Ponce is Puerto Rico’s second most populated city.
Finding the right area to stay in can make all of the difference.
Ponce is full of history and unique architecture, but you need to stay in the right areas to experience the best parts of the city.
I have stayed in Ponce many times during my 22 years on the island, so I know the best places and areas to stay.
In this article, I will cover the 8 best areas & places to stay in Ponce:
Playa, located on the southern coast of Ponce, is an area known for its sandy shores and top-notch resorts.
Here, you’ll find the best beaches in Ponce.
What to do?
Stroll, eat, and swim at La Guancha or dine, buy, or window shop at Plaza del Caribe, have a picnic and walk through the kiosk at La Playa de Ponce (Ponce Beach) or charter a boat to Isla de Caja de Muertos.
Below is a video showing the area:
Note: Ponce doesn’t have the nicest beaches, but the best ones to swim at are La Guancha Beach and Ponce Hilton Beach.
The area’s hidden gems are located off the coast of Ponce, which you can read more about in our article 7 Best Beaches in Ponce.
Close to the Old Town but far enough to enjoy some peace, this area is perfect for people traveling for work or those who seek accessibility and comfort.
There are all sorts of fun places to visit nearby: Ponce Skate Park, Ponce’s Historic Zone, and Plaza del Caribe.
Below is a video showing the area:
As a bonus, the police department is close by, adding another layer of safety to an already calm area.
Staying at the Aloft Ponce is the best choice in this area and one of the best in the city.
Home to the only Hard Rock on the island, Aloft Ponce offers the safest and liveliest night scene in Ponce.
Learn more about the area in our article Is Ponce Safe?
This historic zone is located right in the heart of Ponce.
An attraction in itself, with its beautiful urban parks, squares, shops, and monuments, this place best gathers Ponce’s past and present.
It’s a must to enjoy a scoop or two at King’s Cream while you stroll through Plaza Las Delicias. Visit Museo Castillo Serrallés and La Cruz del Vigía to climb the cross and see the Japanese Garden.
Below is a video showing Plaza Las Delicias:
For curious travelers, stay at the elegant and oldest-running hotel in Puerto Rico (126 years and counting), the Mélia Century Hotel.
Alternatively, enjoy the artsy and eccentric at The Fox Hotel. Both offer a trip down memory lane at competitive prices.
Learn more about Ponce in our article 25 Best Things To Do In Ponce.
Canas is one of the biggest districts in Ponce and a green area of the city.
A place frequented by both resort seekers and nature enthusiasts.
Canas is part of the Reserva Natural Punta Cucharas, a natural reserve located at the lower half of the zone. The reserve has a gorgeous saline lagoon (Laguna Las Salinas), mangroves, coastal dunes, and hiking.
Here’s a video walkthrough of Canas, Ponce:
Home to the Mercedita International Airport, Vayas in Ponce is a calm, rural area.
It is a budget-friendly place to stay that’s not too far from the city’s main entrance.
A drive along the coast, a stop at Las Letras de Ponce for a photo shoot, and skating at the Ponce Skate Park are some of the best things Vayas offers.
Here’s a short video showing Vayas, Ponce:
The Caribe Hotel is a small, clean, budget-friendly hotel in the area.
Dry forests, lush greenery, and exquisite smells collide in this area, known for its coffee plantations.
Explore the richness of Puerto Rican coffee and harvest at Hacienda Buena Vista or discover the nearby Taino settlement in Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Tibes.
Here’s a short video showing the area:
Hotel Nuevo Mejico is a thematic motel styled as a Mexican ranch for a fun, budget-friendly stay.
Dense forests and amazing rivers make this area a green haven in the south.
Anón is famous for its rivers, creeks, and waterfalls, especially the celebrated Villa Jurutungo. Close by, in the neighboring town of Juana Díaz, there’s Charco Las Bambúas and El Salto de Los Colores Waterfall.
Here’s a short video showing Villa Jurutungo:
Nearby, Hacienda La Mocha and Hacienda Pomarrosa offer a unique bed and breakfast experience by letting you rest in the coffee plantations.
Another serene and lush area celebrated for its rivers and lakes.
The Bosque Estatal De Cerrillos forest and Parque Luis A. “Wito” Morales family park are wholesome attractions in Maragüez.
Here’s a video showing the area:
Hacienda Rosabel is a traditional house in the area you can rent on Airbnb.
The Old Town and San Antón areas offer the city's most mature, romantic, and liveliest night scenes. Following close behind is the southern areas of Playa and Canas, where the best beaches and resorts are located.
The southern part of Ponce is perfect for families to book their stay. Especially Playa, Ponce, where it's calm, safe, and family-friendly with the best beaches and resorts in the city.
Everything in Ponce is around 30 minutes away from each other. Therefore, where to stay depends on the type of environment you prefer.
The farther you go from the historic zone, the calmer and more rural it gets. Prices tend to go up along the city center and coast, where most vacationers stay and where the best hotels and resorts are (worth every penny!).
Also, check out our article Where To Stay In Puerto Rico – 13 Best Places & Areas to discover other parts of the island outside of Ponce.
Writer at PuertoRico.com. I was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. I know all the ins and outs of the island. For 22 years, I’ve tasted, seen, experienced, and explored most of Puerto Rico’s gems. I still have many road trips planned for all of the things that I’ve yet to experience in Puerto Rico.About the author