Of all the beautiful places located on the tropical island of Puerto Rico, the city of Ponce is very aptly called “The Pearl of the South”.
This municipality, the second largest city on the island, is on the south central coast and sits only a few miles from the Caribbean coastline. Ponce is steeped in history, having been formally settled in the late seventeenth century. With the preponderance of its citizens originating from Spanish Catalonia, it is no surprise that the architecture of the area reflects strong Spanish accents but with a Barcelonian twist that makes it unique in the world.
As well as the scenic oceanside terrain surrounding the city, Ponce is home to the internationally recognized Ponce Museum of Art which holds the largest collection of art in the entire Caribbean.
The Ponce City Hall (Casa Alcaldia) is the oldest surviving building in the city. Constructed in the 1840’s it is a prime example of the city’s historic past. Another of the city’s well preserved historical sites is the Hacienda Buena Vista. Constructed in 1833 as part of a fruit growing industry, the enterprise was converted to a coffee plantation and remodeled into a corn mill in 1845. While the Hacienda operated until 1937 the machinery, driven by channeled water power is still operative.
As well as some international flights, the Mercedita Airport hosts a growing number of flights from major airlines that offer nonstop flights in and out of Ponce to numerous ports in the United States. The city also hosts the Port of the Americas, even now being hugely expanded to create a major international shipping hub.
Ponce, Puerto Rico offers the discerning tourist such a mix of old world charm and modern conveniences, the Pearl of the South is a must see stop on any Caribbean vacation tour.