La Guancha: A Fun Weekend Spot for the Whole Family
Update- 5/22- The wooden waterfront boardwalk was damaged from the earthquakes, so that area is closed. However, they have set up a new La Guancha” area in the parking lot, with food trucks, stores and other things to do. There is talk of rebuilding…but it will take a while 🙁 )
If you are in the Ponce area on a weekend, and you want to go somewhere to hang out like a local, head to Paseo Tablado La Guancha (or simply “La Guancha”). This area is a family-friendly place to enjoy local food, music, and the company of other people. There are also some other fun diversions like a beach, a playground for the kids, Rides for the kids, tarpon feeding, live music and other fun. It is a fun place to spend a weekend afternoon or evening.
Eat, Sit, Walk, Dance, or Feed the Fish
La Guancha is a family-friendly place where people of all ages come to play, eat, enjoy the day, and the meet their friends. It is at the marina in Ponce, and is a nice place to sit and enjoy the warm sea breezes while watching the sunset.
The biggest draw is probably the food kiosks, serving local fare and drinks (alcoholic and otherwise). While some of the kiosks are open during the week, the place comes alive on weekend afternoons and on into the night. You can enjoy your food at a bar, on a bench outside, as you walk along , or while standing near the water. There is also a place or two with seating. Many of the kiosks will have music, but sometimes there is live music.
It is a lively, fun atmosphere. You can pass the time people-watching and maybe break out into dance if the mood strikes you.
The food and drinks are not the only fun. You can just walk the area, getting your exercise while enjoying the view. One of the most fun parts of La Guancha was feeding the tarpon, and taking photos with the pelicans perched on the railing.
The tarpon will gather along the eastern end of the boardwalk anytime people stop at the railing. It’s no surprise that they are looking for food. They will eat almost anything (french fries, bread), but, if you want to, you can head to the Fisherman’s Club at the end of the boardwalk where you can buy small fish to feed the tarpon. The pelicans also take advantage of the people and will sit on the railing, waiting for some scraps. We got some great photos!
There is an observation tower where you “may” be able to climb the steps to get great views of the boardwalk and bay area below. It has the Puerto Rican Flag (Painted by Hector PR) on it, so it is a nice photo op. On weekends there are lots of artisans and other vendors.
Go to the Playground, or Walk on the Beach
In the eastern corner of the parking lot, there is a playground for the kids with lots of fun equipment to swing, slide, and climb on. Farther to the east (between the road and the beach) there is some nice exercise equipment for the whole family to use if you want to burn off a few calories!
Last but not least, the Ponce Beach is right there, too. I can’t say it is a really nice beach, but it is a nice place to cool off under the few trees with your feet in the water. While I didn’t like the dark sand, I will admit it has some great scenery, with views to Isla Caja de Muertos. We got some nice photos while we walking along the beach looking for shells and sea glass!
Restrooms are available along the area, but cleanliness is questionable, and bring your own TP.
To get there, take exit 104A from Route 52, then follow Route 12 south. You’ll have to drive through an industrial/port area … just follow the road to the parking area, where there is plenty of free parking.
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PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it!