Downtown Ponce is about 5 mi/8 km north of the port, across an expressway. Transportation is needed to get to all of the city's attractions.
The municipality is seeking to build a new tourist wharf at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Street with a total length of 1,200 feet long by 160 feet wide, to berth two mega cruise ships simultaneously. The estimated cost is $57.6M USD, with the expected creation of 600 jobs. Completion date unsure. .
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Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico.
Ponce's draw is its rich history and unique architecture. The atmosphere is charmingly laid-back, a stark contrast to the bustling economic and nightlife districts of San Juan. Even as the island's second largest city, tourists may be shocked or refreshed to find that Ponce's downtown is a single quaint city square with no steady nightlife.
The downtown area is compact and very attractive to explore on foot.
There's a free touristy "train" that does a loop of the downtown. The trolleys make stops throughout the city and you can jump on and off as you like.
Public transportation in Puerto Rico is fairly bad: outside San Juan, there are no scheduled buses or trains. Taxi's are very expensive.
Rental cars start at $30 a day
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Caja de Muertos (Coffin Island) is an uninhabited island just off the coast where you can visit an abandoned lighthouse, empty stretches of beach and a marked underwater snorkel trail. Ferries leave from the pier, weekends.
The entire island of Puerto Rico has also managed to maintain lower import tax rates and have the VAT rates duty-free. So for travelers looking to stock up on wines and spirits, especially Puerto Rican rum, this might be the perfect place to do so. Stores are open 7 days a week.
Both Spanish and English are the official languages of Puerto Rico, but Spanish is without a doubt the dominant language.
High speed public wireless internet service in public areas (coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and malls) finally is also growing and free in most places.
In general, business hours are 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. On the public holidays government offices, banks and schools are closed, and museum hours and transportation schedules may change
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