Museo Castillo Serrallés | Ponce, Puerto Rico

Castillo Serrallés History

Castillo Serrallés is the family home of the best selling rum brand in Puerto Rico, Don Q. This incredible castle and much of the entire city of Ponce, was build as part of the vast Serrallés family fortune.

Built in 1930, this four story concrete castle sits on top of a hill overlooking downtown Ponce, Puerto Rico. The former family mansion turned museum is Spanish Revival or Spanish Moroccan architecture designed in the 1920’s. Surrounded by magnificently manicured gardens, there is a strong breeze from the Caribbean Sea to naturally cool the property.

Originally from Catalonia, Spain, the Serrallés family began sugar cane production in Puerto Rico in the 1830’s and opened the first rum distillery in 1865. The sugar plantation and operations covered most of what is now the city of Ponce. The Ponce airport began as the Serrallés family private airport! There was even a rail line to transport train cars full of sugar cane. Housing was provided to the workers, and many of those houses still belong to descendants of the original Destilería Serrallés families.

The 2.5 acre museum is a must-see for architecture fans and history buffs. The interior is filled with original furniture, dishes, art work, and remnants from rum production. The Castle is now owned by the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Admission Tickets and Guided Tour

Museo Castillo Serrallés is open for tours Friday through Sunday 11 AM until 4PM.

Tickets can be purchased on-site for $10 for admission to the property, or $15 for property admission plus guided tour, plus access to the Japanese Gardens located up the hill. Student tickets (with photo ID) can be purchased on-site for only $5 each. Arrive before Noon to ensure same day tickets, tours sell out quickly and you may miss out.

During peak tourist season, buy your tickets on-line to reserve your spot. Online tickets are an additional $5 per person with third party ticket fees.

The museum tour guides are proficient in both English and Spanish. Be sure to ask for the English tour if you don’t speak Spanish. The tour begins in the auditorium with a 15 minute video (in Spanish with English subtitles) on a brief history of the family and promotion for on-site events and destination weddings.

The guided tour focuses on architecture, Serrallés family history, life in the 1930’s, and the details of the home. While the Serrallés family owns and operates the Destilería Serrallés that produces Don Q rum, only a small portion of the tour here actually discussed rum production. There are several rooms full of photos and memorabilia about the sugar plantation workers and sugar cane production.

In order to keep the tour moving, photos and videos are not allowed until after passing the kitchen and out onto the upper terrace. There are so many beautiful clocks, fancy dishes, ornate furniture, and décor throughout the mansion that really must be seen for yourself. Indoor museum access is only allowed during the guided tours.

I would not recommend the tour for families with small children. There are many fragile items that cannot be replaced, and quite simply young children would be incredibly bored on the tour.

The tour ends at the still working elevator. One of the earliest elevators ever installed on the island! It features a lattice wire door and is rated up to 800 pounds. The garage (now converted to a gift shop) is just steps away from the elevator.

Weddings, Corporate Events, and Photoshoots

The incredible views make Castillo Serrallés a stunning location for weddings and events. There were several photoshoots the morning of my visit, including engagement photos and a Quinceañera (15th birthday) girl in her gorgeous pink gown.

There is even a pink castle background, La Reina de las Muñecas (Queen of the Dolls), where you can feel like a Queen straight out of a Fairytale!

The back garden offers so many perfect photo spots, choose from the massive Guanacaste tree, multiple column lined terraces, lush foliage, or elegant fountain pool with views over the city of Ponce out to the Caribbean Sea.

 Jardín Japonés (Japanese Garden)

Also owned by the Serrallés family (now part of the Serrallés museum) is the Japanese Zen garden located directly above the Castillo Serrallés. Same day entry to the garden is included with the price of admission for the Castillo Serrallés, so be sure to visit this tranquil garden featuring bonsai trees, water features, striking red bridges over the rivers, and koi fish ponds.  

Cruceta del Vigía (The Watchman Cross)

Towering above the Castillo Serrallés is Cruceta del Vigía, a 10 story, 100 feet tall observation deck in the shape of a giant cross. Visitors can walk or ride the elevator to the top for views across the city of Ponce. The cross is not part of the Serrallés family property or the museum. Tickets must be purchased separately at the base in the tourist center.

Discover the history of Ponce, Puerto Rico!

16 thoughts on “Museo Castillo Serrallés | Ponce, Puerto Rico”

  1. Beautiful place to live in, Hello Jen I have a few questions for you regarding shipping my vehicles to PR. I was trying to send you an email but I don’t associate with Facebook, Twitter nor Instagram. Could I have you shoot me an email at. I have a few questions to ask regarding the transition and the process when the vehicles arrive. Don’t want to place to much detail in this message board. Thanks

  2. I would love to visit Puerto Rico and experience these hidden gems. Your blog is lovely and the patio at the back is so pictographic. Can’t wait to visit Castillo Serralles! Will visit the place soon.

  3. Oh my goodness! That back patio area is stunning – and perfect for photos, you’re right. I love that it’s still in such great condition with being 9 decades old, and they built it in such a fabulous area with a beautiful view. So lovely!

  4. We have been wanting to visit South America. And that also includes having the chance to see Puerto Rico. We will definitely look into Castillo Serralles when we get to visit. Love the architecture it depicts and the history.

  5. I have never been to Puerto Rico but it is on my travel list. The museum seems must visit when in Puerto Rico. Very informative video.

  6. I’ve never been to Puerto Rico but its definitely somewhere I’d like to visit. Castillo Serralles looks amazing, I can certainly picture myself standing on that terrace with a rum in hand watching the world go by. The gardens look beautiful as well. I’ll definitely keep this in mind when I do finally make it to Puerto Rico.

  7. I have never tasted that famous rum and I would love to even though I am not a fan for rum. I just want to experience how it tastes. Also I would totally visit Castillo Serrallés to see the museum. I have always had Puerto Rico in my list but have never been able to travel there. Hopefully I will soon be able to visit that place.

    1. Even for non-rum drinkers, the Castle is so worth the visit! I hope you can make it out to Puerto Rico soon.

  8. I must have missed this when I was in Puerto Rico last! Castillo Serralles is magnificent. I can’t imagine someone actually living in a mansion like that, will have to pay it a visit the next time I’m in PR. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thinking about how incredible this ‘family home’ would have been in the 1930s and imagining parties with guests standing on the back terrace, glass of rum in hand. I want to live that! The Japanese Garden looks like a great place to relax for a minute after the tour and before climbing the Watchman Cross for city views

  10. If I was going to Puerto Rico, I would come to Castillo Serralles but not to try the rum (I am really not a fan of the stuff) but would check out the museum. However the views from here look amazing and would take the time to do this. Would also love to take a stroll around the Japanese garden, I love doing this sort of thing whilst on the road. Its nice to explore busy places on islands or cities, but I really do like to get into the nature and get away from it all.

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