Ponce is one of the most developed municipalities on the island, whose manufacturing sectors include electronic and electrical equipment, communications equipment, food processing, pharmaceuticals, concrete plants, and scientific instruments. Other industries include leather products, needlework, and fish flour. In the agricultural sector, the most import product is coffee, followed by plantains, bananas, oranges, and grapefruit, among others. Other economic activities include public and private services, finance, retail sales, and construction.
The city is also known for landmarks such as the Firehouse (1882); the Cathedral, the La Perla Theater (partially destroyed in the 1918 earthquake and rebuilt in 1941), the Art Museum, the Serrallés mansion, and the Vigía Cross. The Indigenous Ceremonial Park in Tibes Ward and the Caja de Muertos Lighthouse built in 1880 are also located in this municipality. Natural resources in Ponce include the Toro Negro forest, the El Tuque beach, Deadman's Chest island, and Pelícano and Blanca beaches.
*Genip is one of the common names in English for Melicoccus bijugatus. The word used in Puerto Rico is quenepa. Other Spanish-speaking countries call the fruit mamoncillo.
Ponce is bordered on the north by Utuado and Jayuya, on the northwest by Adjuntas, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, on the east by Juana Díaz, and on the west by Peñuelas. The municipal territory reaches the central mountain range to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south. Geographically speaking, the southern area of the territory is part of the Ponce-Patillas alluvial plain subsector and the southern coastal plain, which were created by the consolidation of the valleys of the southern side of the central mountain range and the Cayey mountain range. The central area of the municipality is part of the semi-arid southern hills. These two regions are classified as being the driest on the island. The southern part of the municipality is considered to be within the rainy western mountains.
Elevations include Mount Punta at 1,338 meters (4,390 feet), the highest in Puerto Rico, located on the boundary between Anón ward in Ponce and Veguitas ward in Jayuya. Mount Jayuya, at 1,315 meters (4,314 feet) is located on the boundary between Anón ward and Saliente ward in Jayuya. Mount Maravilla, at nearly 1,210 meters (3,970 feet) above sea level, is located to the east of Anón ward. There are many other mountains at lower elevations in the municipality, such as the Montes Llanos ridge and Mount Diablo, at 680 meters (2,231 feet) and Mount Marueño, at 640 meters (2,100 feet), and Pinto Peak, among others. The Toro Negro Forest is located in Anón ward. Coastal promontories include Cuchara, Peñoncillo, Carnero, and Cabullón points.
The following rivers comprise the hydrographic system of Ponce: Jacaguas, Inabón, Bucaná (Cerrillos), Portugués, Cañas, San Patricio, and Matilde (Pastillo). The Jacaguas River runs for a brief stretch on the southeast area of the municipality. The Inabón River springs from Anón ward and runs through the municipality for some 28.5 kilometers (18 miles); the tributaries of the Inabón are the Anón and Guayo rivers and the Emajagua Brook. The Bucaná River springs from Machuelo Arriba ward and runs for 29.5 kilometers (18.5 miles) into the Caribbean Sea. The tributaries of the Bucaná are the San Patricio, Bayagán, and Prieto Rivers and Ausubo brook. The Portugués River springs from the ward of that name in Adjuntas, and runs for 27.6 kilometers (17.3 miles) into the Caribbean sea at Ponce Playa ward. The Matilde River, also known as the Pastillo River, runs for 19 kilometers (12 miles); its tributaries are the Cañas River and the Limón and del Agua brooks. Lakes in Ponce include Bronce and Ponceña as well as lakes bearing numbers: Uno, Dos, Tres, and Cinco; and the Salinas lagoon, which is considered a restricted lagoon. Other water bodies are the springs at Quintana and the Ponce and el Tuque beaches.
Geographic features of the coast include Cabullón inlet, and Ratones, Cardona, Gato, and Fríos keys. Deadman's Chest island and Morrillito islet are located at the boundary between Ponce and Juana Díaz. There is a mangrove covering an area of approximately 40 hectares at Cabullón promontory and Fríos keys. The mangrove at Salinas lagoon covers an area of about 15 hectares. The Rita cave is located in Cerrillos ward.
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