10 Most Epic Waterfalls in Puerto Rico to Visit from San Juan
The stunning, awe-inspiring, and remarkable waterfalls of Puerto Rico are a perfect example of the inland Caribbean beauty that is sometimes overlooked. These fantastic waterfalls provide a perfect opportunity for fun, excitement, and thrill for locals hailing from San Juan.
Because of the tropical Puerto Rican weather that lasts all year, these waterfalls are also a perfect pastime to wind down and cool off. Since most of these waterfalls lie at the end of challenging hiking trails, people also experience some of the most splendid green landscapes and jungle interiors Puerto Rico has to offer!
So without wasting any time, let’s see what are the top epic waterfalls to visit from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
La Coca Falls, El Yunque
La Coca Falls in El Yunque National Forest is arguably the most famous waterfall in Puerto Rico, which is why it deserves the first spot on this list.
It is an incredible sight to behold with its 85 feet drop. It lies near the road PR-191 off the La Coca Trail. What makes this waterfall so popular among locals and foreigners alike is how easily accessible it is. Even though the trail that leads to the waterfall is difficult, reaching the beginning of the trail is pretty easy. It lies about a 5-mile distance from the La Coca Falls National Park. The trail itself has become kind of infamous because of people getting lost there, but the trick to not losing one’s way is to stick close to the track. There are markers all along the trail to guide people.
The whole trail and the waterfall at its end have a unique and distinct vibe of Puerto Rican wilderness, and probably the most authentic one. People visiting this waterfall are advised to be cautious around the slippery rocks and about swimming in small pools underneath the falls to avoid injury.
Juan Diego Falls, El Yunque
Juan Diego Falls lies only a minute’s drive from La Coca Falls within the El Yunque National Forest. Since both these falls are considered the best waterfalls in Puerto Rico, people visiting one can easily check the other off their bucket list without a hassle.
The difference worth mentioning here is that the trail to Juan Diego falls is relatively easy and short, and it only takes a few minutes to get to the first waterfall.
On the right of the first fall lies a dirt trail leading to the second and a larger waterfall. Both the falls have perfect pools for people who want to swim without any fear of danger.
But that is not all. People looking for an adrenaline rush can hike up even further from the left of the second waterfall. This trail leads to more water streams and more interesting natural landscapes to be discovered. The trail is pretty steep, so people who decide to take on this challenge must wear proper footwear.
Poza Negra, AKA Charco Prieto
Looking for a REAL Purto Rican hidden gem? We got one! The Poza Negra is one of the much lesser-known waterfalls in Puerto Rico that is quickly becoming a top tourist attraction for people staying in San Juan. It is one of the MOST beautiful hidden gems Puerto Rico has to offer! It lies only about 45 minutes away from San Juan! The Poza Negra, which is also known as Charco Prieto, boasts a 130-foot waterfall experience with a luscious background and unbelievable green scenery!
On the trail, you will also find unique native plants such as the “Morivivi” which closes its leaves when it is touched, as well as a pit that has no end! Some consider this pit the entrance of hell, as no one really knows how deep this hole really is!
One of the best things to enjoy about this waterfall is that it is not crowded since it is less known, which gives you time to do the hike at your own pace! It is truly a must-see waterfall if you are staying in San Juan. It is also a great place for epic photos!
La Mina Falls
La Mina Falls is situated at the end of the Lamina Trail adjacent to a river of the same name. It is a popular waterfall and trail because of its lush landscape, smaller waterfalls on the way, and the stunning and picturesque 35-feet drop waterfall at the end.
This waterfall and the trail are defined by one word: variety. With plenty of mini waterfalls and stunning green foliage, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy. The main waterfall has a crystal clear natural pool that is large and perfect for a refreshing dip. Like other popular spots, expect a bit of a crowd or try to make it there early.
Rio Espiritu Santo Waterfall, El Yunque
Rio Espiritu Santo Waterfall is one of the less popular ones but promises a memorable and enjoyable experience. It is also situated in the El Yunque National Forest but exists outside of the officially marked park area.
It is about halfway from the forest entrance and is perfect for a quick and rewarding stopover before heading on to the more famous adventures. It is one of those places that promise an amazing viewing experience and are perfect for a little pause of admiration. Since they are not as famous as other waterfalls, they are usually less crowded and suitable for visitors looking to get away from noise and commotion.
The Gozalandia Falls is perfect for a family excursion or a group getaway because of how easy they are to visit. But that also comes with a downside, i.e., plenty of locals and tourists visiting it. The key to enjoying it with less crowd is to head there early in the morning. It lies on the northwestern side of Puerto Rico in the town of San Sebastian.
What makes it easy is the short and paved trail and a large parking area. There are some steep steps here and there, but they don’t pose too big a challenge. When the hike comes to a stop, visitors are welcomed by astounding views of a 60 feet tall waterfall, along with a few smaller ones. Take a dip in many natural bathing pools or in the submerged cave to get the full effect.
For people looking for a harder challenge, the fall has a rope swing and a 30 feet cliff to jump into a deep pool. It is a great way to get one’s heart rate going without getting in too much trouble!
Charco el Hippie, Naguabo
Charco el Hippie is one of the best out of the hidden waterfalls in Puerto Rico. Even though it is a hot spot for locals, it is obscure from foreigners. This little feature makes it a perfect place to enjoy the Puerto Rican vibe while experiencing this picturesque fall. As a bonus tip, people interested in visiting Charco el Hippie should take all the BBQ-related tools and gadgets as they’ll find many families enjoying the barbecue there.
Visiting this waterfall can be a full-on picnic with great views, roaring falls, and a painted swing!
Salto Curet Falls
The Salto Curet Falls is an exceptional experience not just because of the fall itself but the road that leads there. It is a curving road that is a rewarding journey as it takes one through the rugged Maricao. After that, there’s a short but demanding 20-minute hike leading to the falls.
The falls are perfect for a swim, a relaxing break, or a photo op. What makes these falls worthy of this list is that they are not as crowded, providing people with a perfect opportunity of enjoying the Puerto Rican falls experience without noise and interruptions. On lucky days, a group or a couple can have the fall all to themselves.
La Canoa Falls
La Canoa Falls is one of the hidden gems that lie in the South of Puerto Rico, in the town of Rio Blanco. It is for those who don’t know there are other stunning waterfalls to see besides the ones in El Yunque.
In Rio Blanco, La Canoa Falls can be found above the El Hippie pool. El Hippie pool is an awe-inspiring place itself, as the caves underneath are dotted with pre-Columbian petroglyphs. The fall above it has a 70 feet drop and flows through a gorge between enormous rocks.
It is better not to take children along as navigating this fall and the surrounding area can be challenging. People should ideally take the help of a local tour guide. As a bonus, these falls have exciting natural water slides that can multiply the fun!
Las Tinajas is yet another attractive option for crowd-shy people. It is a small yet stunning fall snuggled inside the picture-perfect Fajardo Mountains. It is more like a cluster of waterfalls that are several meters tall, along with two sizable natural pools.
People can try jumping off the large boulders here for a thrilling experience, along with swinging on rope swings. The journey to the falls is no short of stunning views either; since it is a 25-minute scenic hike on a challenging trail and through lush foliage.
Just like Charco El Hippie, it will be a good idea to take BBQ supplies to Las Tinajas as it is a perfect and popular spot for barbecues and picnics. No phone reception here means getting disconnected from the loud world and simply enjoying nature for a while.
Book A Tour Guide! Here is why.
Traveling without a guide can be risky when visiting some of these waterfalls. The roads to these waterfalls can be risky, and without the proper experience, it could lead to getting lost or not knowing how to react when being on a one-way road on the edge of a mountain.
If you are looking for a safe way to explore these waterfalls with an experienced tour company, give us a call! We can safely get you to and back from these famous waterfalls, and guarantee a hell of a good time!
Transportation from San Juan is included in all our tours, so for those without a car rental, our tours can ensure you get the most out of your trip!
NOTE: Tours to Yunque National Park are currently prohibited. Tour agencies that are claiming to offer tours to the Yunque National park are actually offering tours outside the park, and not to the official rainforest. Please keep this in mind when choosing a tour! Speak to one of our experts to find the perfect adventure full of timeless memories!
There’s a perfect time for everything, and the perfect time for visiting these waterfalls is right now. It is even truer if you are currently in San Juan! Get these incredible Puerto Rican Waterfalls checked off your bucket list without wasting any precious time!