The municipality of Ponce, officially known as the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce, is the second largest in Puerto Rico in territorial extension, after the municipality of Arecibo, and the second largest in population, after the metropolitan area of San Juan. Ponce was the first municipality declared autonomous on the island. The municipality of Ponce shares its name with the city of Ponce and is the headquarters of municipal, state, and federal agencies. The city is also known as "The Pearl of the South," "City Lord," "The City of Quenepas," and "The City of Lions." The city is known as a beautiful city, which mixes architectural styles and has a modern Art Museum of international stature, among other attractions.
The city was named in honor of Juan Ponce de León y Loaiza, grandson of the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. It is located about three kilometers from the southern coastline of the island.