Porta Caribe area shown in red
|Motto||Doorway to the Caribbean|
|Purpose||Tourism & Culture|
|Headquarters||Calle Villa #122|
|Southern Puerto Rico|
|Tito Reyes (2018 - Incumbent) |
Jose A. Reyes (2009-12)
Nadine de Jesús (2012-15)
Maritza W. Ruiz Cabán (2015-17)
|Puerto Rico Tourism Company|
|Part of a series on|
|Tourism in Puerto Rico|
|Cays and islets|
Porta Caribe is a tourism region in southern Puerto Rico. It was established in 2003 by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, an agency of the Government of Puerto Rico. When created in 2003 it consisted of 14 municipalities in the south central zone (Adjuntas, Arroyo, Coamo, Guayama, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel, Villaba, Yauco). With the creation of the neighboring Porta Cordillera zone in July 2012, the municipalities of Adjuntas and Jayuya were transferred to the newly created Porta Cordillera zone and Porta Caribe became a 12-municipality tourism region. The name Porta Caribe translates to "Doorway to the Caribbean." Its executive director is Maritza W. Ruiz Cabán.
The southern region of Puerto Rico had traditionally been considered to consist of 16 municipalities. The establishment of the Porta Caribe region dates to the late 1990s when two bills to the effect were brought before the Puerto Rico Legislature, but failing to garnish the necessary number of votes in both occasions. The region was finally established by Executive Order of Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá in May, 2006. Initially the region consisted of 15 municipalities, but Guanica was subsequently officially moved to join the Porta del Sol. A budget of $1 million USD was initially assigned to promote tourism for the Porta Caribe region. The director of the Government of Puerto Rico's Puerto Rico Tourism Company called Porta Caribe "Puerto Rico's second tourist destination."
In 2006, the region already provided the following facilities to launch it as a tourist destination:
- An international airport, Mercedita Airport, that saw a traffic of 124,774 passengers in 2005
- A cruise ship pier, Port of the Americas
- 1,100 hotel rooms (increasing to 1,691 by 2008)
In addition, the Oficina del Plan de Usos de Terrenos (Office of Land Use Planning) of the Government of Puerto Rico lists 24 officially recognized beaches in the southern region of Puerto Rico. Though by necessity it includes coastal municipalities only, they are all part of the Porta Caribe region.
This is a list of the top attractions in Porta Caribe, according to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
- "Charco Azul" - Carite State Forest, Coamo
- Caja de Muertos Island, Ponce
- Casa Cautiño Museum, Guayama
- La Cruceta del Vigía & Japanese Garden, Ponce
- La Guancha Boardwalk, Ponce
- Hacienda Buena Vista, Ponce
- Historic Firehouse, Ponce
- Castillo Serrallés, Ponce
- Tibes - Native Indian Museum, Ponce
- Hacienda Azucarera Vives
- Carite Dam
- Mario Mercado Castle
- La Ventana Beach
- Juana Diaz
- Three Kings Festival
- Efraín Daleccio Caves
- Parador Caribbean Paradise
- Villa Pesquera Beach
- Guilarte Forest
- Unknown Soldier Monument
- Albergue Olímpico
- Antigua Central Aguirre (Sugar Cane Mill)
- Santa Isabel
- Jauca Beach
- Patron Celebrations
- Toro Negro Forest Reserve
- Areyto Festival
- Lake Luchetti
- National Coffee Festival (Festival Nacional del Café) - February
Southern Ecological Tourist Zone
In July 2016, Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed into law Puerto Rico House Bill 2834 creating the Zona Turística Ecológica del Sur (English: Southern Ecological Tourist Zone) composed of a four municipalities in the Porta Caribe tourist region, Peñuelas, Guayanilla, Yauco and Guánica, to highlight the high ecological value of that area, and their contributions in the areas of dry forests, caves, diversity of water forms and coffee haciendas.
In October 2011, Governor Luis Fortuno created what he called "Ruta del Sur" (English: Southern Route) in a political move to show support for the infrastructural development of the municipalities in southern Puerto Rico. Ruta del Sur included the nine municipalities of Guánica, Yauco, Ponce, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Arroyo, Salinas, Juana Díaz y Santa Isabel. One of its goals is the development of ecotourism.
DISUR, which stands for "Desarrollo Integral del Sur" (English: Southern Integral Development) is a private organization created in 2006 that seeks to "promote and maximize the competitiveness of the municipalities that make up the southern region of Puerto Rico." It consists of 15 southern municipalities as follows: Adjuntas, Arroyo, Coamo, Guánica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel, Villalba y Yauco. The organization seeks to make strides in the area of turism by promoting conventions as well as the Centro Oceanografico de Ponce.
The College of Surveyors of Puerto Rico created the "Ruta Agrícola" (English: Agricultural Route) which runs from Salinas, through Santa Isabel and Juana Diaz, and ending in Ponce. Its purpose is "to create a new magnet for tourism".
The Oficina del Plan de Usos de Terrenos (Office of Land Use Planning) of the Government of Puerto Rico defines the Southern Region as including the 10 municipalities of Arroyo, Coamo, Guayama, Guayanilla, Juana Díaz, Peñuelas, Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel and Yauco.
- Abre nuevo hotel en Ponce: Es la primera hospedería que inauguran tras el paso del huracán. CYBERNEWS. NBC Universal. 1 December 2017. Accessed 10 December 2018.
- Nuevos dueños: Ponderan la demolición del Intercontinental., Update: Nuevos dueños: Ponderan la demolición del Intercontinental.. Jason Rodríguez and Omar Alfonso. La Perla Del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Year 27. Issue 1333. 17–23 June 2009. Pages 6-7. Retrieved 1 November 2011. Accessed 6 June 2016.
- Marcan su huella en Porta Caribe., Update: Marcan su huella en Porta Caribe. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Year 31. Issue 1564. Page 27. 20–26 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. Accessed 6 June 2016.
- Luz verde al programa Porta Caribe. 31 May 2006. El Nuevo Dia. Sandra Caquías Cruz. Accessed 18 February 2011.
- Puerto Rico Tourism - Municipalities in the Regions Archived 2008-09-02 at the Wayback Machine
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- Contact Us. Puerto Rico Tourism Company. 2017. Accessed 25 January 2017.
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- Welcome to Porta Caribe! Archived 2007-03-25 at the Wayback Machine PortaCaribe.com. 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- A revivir e incentivar la economía turística del Sur. El Sur a la Vista. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Disfruta y Conoce tu Isla: Haz Turismo Interno. Jose A. Reyes Feliciano. La Perla del Sur. Ponce Puerto Rico. 7 October 2009. Page 18.
- Luz verde al programa Porta Caribe. Sandra Caquías Cruz. El Nuevo Dia. 31 May 2006. Accessed 18 February 2011.
- Plan de Uso de Terrenos de Puerto Rico: Perfil Regional - Region Sur. Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. Junta de Planificacion. Oficina del Plan de Uso de Terrenos. Borrador Preliminar. February 2006. Page 15. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
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- Puerto Rico Tourism Company. Archived 2008-09-02 at the Wayback Machine
- Crean nueva zona turística en el Suroeste. Voces del Sur. vocesdelsurpr.com 27 July 2016. Accessed 26 January 2017.
- Millonaria inversión para el municipio de Yauco. El Sur a la Vista. Ponce, Puerto Rico.31 October 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Ante crisis fiscal: Reestructuración a la vista en DISUR. Jason Rodríguez Grafal. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Agricultura y Turismo en la agenda de DISUR. Jason Rodriguez Grafal. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 17 June 2009. Page 8. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- La Ruta Agrícola: Impulsará el turismo rural en zona Sur. Jason Rodríguez Grafal. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 1 November 2011.