Ponce Historical and Cultural Tour from San Juan
When you arrive with your guide, head to your first stop, the Parque de Bombas, which literally translates to Park of Pumps, aka the city’s old firehouse. The striking black-and-red-striped façade of the building — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — makes it one of the most iconic attractions in Ponce, if not all of Puerto Rico. Built in the late 1800s, the firehouse is now a museum that displays historic firefighting artifacts.
If you don’t want to tour the museum or you finish quickly, you can simply admire and take photos from the outside while waiting for the rest of your group; the firehouse sits on Ponce’s main square, the shady and fountain-filled Plaza Las Delicias.
Next up is the Ponce Art Museum (Museo de Arte de Ponce), one of the finest art museums in the Caribbean. After your guide gives you a brief introduction to the museum outside the entrance, you are free to enter and explore it on your own, checking out its collection of European and Puerto Rican art. Known for its pre-Raphaelite works, the museum houses pieces by such artists as Peter Paul Rubens and Eugéne Delacroix. Highlights include Flaming June by Frederic Leighton and The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. (Entrance fee to the museum is at your own expense.)
Meet back up with your guide outside the museum and head to your final site, Serrallès Castle (Castillo Serrallès), a Spanish Colonial Revival home built in 1930. More sprawling mansion than true castle, the home was built for the Serrallès family, the founders of the Serrallès rum company, known for its Don Q rum. The beautifully manicured estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now houses a museum. Tour the Moorish-style home with a docent, and then once again meet your guide, who will take you to a local restaurant for lunch. Restaurants vary daily, but you can expect local Puerto Rican cuisine. (Entrance fee to the museum and lunch are at your own expense.)
After lunch, make the drive back to Puerto Rico, where you day trip ends.
Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.
If you do not indicate your hotel for pickup at the time of booking, please call the tour operator and advise them of this information directly; the contact details will be on your confirmation voucher
Condado area: 8:15am
Old San Juan area: 8:40am
Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.
Ponce the Pearl City from San Juan
- Hotel pickup and drop-off at select hotels
- Transport by coach
- Food and drinks
- Gratuities (optional)
- Entrance fees to Serralles Castle (USD 8.50 for adults, USD 4.25 for children) and Ponce Art Museum (USD 6); Parque de Bombas is free to enter
- This tour must be booked at least 72 hours in advance of your travel date
- Confirmation for this product will be received at time of booking
- Pickup is not provided from the San Juan port; the closest hotel is the Sheraton
- Pickup is not provided from Wyndham El Conqistador Resort , St. Regis Hotel, or the Golden Door Spa because the tour operates out of San Juan; the El Conquistador is located between San Juan and El Yunque Rainforest and is approximately a 1-hour-15-minute drive to the closest pickup location, the Ritz Carlton Hotel San Juan, where you can check in for the tour
- Tour buses are air-conditioned but do not have bathrooms
- Tour buses are wheelchair accessible but do not have a wheelchair lift. Persons in a wheelchair must be able to walk a little (with help from the driver) in order to get on and off the bus. The wheelchair must be foldable
- Puerto Rico is a tropical island and the weather is unpredictable; it can be raining one minute and sunshine the next so please dress accordingly
Reviewed by: Mary R, USA, July 2010
Reviewed by: lizajasmin, December 2011
We spent too much time in the museum we could have spent time at the Firefighter's park, and a little more local time. The castle was nice.