How to Visit Puerto Rico’s Cradle of Salsa

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There’s a new way to experience Puerto Rico’s cradle of salsa.

The Tourism Company of Puerto Rico launched a new program this week, La Ruta de la Salsa de Ponce, with the motto “Ponce is salsa.”

The route consists of guided tours themed with salsa music by Ponce musicians.

“Our culture distinguishes us as a people and one of its pillars is the music and its great exponents,” said Mary “Mayita” Meléndez Altieri, Deputy Executive Director of the PRTC. “Salsa is a musical genre that has represented us very successfully in the world, and Ponce has a lot to do with it– being the birthplace of renowned figures such as Cheo Feliciano, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Quintana, Papo Lucca, and Pete ‘The Conde’ Rodriguez, among others.”

The city is known for producing many successful salsa musicians, many of whom were members of the legendary salsa band, “Fania All-Stars.”

“Ponce is the cradle of great salsa. A city that is continually transformed but retains great pride in their traditions and culture,” said mayor Meléndez Altieri. “We are proud to be the capital of Salsa and keep alive the legacy of Ponce salsa. We want visitors to know from which these great performers of Salsa.”

Some of the places guests can visit along the Ruta de la Salsa are the Monument of Héctor Lavoe in Guancha; Paseo de la Salsa Cheo Feliciano; the tombs of famous salsa artists; the Belgian neighborhood frequented by Lavoe in his teens; the house-museum Cantera Club; the Puerto Rican Museum and the San Antón, among other places.

The program also offers information on places to dance salsa, take classes and other related events.

The launch of the route was made as a tribute to the city, and featured a presentation of the youth municipal band of the Juan Morel Campos Historical Institute of Music, alma mater of Lavoe, Feliciano, and Alvarado.

“La Ruta de la Salsa de Ponce is an excellent tool to attract that market visitor who is a faithful follower of the genre of salsa,” said Femenías Jové. “Through the root visitors will experience and learn about landmarks that are a fundamental part of the history of the roots of salsa in Ponce, which will undoubtedly contribute to tourism and economic development of the region.

The route was created by tour guide Clemente de Freitas, who was recognized for his contributions.

 

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