicaphone: +1 787 844-3255address: 122 Villa StreetSmall budget inn on Plaza Degetau. Rooms with AC and small balconies start at $60.
- Hotel Las Colinas Carr. 505 Km. 2.2 La Yuca, Ponce, PR (787) 843-5668. Rooms with AC, TV, garage. $33 / 12 hours or $65 per night.
phone: +1 787-842-0260Plaza Degetau y Calle Cristina. Located right off the central plaza, this family-run hotel has both colonial charm and modern facilities. Great little pool, free wi-fi in room, free PCs in business center. Rooms from $90.
- Holiday Inn Ponce and Tropical Casino
- Howard Johnson Ponce
Hotel Ramada Poncephone: +1 787-813-5050Corner of Union and Reina Streets. Located on main square across from Cathedral. Pool and restaurant.
phone: +1-787-259-7676address: 1150 Caribe AvenueThis one's on the beachfront, but a 5-minute drive from town. The Hotel has a 27-hole Golf Course, vegas-style Casino, 2 swimming pools, tennis courts, ample garden areas and recreational facilities for family vacations, and a complete Conference/Convention Center for events and banquets.