The author (Vanessa Ramos) in front of the fountain in Ponce.

Where to Stay in Ponce in 2023 (Best Places & Areas)

Deciding where to stay in Ponce isn’t an easy task without a local’s insight. 

You already know Ponce is one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico, and that there are so many fun things to do in Ponce.

But which area of Ponce is the best? Which Ponce hotels have beach access? 

As a Puerto Rico local who loves visiting Ponce, I’ll tell you all about where to stay.

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Best Places to Stay in Ponce

View at the entrance arch of The Fox Hotel in Ponce.
The Fox Hotel is a great place to stay on a budget

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Ponce? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Ponce: 

3 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Ponce

Ponce is located in the south of Puerto Rico with a beach and a mountainous side. There are a lot of things to do in Ponce distributed between 31 neighborhoods. And to enjoy the best of them, below are the 3 best neighborhoods you should stay at.

Barrio Playa

The author (Vanessa Ramos) sitting on a barrier at a local beach in Barrio Playa
Me in La Guancha Beach in Barrio Playa

👉 Best Area For Easy Beach Access | ✨ Best Barrio Playa Hotels: Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort  

Barrio Playa is a great area to stay in Ponce for families and beach lovers. It’s home to La Guancha, a beachfront area where foodies can enjoy the top Puerto Rico dishes. It also houses the Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort, which has easy beach access and it’s a short ride from the Ponce Airport.

Pros of Staying in Playa Neighborhood:

  • Oceanfront location
  • Lots of food options in La Guancha
  • Close to a golf course

Con of Staying in Playa Neighborhood:

  • The area is not entirely walkable
  • You’ll need a rental car
  • Farther from downtown attractions

📚 Playa Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Easy Beach Access
Google Map

  • ✨ Best HotelsHilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort 
  • 🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Playa
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – Bahias Restaurant ($$), La Boya Ponce ($$), Viktor Pollo ($)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – La Huida Barra y Picadera, El chicharron de Chiva
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – La Guancha, El Tuque Beach, Caja de Muertos

Barrio Segundo

Façade and exterior view of Ponce Cathedral in Barrio Segundo.
Ponce Cathedral in Barrio Segundo

👉 Best Area For Walking | ✨ Best Barrio Segundo Hotels: Boutique Hotel BelgicaPonce Plaza Hotel and Casino •  Aloft Ponce

Barrio Segundo is located right at Ponce’s city center and it’s ideal for vacationers that rather stay in a walkable area. You’ll have nearby landmarks like Parque de Bombas, and several restaurants, and bars. 

You’ll also find some of the popular Ponce hotels including the Meliá Century Hotel Ponce, The Fox Hotel, and the Ponce Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Pros of Staying in Segundo Neighborhood:

  • Walkable area in central Ponce
  • Popular hotels and accommodations
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Close to famous landmarks

Con of Staying in Segundo Neighborhood:

  • Farther from the beach
  • More crowded than other neighborhoods

📚 Barrio Segundo Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Walking
Google Map

Barrio Canas

View of the landscape and exterior of Museo Castillo Serralles nearby Barrio Canas.
Museo Castillo Serralles nearby Barrio Canas

👉 Best Area For Road Tripping | ✨ Best Barrio Canas Hotels: Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino, an IHG Hotel   

Ponce is a central city on the south coast of Puerto Rico, and if you’re eager to road trip around, staying in Barrio Canas is ideal. Barrios Canas is bordering with the town of Peñuelas, where you can enjoy waterfalls, and one of the top Puerto Rico caves

You’ll also find the Holiday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino, an IHG Hotel in Canas, a favorite to stay in Ponce.

Pros of Staying in Canas Neighborhood:

  • Remote uncrowded area
  • Close to the beach
  • Easy to explore other cities

Con of Staying in Canas Neighborhood:

  • Farther from downtown
  • Not many restaurant options

📚 Barrio Canas Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Road Tripping
Google Map

  • ✨ Best HotelsHoliday Inn Ponce & Tropical Casino, an IHG Hotel  
  • 🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Canas
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – La Monserrate Sea Port ($$), Sun Borincano ($$), Santorini Ocean Lounge Restaurant ($$)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – Club de Pesca, La Monserrate Sea Port
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – Reserva Natural Punta Cucharas, La Guancha, Museo Castillo Serralles

Tips for Staying in Ponce

Rent a Car

View of downtown Ponce with parked cars on the street.

Although the city center is walkable, you’ll need a rental car if you want to explore Ponce and the nearby cities, so it’s best to rent a car. 

Use Discover Cars to find the best deals in the area.

Visit During the Low Season

If you’re doing Puerto Rico on a budget, visit during the Fall and Spring seasons when the average nightly price for hotels in Ponce drops. 

You will enjoy amenities like a golf course, free wifi, an outdoor pool, and free parking for less than the average price. 

Explore the Mountains

Stunning view of the mountains in Cerrillos Lake in Ponce
Cerrillos Lake in Ponce

Ponce has a beautiful mountainous side with many sites like Hacienda Buena Vista, Centro Ceremonial Indigena de Tibes, and Cerillos Lake.

From Ponce mountains, you can also connect to other Puerto Rico towns like Jayuya and Utuado.

Choose the Right Hotel

There is a great variety of Ponce hotels to choose from for your stay. The Aloft Ponce, Caribe Hotel Ponce, Hilton Ponce Golf Casino Resort, and the Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino are among the top-rated hotels in the city. If you’re not renting a car, or you just want to stay by the beach, make sure to pick the right hotel to improve your vacation experience.

Check Out the Local Festivals

Sculpture of colorful lions at the side of the street in Ponce.

If you’re staying in Ponce make sure to check the local festivals in the city to enjoy the best of Puerto Rico’s culture. Ponce is home to one of the largest Puerto Rico festivals, the Ponce Carnival. 

FAQs About Where to Stay in Ponce

Is it worth staying in Ponce Puerto Rico?

Staying in Ponce is worth it for travelers that are interested in exploring the south coast of Puerto Rico. Ponce boasts some of Puerto Rico’s top attractions including Parque de Bombas and La Guancha. It’s also budget-friendly, has a walkable downtown, and it’s uncrowded. 

Is it better to stay in Ponce or San Juan?

Overall, it’s best to stay in San Juan when visiting Puerto Rico. San Juan has multiple transportation options, many things to do, and it’s close to the main Puerto Rico airport. But, passengers looking for cheap hotels, a slower-paced vacation, and uncrowded places should stay in Ponce instead. 

What is Ponce PR known for?

Ponce is known for having famous Puerto Rico landmarks such as Parque de Bombas, Cruceta del Vigia, Museo Serralles, and La Guancha. It’s also a famous destination because it has a historical downtown like Old San Juan. 

Are the beaches nice in Ponce Puerto Rico?

The beaches in Ponce are nice for swimming, walking, and snorkeling in the Caribbean sea waters. Ponce boasts one of the top beaches in Puerto Rico, Pelicano Beach in Caja de Muerto. La Guancha Beach has facilities so visitors in wheelchairs can reach the water.  

***

Now you know where to stay in Ponce! Make sure you don’t miss some of the best Puerto Rico sites in the city, like Parque de Bombas. 

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