WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Bélgica: In continuous operation since 1872, this small, charming hotel was recently renovated and offers clean, simple accommodations with satellite TV and air conditioning ($77-$99; 1-787-844-3255; www.hotelbelgica.com).
Ramada Ponce Hotel: Ramada has recently renovated an 1882 building overlooking Plaza de Las Delicias, giving the city a much-needed upscale hotel option with a bold, modern art aesthetic. Rooms come with plenty of amenities ($135-$140; 1-787-813-5033; www.ramadaponce.com).
WHERE TO EAT
Pito's Seafood Caf and Restaurant: Watch pelicans dive for their dinner while dining on every type of seafood imaginable at this oceanside restaurant (Entrees $16-$35. Open daily. 1-787-841-4977; www.pitosseafoodpr.com).
La Guardarraya: Located 20 minutes west of Ponce, this destination restaurant not only serves some of the finest authentic Puerto Rican cuisine on the island, but it is the originator of the Chuleta Can Can, a traditional pork dish designed for hungry meat lovers ($7-$15. Wednesday-Sunday. 1-787-856-4222; www.laguardarraya.com).
WHAT TO SEE
Hacienda Buena Vista: The 19th-century coffee plantation has been restored by the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, which gives tours in Spanish and English ($5-$8, Wednesday-Sunday, reservations required. 1-787-722-5882, ext. 240; www.fideicomiso.org).
Museo de Arte de Ponce: The recently expanded museum features more than 3,000 works of art by European masters, American moderns and Puerto Rican artists ($3-$6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Monday. 1-787-848-0505 or 787-840-1510; www.museoarteponce.org).
Travel information: www.seepuertorico.com.
SUZANNE VAN ATTEN