Porta Caribe (South Region)
Porta Caribe, the southern region of Puerto Rico is a diverse area of mountains, valleys, and a picturesque coastline on the Caribbean Sea. The city of Ponce is the main urban area and Puerto Rico's second largest city. Known as 'La Perla del Sur' (Pearl of the South), 'La Ciudad de los Leones' (City of Lions) and 'Ciudad Señorial' (Aristocratic City), Ponce is a stately historic city with many beautiful neoclassical 17th and 18th century buildings and facades. Plaza las Delicias, the historical center of the city is bounded by the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadelupe and the historic red and black firehouse known as Parque de Bombas. The boardwalk and port area is called La Guancha and it comes alive on weekends as residents arrive to enjoy music, food and recreational activities. Other attractions are the Ponce Museum of Art, Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center, Castillo Serrallés, La Cruceta del Vigía, the Japanese Garden and Hacienda Buena Vista.
For an exciting day adventure take a charter boat to a little coffin shaped islet known as Caja de Muertos. There you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the warm crystal waters or hike to a century old lighthouse. There are no overnight facilities here.
Fourteen towns make up Porta Caribe with Arroyo, Guayanilla, Patillas, Ponce, Salinas and Santa Isabel located along the Caribbean coast, offering visitors many secluded beaches, marinas and great seafood restaurants. While in Patillas, combine the beach with a visit the Carite National Forest and jump into the refreshing Charco Azul, a beautiful little blue mountain pond. Further in from the coast are the towns of Adjuntas, Coamo, Guayama, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Peñuelas, Villalba, and Yauco. This area has maintained many of the attributes of colonial life under the Spaniards and when sugarcane was a major crop on the island. The area is also known for producing some of Puerto Rico's best coffee.
For those seeking outdoor recreational and sport activities Porta Caribe has a wide variety of other attractions like Toro Negro Forest, Coamo Springs and many Eco-tourism adventure activities.
Duffers can enjoy any of the tropical golf courses in the area such as El Legado Golf Resort owned and operated by the legendary Puerto Rican Golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez. Other courses are the Aguirre Golf Course, the oldest golf course in Puerto Rico and the courses at the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort.