You already know that Puerto Rico has gorgeous beaches as well as exquisite shopping and dining. But did you know you could also see some of the world’s most gorgeous waterfalls as part of your Puerto Rico vacation?
Puerto Rico sightseeing features a diverse and beautiful natural landscape. With mountains covering about 60 percent of the region, you can experience deserts, canyons, caves, rivers, and a tropical rainforest in addition to the pristine oceanfront beaches. Yes, that’s right, a tropical rainforest! This diverse geography also lends itself to the formation of waterfalls. Let’s take a look at five of the most beautiful Puerto Rico waterfalls.
La Coca Falls, El Yunque National Forest
As the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Forest system, El Yunque National Forest offers visitors the opportunity to hike through tropical palms and foliage and to experience some breathtaking waterfalls. La Coca Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the park, and it may be one of your best photo opportunities of all your Puerto Rico sightseeing adventures!
The picture-perfect waterfall, which gently cascades down the rocky mountainside, is visible from the road. There is limited parking nearby as well. Some adventurous travelers choose to take a closer look by climbing some of the rocks near the falls. If you do, follow the stream, and you will be rewarded with a second larger waterfall and a small area that is perfect for a swim. If you think you might do some climbing at La Coca Falls, be sure to wear appropriate footwear and follow the safety tips offered by El Yunque staff members. Don’t forget your swimsuit!
La Coca Falls is about a 47-minute drive south of the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort. If you’d like to take a refreshing break from the links or the casino, it is well worth the scenic drive.
La Mina Falls, El Yunque National Forest
For another exhilarating Puerto Rico waterfalls experience, plan a hike to La Mina Falls in El Yunque. You’ll take the La Mina trail, which follows the course of the La Mina River, through lush trees, shrubs, and flowers to the La Mina Waterfall. The water flows down about 35 feet, cascading through some impressive rock formations into an inviting pool. You can refresh yourself with a swim there or just enjoy the spectacular view.
After your complimentary breakfast at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino, you’ll have the fuel for your Puerto Rico waterfall adventure. La Mina Falls is just about 35 minutes from the hotel. Begin your hike at the Palo Colorado Information Center, where there are two paved parking lots and several rain shelters.
Gozalandia, San Sebastian
The breathtaking Gozalandia Waterfall is also called Las Cataratas, El Roble and even “the secret waterfall.” While the secret may be out, this waterfall still is a bit tricky to find. But, with your personal guide, your Hilton Hotel’s concierge’s advice, or just your trusty GPS, that challenge makes the adventure all the more fun.
Located in the town of San Sebastian, Gozalandia Waterfall features tree-lined pathways that allow you to view its upper and lower areas. Be aware that some of the passages are narrow, and it can be quite slippery. Water from the falls collects in a deep, clear pool at the bottom. Some of the more adventurous visitors can dive down to discover and swim into a small cave just to the right of the falls. It feels like a deep-sea adventure!
Gozalandia Falls is about 47 miles away from the fabulous Embassy Suites by Hilton Dorado del Mar Beach Resort. The scenic drive takes about 90 minutes. There is parking available at the falls and a restaurant nearby. Wear appropriate footwear for the slippery walkways, and be advised that the water in the pool there is refreshingly chilly!
Las Paylas, Luquillo
Forget those commercial water parks back home. How would you like to experience the fun of an all-natural water slide? You can at La Paylas, another one of the magical Puerto Rico’s waterfalls.
From the paid parking lot, you’ll walk a short distance to the first falls and natural water slides. Then, you can walk a little further to enjoy a second set of gorgeous falls and another natural slide. Keep in mind that the terrain here is rocky and slippery, so come prepared with the right footwear and an adventurous spirit. Bring the kids; they will love it. And so will you!
Las Paylas is only about a 40-minute drive from the Doubletree by Hilton San Juan. With that comfortable residence as your home away from home, it is well worth the drive to experience this all-natural water park.
Doña Juana Waterfall, Orocovis
Are you the kind of traveler who likes to get off the beaten path? If you answered yes, then you’ll definitely want to take a drive into the interior of Puerto Rico to experience the Toro Negro Rainforest and another one of Puerto Rico’s waterfalls. In Orocovis, you will enjoy a spectacular view of Puerto Rico’s mountainous landscape at Doña Juana Waterfall (also called Chorro de Doña Juana).
You can take some photos right from the bridge or, if you’re the kind of traveler who likes to get up close and personal, you can park on the street nearby and do some climbing. There is a cold, clear pool at the bottom that is perfect for a swim on a hot day. If you work up an appetite – and you will — there are some restaurants nearby.
Doña Juana, which is a favorite with local residents, is just 16 miles away from the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort. Yet, once you are there, you will feel you have experienced the heart of Puerto Rico’s natural beauty.
There are other Hilton properties to stay at when you are exploring Puerto Rico’s waterfalls. For example, the fabulous Caribe Hilton, a true Puerto Rico landmark. Puerto Rico’s waterfalls are an easy day trip from this luxurious and beautiful hotel. Finally, the Hampton Inn & Suites offers an affordable and spacious travel residence for all your Puerto Rico sightseeing trips. It is just 33 miles from the breathtaking vistas at El Yunque National Forest.