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When planning your next vacation, you would be cheating yourself, if you don’t make the Puerto Rico islands the center of your trip. There are so many things to do in Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico is situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and lies just east of the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico weather averages between 85+ degrees and 91+degrees all year long.
Once you arrive on the island, it is imperative to embrace the wealth of heritage laid before you. You simply cannot depart Puerto Rico without attending the “Pearl of the South” Ponce. Ponce makes for a great day trip or even an overnight stay and you will surely find many interesting places to interest you. Here are the Caribbean Trading Crew’s favorite stops and things to do in Ponce:
1. Castillo Serrallés
Built in 1926 for Eugenio Seralles, a leader in the local sugar cane industry, and rum purveyor extraordinaire of our favorite local rum Don Q. It is one of the earliest examples of Spanish Moroccan architecture in the Caribbean. It has beautiful landscaped gardens and rotating historical and art exhibits. Offers tours daily in both English and Spanish.
2. Ponce Plaza and Parque de Bombas
The main Plaza in Ponce contains the infamous firehouse Parque de las Bombas and the Cathedral, both worth a closer look. There are several souvenir shops around the plaza, but be sure to stop in at one of our favorite local ice cream parlors, King Cream, on the plaza and try some of their tropical fruit ice creams. Also, within walking distance of the Plaza there are many small museums and places to explore: stop in at Parque de Bombas to either jump on the Trolley Tour or grab a map of the larger Plaza area.
3. La Guancha
La Guancha is the boardwalk along the bay in Ponce and has many little food and shop kiosks. From here you can take a boat out to the island Caja de Muertos to relax at the beach on an uninhabited island where the snorkeling is amazing. You can also check out the 19th century lighthouse on the island.
4. Museum of Art – Ponce
Housing over four thousand pieces, the Ponce museum of Art is the center of European Art in the Caribbean, and includes art from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Europe. You are greeted by Roy Lichtenstein’s Brush Strokes in Flight, and can also find the Museum’s most favorite piece: Flaming June by Lord Frederic Leighton (1895). Seeing this painting in person is awe-inspiring and worth the trip alone. For more information on the museums, Click Here.
5. El Vigia Cross
El Vigia Cross is a 100-foot tall cross-shaped observation tower, located on top of Vigia Hill in Ponce. It is directly behind the Serralles Castle museum and can be found next to Seralles Castle. The skywalk is the place to get a panoramic view of the city of Ponce and the surrounding area, and of the Caribbean.