We rented through Charlie Car, a local Puerto Rican business, and they were really great. We took their free shuttle from the airport, and picked up our rental car. We had originally rented a small SUV, but thought better of it, and changed to a compact car, in this case a little white Ford Fiesta.
We could have stuck around for the music and party, but we were eager to get to Ponce, so we ate, shopped a little, and were on our way. We went back out to the main highway and headed on to Ponce.
Ponce, which is named after the great grandson of the famous explorer Ponce de Leon, is the second largest city in PR, and is located on the southern coast. On the way into town, since it was a little early to check into the hotel, we stopped at the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center. This is a very important ceremonial site that was uncovered in the 1970s by a hurricane. After touring the small museum and watching the video, we got a tour from a guide. The center was active from around AD300-700, and consists of several large courtyards of varying size which are defined with vertical stones. They call these 'ball courts' but frankly, I haven't seen much evidence that they were ball courts at least in the traditional Mayan definition. They were certainly used for something, however, and were very interesting to see.