6 Best Tours & Excursions In Ponce, Puerto Rico (2022)

Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico. 

There are many tours and excursions to experience here. One of these adventures allows you to visit the home of Puerto Rico’s number one rum brand.  

My dad was born and raised in Ponce, which means that over the years I’ve learned about all of the great things this destination has to offer. 

In this article, I will cover the 6 best tours & excursions in Ponce:

 

1. Castillo Serallés Museum 

The Castle Serallés was built in 1938 during the peak of the sugar industry in Puerto Rico.

Its look is a combination of Spanish-Arab architecture and it was built by Pedro Adolfo de Castro. 

Castle Serallés sits on top of a hill overlooking the city of Ponce.

Before it was a museum, it was home to Don Juan Eugenio Serralles and his family. He owned lands of sugar cane and was also known as a rum producer. 

In 1991, it was turned into a museum where visitors can roam around the castle, learn about the family history and experience the beautiful Japanese-inspired gardens.

Check out Castillo Serallés Museum in the following video:

To book this tour, visit the Museo Castillo Serrallés website.

 

2. Don Q Rum tour

Another activity you can enjoy in Castle Serallés is the Don Q rum tour.

In this activity, you will learn the history behind the local rum, how it is made and how it is distributed. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Don Q Puerto Rico (@donqpr)

Photo Credit: @donqpr

In addition to the history lesson, you will get a chance to create a cocktail with Don Q in the mixology workshop. There is also a virtual reality part you won’t want to miss. 

Check out Don Q Rum Tour in the following video:

To book this tour, visit the Don Q Rum Tour website.

 

3. Museum of Art guided tour 

If you love the arts, I recommend stopping by the Museum of Art in Ponce.

You will get to experience paintings from different styles such as Baroque, Pre-Raphaelite, and Victorian. And of course, Puerto Rican and Latin American art. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by The Maas Gallery (@maas.gallery)

Photo Credit: @maas.gallery

A little background on the Museum: It was founded by Luis A. Ferré. He was a philanthropist, engineer, patron of the arts, and governor of Puerto Rico from 1969-1973.

The building was designed by American architect Edward Durell Stone, who is known for creating the MoMa in New York. 

The museum currently consists of approximately 4,500 pieces of art. 

To have the full experience and learn as much as possible about the works of art, I suggest the guided tour for groups. 

Check out Museo de Arte de Ponce in the following video:

To book this tour, visit Museo de Arte de Ponce website.

 

4. Excursion to Caja de Muertos Island

Get in touch with nature and visit Caja de Muertos.

It’s an inhabited island that is a 40 minute boat ride from Ponce.

Caja de Muertos is a natural reserve filled with coral reefs, 5 beaches, and unique fauna and flora.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by J C A P P 🤷🏼‍♂️ (@jcappp)

Photo Credit: @jcappp

There are different activities you can do while on the island.

You can swim in the ocean, walk around the island, kayak, and hike to the historic lighthouse built in the 1800s.

There are different ways to get to Caja de Muertos.

One of them is by ferry which leaves from the boardwalk in Ponce called La Guancha. The second would be by private boat. I suggest the ferry since it’s more economical and you get to visit another well-known place in Ponce, La Guancha. 

Check out Caja de Muertos in the following video:

 

5. Bioluminescent Bay tour 

While you’re in the south of the island, I recommend driving to La Parguera and touring their bioluminescent bay. 

Imagine swimming in water that shines during the night. What makes it shine are the living organisms called dinoflagellates.

I suggest reading our article Bioluminescent Bays Puerto Rico – All You Need To Know to learn more about the science behind it.  

image of 2 girls swimming in La Parguera Bioluminescence Bay
La Parguera is the only bio bay in Puerto Rico you are allowed to swim in.

There are 3 bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico but the closest to Ponce is La Parguera located in the town of Lajas.

What also makes this specific tour stand out is that it’s the only bioluminescent bay that you can swim in. 

The boat will take you out to the bay, you will learn about the bioluminescence from your guide, and lastly, jump in. 

Check out the 6 Best Bioluminescent Bay Tours in La Parguera to choose the best tour for you. 

 

6. Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center 

Learn about our indigenous past by visiting this archaeological site in Ponce.

During your time in the center, you can check out the museum composed of Taino artifacts found by archaeological excavations. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by BPožun (@bpozun)

Photo Credit: @bpozun

Later you will walk outside and experience how the Tainos lived during that time by exploring ceremonial sites, burial sites, and ball fields.

Check out Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center in the following video:

 

 

FAQ section

What is the best tour in Ponce?

The best tour in Ponce is the most well-known, which is touring Castle Sérralles. Everyone in Puerto Rico knows about this historic family, and you will learn why.

What is the best tour for groups in Ponce?

The best tour for groups is the Don Q Rum Tour because it includes many activities all in one place. You get to learn the history of the rum, walk around the Castle Serallés and taste a Don Q cocktail you make.

 

Final thoughts

If you are visiting Ponce, these tours and excursions are a must. 

My favourite tour in Ponce is the bioluminescent bay kayak tour.

I recommend checking out our article 25 Best Things To Do In Ponce to learn more about what you can do when you visit.

If you are still looking for more tours and excursions, then check out our article 25 Best Tours & Excursions In Puerto Rico.

Article by

Alejandra Chamorro

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I’ve spent 22 years of my life in Puerto Rico. I was born in San Juan and raised in Palmas del Mar, Humacao. My favorite activities to do on the island are paddle boarding in the Condado lagoon, beach hopping on the west side and going on “chinchorreos” with my family during Christmas time.

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