Puerto RicoPuerto Rico Best Things to Do ⎮  Puerto Rico South Coast Region

Puerto Rico South Coast Region - Best things to Do Guide

The most popular town is Ponce, the second-largest city in Puerto Rico.  Depending on your interests you can spend a day or a full week exploring the southern region.  Because of the region’s central location, if you choose accommodations on the south side and get a car rental, you will have easy access to other attractions around the island in the west and east regions.

Best Things to Do & Places to Visit

Puerto Rico South Region

Caja de Muertos Island

Caja de Muertos Island - Best places to visit in South Coast Region - Puerto Rico

For beach lovers, head to Caja de Muertos Island, an offshore secluded island with a gorgeous beach, hiking trails, and great snorkeling.

Top Rated Tours to Caja de Muertos & Nearby Islands on the South Coast

Go to Plaza de Las Delicias for a Walk Around the
Historic & Cultural Center of Ponce

Ponce - Best places to visit and things to do in South Region of Puerto Rico

Ponce is the most visited town on the south region with a number of interesting places to visit.  Visitors will enjoy walking around the main square to admire the architecture, visit museums, and historic sites.  During weekends visitors may find cultural events celebrated at the Plaza de Las Delicias.   The best place to start is by taking a stroll around the plaza of Ponce.  Ponce did suffer damage from the earthquakes in 2020, since then many buildings are being restored. 

Top Rated Tours to Ponce, Puerto Rico

La Parguera – Lajas

Puerto Rico Things to Do & Places to Visit - South Region - La Parguera

Just 50 minutes from Ponce, you can spend an entire day swimming on the clear waters surrounding the cays of La Parguera Nature Reserve.   It is one of the best places to kayak on the south west coast of Puerto Rico, where you can spend hours paddling through mangrove channels.   La Parguera is a very popular foodies destination with traditional Puerto Rican food at local rates, during the weekends there’s typically live music and local artisan kiosks.  Lajas is home to one of the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico, a magical experience you can’t miss while in Puerto Rico.

Top Rated Tours to la Parguera Keys & Bio Bay (from Lajas)

Go Sailing & Explore Bahia de Jobos Nature Reserve – Guayama

Bahia de Jobos - Top attractions and things to do - South Coast of Puerto Rico

In the southeast coastal towns of Salinas & Guayama, visitors can sail to explore Bahia de Jobos (Jobos Bay).  Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve consists of mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, mudflats, and evergreen littoral forests.  Bahia de Jobos is a rich natural educational resource for students and researchers on the island.  Locals love exploring the cays and snorkeling the coral reefs by kayak or boat.  Visitors can book a sailing trip to explore the cays.

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Sailing Charters - South Coast of Puerto Rico

Gilligan’s Island – Guanica

Gilligan's Island - Best places to visit / top attractions on the south coast of Puerto Rico

We love this place…you’ll love it too, the clearest water on the southern coast…just 45 minutes from Ponce.  Swimming, snorkeling, relaxing, enjoyment for the whole family, romantics will find spots just for two.  After enjoying Gilligan’s, stop by Copamarina Resort for a nice lunch, some drinks or dinner, and sunset.

Unlike Caja de Muertos, the ferry runs from Tuesday to Sunday, tickets are under $10 per person.  You may also book a private charter, taking care of all the details.

Top Rated Tours to Gilligan's Island & Guanica Activities

Centro Ceremonial Indígena Tibes

Centro Ceremonial Indígena Tibes - Archeological Site of Taino Natives - Best places to visit - South Region

Centro Ceremonial Indígena Tibes is the oldest Antillian Indigenous ceremonial complex.  The flooding of Hurricane Eloisa in 1975, uncovered a great archeological treasure in Ponce of great significance to the Antilles and the Puerto Rican people.  

Top Rated Taino Cultural Tours

Visit Hacienda de Café Pomarosa

Hacienda Buena Vista - Coffee Plantation in Puerto Rico - Best places to visit in the south region

Leave the city and head up to the mountains to Hacienda Buena Vista, there you can enjoy a guided tour of what used to be one of the most important coffee plantations in Puerto Rico. Hacienda Buena Vista was built in the mid-19th century.   Visitors can learn about the methods of coffee production back in the 1800s.  The plantation was purchased from the Vives family in 1984 by The Conservation Trust of Puerto RicoHacienda Buena Vista is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Visit Hacienda de Café Pomarosa

Hacienda Pomarosa - Coffee Plantation Tours - Things to Do - South Puerto Rico

If you’re a coffee-lover, make a call to make a reservation and head up to the mountains for a tour of a charming Hacienda with passionate coffee growers.  Learn about the island’s coffee history, coffee production in their plantation, and a fun tasting at the end.  Their coffee is delicious and best of all you will be able to grab a bag of fresh coffee to take home.

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Tours are from Tuesday – Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm.  Be sure to call and make a reservation in advance to secure a spot.

  • Tel: 787-844-3541
  • Cost of Tour: $20 per p/p /  Children (10 and under) – $10. (Prices subject to change)

Guanica State Forest – Guanica

Guanica Dry Forest - Puerto Rico Best Places to Visit

The Guánica State Forest is a subtropical dry forest located in southwest Puerto Rico with a number of hiking trails through the forest and along the beach where you can bird watch, swim, enjoy sweeping views of the coastline and mountainside and see flora specimens unique to this forest.  The area was designated as a forest reserve in 1919 and a United Nations Biosphere Reserve in 1981.

Ranger station will be happy to give you maps and suggestions to explore the forest.  Drive to Guanica State Forest is about 45 minutes from Ponce.

Castillo Serrales – Ponce, PR

Castillo Serralles - Puerto Rico Top Places to Visit - Museums

Castillo Serralles, a 4 story mansion built in the early 1930’s designed with an elegant Spanish revival style.  The mansion was built by Juan Serrales, son of Juan Serralles, founder of Destileria Serralles (Serralles Distillery), which was the family’s headquarters for 70 years.   Today the mansion houses a museum; it is one of the most photographed buildings in Puerto Rico, a popular venue for events and weddings, and one of the most visited attractions in Ponce.  As you drive around town you can see Castillo Serralles sitting at the top of the hill next to La Cruceta overlooking the center city of Ponce.

Visit the Colorful Hills of Yauco

Macromural Brisa Tropical / Yaucromatic

The Colors of Yauco - Best places to visit in South Region of Puerto Rico

If you ask anyone about the town of Yauco, they’ll first tell you about the colorful hillside.  For the past few years, Yaucromatric, a non-profit organization began to take abandoned and not-so-attractive spaces in town and converted them into works of art.  Their colorful eye-catching work began to change the look of the town, turning it into an attraction and pulling residents from all over the island to visit Yauco.  The art has helped the economy of Yauco and revived the spirit of the residents, especially life with Hurricane Maria, the colors certainly were uplifting.

We invite visitors to take a drive along the south and make a stop in Yauco.  The most visited area is “Macromural Brisa Tropical”, a street full of colors; every house, stairway, and walls painted with the happiest colors.  Samuel Gonzalez led the community with this fun project.  On Sundays, the street is filled with music, a few street vendors, and just happy people walking around and taking selfies in the most colorful street on the island.

Top Rated Tours w/ stop in Yaucromatic

Travel to the South Region of Puerto Rico

Flying Options

  • San Juan Airport, offering the most daily flight and choice of airlines (about 45 minutes away).
  • Meredita International Airport in Ponce – Many locals fly into Ponce and budget-savvy travelers may want to check rates.

Driving from San Juan

From the San Juan International Airport (Luis Munoz Marin), head south on Rt. 52. Most towns are easily accessible from Rt. 52.

Map - Best Things to Do & Top Places to Visit

South Region - Puerto Rico

Puerto RicoPuerto Rico Best Things to Do ⎮  Puerto Rico South Coast Region

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