Puerto Rico’s South Region / Porta Caribe

Ponce, Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, was founded in the late 17th century. The city experienced a commercial boom in the 19th, then declined so quickly that no one had time to tear anything down. The center of town is crowded with wedding-cake colonial mansions, arrayed in a procession of balconies, balustrades, and bas-relief.

The Island’s European-Styled Side (Especially the Architecture)

There is an elegant European flavor to the south of Puerto Rico, harking back to when its port was the busiest in the island. It was sugar that made fortunes for the early European landowners, and allowed a flourishing of art and architecture, and an eclectic melding of Caribbean and neo-classical styles.

Ponce, the Pearl of the South, is aunrhym graceful grande dame of a city, built for awe and bliss, and timelessness. Here dreams were drawn, and then realized.

Every building, every curve, every line, showcases a cultivated, enriched heart. There is beauty and meaning in every bite of the chisel.

Here is the architecture of happiness. It is art we can walk through. Design that makes us content; bellyfuls of colors to gulp.

It is the creation of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, and stimulates the people it serves. It makes us dance. It speaks to us of a degree of serenity, strength, poise and grace we seek everywhere, but find here.

Every brick seems alive, unruly and individual; every plank has the pulse of nature flowing through it. The space between is the breath of art.

Where can we find greater structural clarity than in the buildings in the South of Puerto Rico? Where else can we find such unity of material, construction and form? Here the wisdom and joy of diverse cultures is stored. What feelings for material and what power of expression there is in these structures! What warmth and beauty they have! They are the echoes of the men and women who first made this port their landing, and their home.

And now the romance and passion of their creations is ours, here in the South of Puerto Rico.

For more tips on what to see and do in Puerto Rico, click here.