A clear blue sky with the sun beaming in all its glory as the soft Caribbean breeze gently caress your soul, what more could you want in the city of Ponce. Situated on the southern end of Puerto Rico, Ponce is the second largest city after San Juan. Named in honor of Juan Ponce de León y Loayza, the great-grandson of Juan Ponce de León, the city regarded as the jewel of the south for its adorable array of attractions and amazing landmarks.

ponce © by laura0509

The historic Ponce Pueblo district is situated in the downtown area of the city and is where you will find the La Ciudad Señorial and La Ciudad de las Quenepas. These areas serve the city’s self-governing towns as well as being the center for many of Puerto Rico’s government entities. Officially founded in 1692, the city of Ponce and its gorgeous Plaza of Delights with the captivating fountain of lions is a must see while there.

Visit the city of Ponce to admire the eye-popping Parque de Bombas that was built in 1882. A bright red and black exhibition place that boasts a collection of antique fire trucks to include an old steam engine. This fire station is a must see as you stroll to the extraordinary Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe for an enchanting tour. As it dominants the Plaza of Delights, this grand cathedral was built in the 1830’s with beautifully arranged façades of the colonial era.

IMG_2874 - Methodist Church on Villa Street in Ponce, Puerto Rico © by Roca Ruiz

After enjoying your stroll through the delightful plaza, visit Isabel Street to explore an array of stunning    buildings, such as the Museo de la Historia de Ponce, Museo de la Musica Puertorriquena, and Ponce City Hall which dates back to 1847. Perched on the edge of the city are the splendid Tercentenary Park Plaza and the Bridge of Lions. These were built to celebrate the 300th year of the city, as the lions are the symbols of Ponce.

For a unique tour of the city, discover Ponce’s amazing rum known as Don Q. Created by the Serralles family, you can enjoy a rum tour to the Castillo Serralles to explore this lovely Spanish castle built in 1930. You can walk through the beautiful gardens while enjoying refreshing drinks and snacks. Step inside the castle and be taken you back in time with its antique furnishings, a rum distillery, as you learn about the history of the Serralles family.

For fabulous views of the city hike to El Vigia Hill to see one of the island’s most remarkable observation towers that stands 300-feet above sea level. Other places of interest in Ponce for you to visit are La Guancha which is an amazing boardwalk along the marina that gives breathtaking scenes in the day. And for an off-shore tour, visit Coffin Island which features secluded beaches with turquoise waters and nature trails.

There are so many places to see in Ponce and to excite the taste buds you can enjoy delicious local specialties at charming roadside restaurants. In addition to great restaurants, comfortable hotels are available in Ponce to make you trip more noteworthy. Find time to explore Ponce, and revel in the laid-back surroundings which offers a chance to experience more of the city’s nature and charm.