Marauding pirates and seafaring merchants were once spied from this hilltop vantage point, which now features a monumental cross with a viewing deck.
Look out across the city of Ponce and the Caribbean Sea from El Vigía Observation Tower, a soaring skybridge situated within the extended wings of la Cruceta del Vigía, a Christian cross. Established in 1984 on the site of a former garrison, the observation tower combines stunning views of the modern city with Ponce’s intriguing colonial history. Gaze into the deep blue waters of the Caribbean Sea or admire the pretty lights of the city after dusk. Use this vantage point to take bird’s-eye view photos of Ponce’s landmarks amid the careening streets of the city’s historic center.
As you approach the 10-story Cruceta del Vigía, you’ll be struck by the cross’s immense size. Measuring 100 feet (30 meters) to its tip, the building is Ponce’s best vantage point. The 300-foot (91-meter) hilltop was originally chosen as a lookout in 1801, when a rough timber cross was erected to alert passing ships that the fledgling city’s port was under watch. Check out the plaque dedicated to the brothers Ricardo and Alberto Lugo, who scanned the horizon for merchant ships and potential invaders. The brothers would display colored flags to communicate to the Spanish military. A replica of the original cross is displayed nearby.
Ride the glass elevator to the Cruceta del Vigía’s crossbeam and enter the observation deck. Look out the deck’s floor-to-ceiling windows and see if you can spot some of the city’s sights. You might see the spires of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe soaring from the Plaza Las Delicias. Check out the landscaped gardens of the Spanish-Revival mansion, Castillo Serrallés. The observation deck has a series of displays to help you pinpoint the city’s landmarks. After nightfall, you’ll be treated to a magnificent view of Ponce’s city lights framed by the dark waters of the Caribbean Sea.
El Vigía Observation Tower is located on top of El Vigía Hill on the northern side of Ponce’s historic center. The hilltop is a 10-minute drive by car or taxi, or a 30-minute walk from the city center. The deck is open from Thursday to Sunday until the early evening. There is an admission fee to access the observation deck.