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Utopía

  Utopía (Calle Isabel 78), conveniently located in Plaza Las Delicias, has the most imaginative and interesting selection of gift items and handicrafts in Ponce. Prominently displayed are vegigantes, brightly painted carnival masks inspired by carnival rituals and crafted from papier-mâché. In Ponce, where many of these masks are made, they sell at bargain prices […]

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SHOPPING

There are many shops in the renovated downtown area of Ponce that have local arts and crafts. The Atocha Pedestrian Mall runs along Calle Cristina just off the city’s central Plaza Las Delicias. It’s been one of Ponce’s main shopping areas for decades. There’s not a whole lot here, but it’s fun to walk around, […]

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Pito’s Seafood Café & Restaurant

Pito’s Seafood Café & Restaurant (Hwy. 2, Las Cucharas, Ponce) — This is the best of the string of seafood restaurants along the undeveloped waterfront west of the city center. The building has a handsome wooden structure on the water, with three different dining levels with open air views of the sea. There is a […]

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La Monserrate

La Monserrate (Rte. 2, km. 252, Sector Las Cucharas, Ponce) — This is one of a string of seaside restaurants specializing in Puerto Rican cuisine and seafood lined along the beautiful coastline about 4 miles (6.4km) west of the town center. This restaurant draws a loyal following, and has a large dining room overlooking the […]

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La Cava

La Cava (Ponce Hilton Hotel, 1150 Avenida Caribe, Ponce) — The restaurant underwent a modern makeover, but the food is still classic continental and its still one of this southern city’s best dining experiences. Start out with the duck terrine and lingonberries or the lobster empanadillas with spicy mango sauce, and move on to the […]

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Café Tomas/Café Tompy

Café Tomas/Café Tompy (76 Calle Isabel, Ponce) — The more visible and busier section of this establishment functions as a simple cafe for neighbors and local merchants. At plastic tables often flooded with sunlight from the big windows, you can order coffee, sandwiches, or cold beer, perhaps while relaxing after a walking tour of the […]

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Archipiélago

Archipiélago (76 Calle Cristina, Ponce) — The new place to be in Ponce is this sixth floor restaurant that offers sweeping views of the historic district and innovative criolla and continental fusion cuisine. The interior dining area is as smart and modern as the menu with subdued tones and an expansive glass window that brings […]

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Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center

Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center (Rte. 503, Tibes, at km. 2.2)(2 miles north of Ponce) — Bordered by the Río Portuguéz and excavated in 1975, this is the oldest cemetery in the Antilles. It contains some 186 skeletons, dating from A.D. 300, as well as pre-Taíno plazas from A.D. 700. The site also includes a re-created […]

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Parque de Bombas

Parque de Bombas (Plaza Las Delicias, Ponce) — Constructed in 1882 as the centerpiece of a 12-day agricultural fair intended to promote the civic charms of Ponce, this building was designated a year later as the island’s first permanent headquarters for a volunteer firefighting brigade. It has an unusual appearance — it’s painted black, red, […]

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Museo Castillo Serrallés

Museo Castillo Serrallés (17 Calle El Vigía, Ponce) — This beautiful attraction is located in the southern city of Ponce, which is about an hour drive from San Juan. It was home to the Serrallés family, founders of the distillery which brought us the Don Q rum. One of the architectural gems of Puerto Rico, […]