PoncePuerto Rico

Image for Ponce which includes night scenes

Walk through the labyrinthine streets of Puerto Rico’s second-largest city and you’ll find richly decorated colonial architecture, museums and pretty fountains.

Ponce has a captivatingly distinctive character that sets it apart from the island country’s biggest city, San Juan. Founded by Juan Ponce de León y Loayza in 1692, the city’s aristocratic pride lives on in its exquisite architecture and historic landmarks. Check out this snapshot of old-world Puerto Rico as you explore the city center’s museums and narrow streets and discover a waterfront district with a lively dining scene.

A good place to begin your exploration of Ponce is the city’s main square, Plaza of Delights (Plaza Las Delicias). From here, you can stroll to most of the sights in the compact downtown area. Visit the tourist office in the striking Parque de Bombas, the red-and-black striped façade of the former fire station. Admire the exquisite architecture of the Casa Aldacía (City Hall), the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe and El Museo Castillo Serrallés, which is a Spanish Revival treasure.

Learn about the local history at the Casa de la Masacres de Ponce and enjoy the cultural insights at the Museum of Puerto Rican Music. Find out about pre-Columbian cultures at the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center. The modern Museo de Arte de Ponce is one of Latin America’s most impressive art museums and hosts a series of touring exhibitions.

Make your way south of downtown to find the waterfront district of La Guancha Paseo Toblado. This harborside area can be explored via a boardwalk and features some of the city’s top restaurants.

Go on a tour of some of the city’s outlying destinations, such as Caja de Muertos (Coffin Island) or the coffee plantations on the northern edge of the city. Visit El Tuque Beach or join snorkeling and Jet Ski tours of the nearby cays and islands.

Ponce is located on Puerto Rico’s Southern Coastal Plain. Reach Ponce by air to Mercedita International Airport, which is a 10-minute taxi ride from downtown. You can reach the city via car from San Juan in a little over an hour, while public bus trips take approximately 2 hours. Book accommodations near Ponce’s main square to enjoy having some of the city’s main attractions on your doorstep.

Where to stay in Ponce

Ponce

Ponce Centro

4/5Very Good!(70 area reviews)

While visiting Ponce Centro, you might make a stop by sights like Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadeloupe and Parque de Bombas.

Ponce Centro
Central Plaza downtown Ponce.  Very cute and with various nearby museums.
trover photo by Tatiana

Primero

While Primero isn't home to many top sights, Museo de Arte de Ponce and Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadeloupe are some notable places to visit nearby.

Primero
Ponce

Segundo

4/5Very Good!(3 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Segundo, Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadeloupe and Parque de Bombas are top sights worth seeing.

Segundo

Top Hotels in Ponce

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
4 out of 5
1150 Caribe Avenue, Ponce
$177
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

This Ponce resort is on the beach, 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from La Guancha, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Parque de Bombas and Museo de Arte de Ponce. Cathedral of Our ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,230 reviews)

"Very nice resort. I wish they had a all inclusive option but prices were reasonable. Food was good. Drinks were good. Raul the bartender was amazing. He had great suggestions for me and my boyfriend. Absolutely love. Only thing I wish it had was all inclusive but I will definitely be back."…"

Reviewed on Feb 10, 2020

Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
Solace by the Sea
Solace by the Sea
3 out of 5
Highway 2 at km 220.1, Ponce
$94
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located near the airport, this family-friendly hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Vicens Coliseum, Museo de Arte de Ponce, and Museum of the Ponce Massacre. Casa ...

3.5/5Good! (221 reviews)

"El baño tiene problemas, se escapa agua hacia afuera llegando a la cama."…"

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2020

Solace by the Sea
Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino
Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino
3.5 out of 5
Reina Street, Ponce

Located in Ponce Centro, this spa hotel is steps from Casa Armstrong-Poventud, Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Parque de Bombas. Ponce History Museum ...

4/5Very Good! (959 reviews)

"Everything was perfect i have no complaints at all"…"

Reviewed on Feb 10, 2020

Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino

Popular things to do in Ponce

Parque de Bombas
Image for Parque de Bombas

Parque de Bombas

4.5/5(171 reviews)

This small, wooden fire station in the heart of Ponce is a historical and architectural monument.   

La Guancha
Image for La Guancha

La Guancha

4/5(146 reviews)

Take a stroll down Ponce’s waterfront boardwalk and experience its lively dining scene, local music, playgrounds, boat rides and views out to Isla Caja de Muertos.

Museo de Arte de Ponce
Image for Museo de Arte de Ponce

Museo de Arte de Ponce

4.5/5(55 reviews)

Peruse Pre-Raphaelite treasures, European artworks and Puerto Rican masterpieces in the light-filled galleries in one of the largest art museums in the Caribbean.

El Museo Castillo Serralles
Image for El Museo Castillo Serralles

El Museo Castillo Serralles

4.5/5(77 reviews)

Discover an empire built on sugar and rum as you explore the intriguing galleries and luxurious refurbished rooms in this 1930s Spanish Revival mansion.

Hacienda Buena Vista
Image for Hacienda Buena Vista

Hacienda Buena Vista

4/5(17 reviews)

Visit this historic coffee plantation to learn about one of Puerto Rico’s most enduring industries. 

El Vigia Hill
Image for El Vigia Hill

El Vigia Hill

4.5/5(7 reviews)

Climb up Ponce’s highest hill, crowned with an immense concrete cross, to relax in a tranquil garden and see a panorama of the city’s architecturally diverse streetscape.

Top activities in Ponce

Ponce Historical City Tour
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Ponce Historical City Tour

$199
Per adult
Ponce Walking Tour
Image for Ponce Walking Tour

Ponce Walking Tour

$26
Per adult
Coffee Plantation Tour
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Coffee Plantation Tour

$175
Per adult
Private Departure Transfer from Ponce Hotel to San Juan Cruise Port
Image for Private Departure Transfer from Ponce Hotel to San Juan Cruise Port

Private Departure Transfer from Ponce Hotel to San Juan Cruise Port

$64
Per adult
Cueva Ventana Ecotour
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Cueva Ventana Ecotour

$21
Per adult
Arecibo Observatory and Cueva Ventana Tour
Image for Arecibo Observatory and Cueva Ventana Tour

Arecibo Observatory and Cueva Ventana Tour

$165
Per adult

Reviews of Ponce

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
151
5 - Excellent 41.71270718232044%
4 - Good
147
4 - Good 40.607734806629836%
3 - Okay
51
3 - Okay 14.088397790055248%
2 - Disappointing
10
2 - Disappointing 2.7624309392265194%
1 - Terrible
3
1 - Terrible 0.8287292817679558%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 27, 2019

We need BETTER ROADS!!!!!!

5/5 - Excellent

Catalina

Dec 24, 2019

Loved the city of Ponce, so many historical places to visit.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 17, 2019

The Colonial City Style

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 13, 2019

It's my hometown! There's a variety of things to do in Ponce.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Dec 13, 2019

I would never consider it a tourist town

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 8, 2019

Many sites to visit in Ponce and in towns close to it like Yauco and Guanica