It was in the year 1692 when Loíza Ponce de León— the great grandson of Juan Ponce de León founded the then capital city of Spain’s southern region— Ponce. Today, the second-largest city in Puerto Rico, Ponce is often eclipsed by the charm of its big brother San Juan. However, this historic town deserves its own share of spotlight. Hop-on a cheap flight to Ponce and explore its world-class museums, eclectic architectural styles, balmy coastal ambience and fabulous neoclassical buildings and façades.
Museo de Arte de Ponce – Counted as one of the finest cultural centers in the Americas, the museum features the most extensive private assortment of European artworks in Latin America. Rent a car in Ponce and navigate to Museo de Arte to take in the artistic brilliance on display. With 14 galleries showcasing craftworks of various international artists from the 14th to 20th centuries, art admirers are in for a treat.
Plaza Las Delicias – The plaza is the perfect spot to get an insight into the city’s history. Check out the imposing Parque de Bombas and admire its distinct architectural style; an alluring blend of Victorian Gothic and Moorish elements with striking black and red stripes. The site is also home to a small museum, several statues, Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral and the Lions Fountain.
La Guancha Paseo Tablado – Get on a low-cost flight to Ponce and head straight to La Guancha to spend some laidback time. The boardwalk offers majestic views of the bay, marina and the offshore island of Caja de Muertos. Relish some traditional Puerto Rico cuisines and fine beverages while here. A variety of musical performances are also held at the concert pavilion. You can also take a day trip to Caja de Muertos that offers a lovely beach, a historic lighthouse and several hiking trails.
Castillo Serrallés - Nestled on the hills overlooking the city, this 20th century mansion is revered by visitors for its distinct Spanish revival flair. Now serving as a museum, the striking edifice and lush gardens offer a deep insight into the intriguing history of rum and sugar cane production in Puerto Rico.
When to Visit
With comfortable temperatures and a variety of festivals, March makes for the best time to explore Ponce. Spring is also a good time offering pleasant weather along with cheap airline tickets.
Mercedita Airport is the major airport serving the city. Located at a distance of about 3.7 miles from the city center, one can find several hotels in its proximity.
Know more about Ponce
Nearly $500 million have been spent on preserving the colonial legacy of this Puerto Rican beauty. The heart of the city traces its roots to late 17th century and is a designated national treasure. It is home to several churches and plazas, intricately designed colonial homes, lovely fountains and a distinct fire station. Book a last minute flight to Ponce and explore its other worthwhile attractions such as Museum of Puerto Rican Music, Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center, Museo de la Historia de Ponce and Hacienda Buena Vista.