Lions on Display in Ponce

Ponce Lions

10/20 update: The painted lions are now on display in the Firehouse (upstairs) and a few in the Mayor’s building and few at the Ponce Mall. People were sitting on them and damaging them a bit, so they were removed from the outdoor plaza area.

Roaring Lions … not part a circus, but a colorful, outdoor art exhibit in Ponce. Like many towns around the world, Ponce is displaying life-size animal statues painted by local artists. Since the symbol of Ponce is the lion, they chose lion statues to be turned into magical works of art.

These colorful lion statues are on display upstairs in the old firehouse in the main plaza, giving you one more reason to make the trip to Ponce.

Ponce Lions

Ponce is an old city, on the south coast of Puerto Rico. It has great history, and over the last 20 years has been “on the move” to revitalize the historic district.

The Lion Stop (or La Parada de los Leones, Ponce 2012) concept was another idea to bring some art and culture to Ponce. The hopes are this will increase local tourism, and help boost the economy of Ponce.

Ponce Lions

Roaring Art in the Plaza (Ruge el Arte en la Plaza) started with the town of Ponce providing 15 local artists with white, life-sized lion sculptures. The artists were asked them to make them into works of art that represent their interpretation of Ponce — be it cultural, historical, political … anything they felt.

The first public exhibition of the lions was in early 2012. Now, they are placed in the firehouse in Ponce’s main plaza, “Plaza las Delicias”.

Ponce Lions

We finally got back to Ponce to see the lions in mid-2013. We think they are wonderful! And they are great for photos, too!

On a side note, I have to say Ponce always confused me … We always had trouble finding parking. We thought everything was so spread out. We just didn’t know it like we know Old San Juan.

But we have spent more time exploring there, and it is starting to grow on us! They really are making great strides in making it a wonderful place to visit.

Ponce Lions

There are new signs, more tours, parking meters with 4-hour time limits (and free on weekends!), new parking lots, a number of museums, and great architecture (very different from Old San Juan). There are lots of things for you to do, and it only takes a little bit of advance planning.

So, if you’ve never been to Ponce … take a trip there and give it a chance. You might be surprised by how much you like it!

Other things to see while you’re in Ponce

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Roads are fine, no problem.

Comment by Gwenn on 06 Apr 2019

Hello, Thank you for the site! I'm planning to visit San Juan in May. I am thinking of doing my usual trip down to Ponce by Jeep. Is it safe to drive down since Maria? Best, Christina

Comment by christina singh on 05 Apr 2019

There is plenty of parking at La right down to the area. Finding parking in Ponce is a little trickier as things are spread out. But we try to park as close to the main Plaza as possible. From there, you can see a few museums and galleries, and get the trolley tour (which I think will take you by/to the Art Museum. But to get to some of the other sites (Tibes, Buena Vista, Serralles etc) , you need to drive.

Comment by Gwenn on 15 Sep 2015

Is there a centrally located place you recommend where it is best to park? We will probably make 2 visits to Ponce. One visit will be on a weekend to visit the area of La Guancha. The other maybe during the week to see the plaza and museums and/or galleries. We'd like to be able to park and wander, if possible, rather than driving around town. Thanks!

Comment by Carol Deer on 13 Sep 2015

Been to Ponce twice now. I'd also recommend Parque de Bombas, the Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center, and the Cathedral of our Lady of Guadeloupe.

Comment by Jeri on 04 Jul 2014

Ponce is definity worth a visit. For many years I didn't really know how to visit Old San Juan. A little experience and perspective goes a long way as far as enjoyment. While in Ponce I would definitely reommend visiting Castillo Serralles and Hacienda Buena Vista. And if you are part of the refined and cultured sort, they have great art museums. Years ago I remember doing a free trolley tour that took you around the whole city, and even stopped at a sports museum. And heck, if you went as far as Ponce, you might as well go all the way and check out El Faro de Cabo Rojo.

Comment by Josh on 23 Sep 2013

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