Home to the National Forest Service’s only tropical rainforest, Puerto Rico is full of natural beauty, stunning tropical foliage, and of course — waterfalls. Both in and around El Yunque, Puerto Rico’s 29,000-acre tropical rainforest, are some of the most stunning waterfalls in the Caribbean and around the world. They range from easy wins just off the road to demanding hikes tucked far into the jungle, most of which are completely free to visit. Better yet, if you’re looking for a little adventure, the country offers dozens of adrenaline-inducing canyoning tours that let you experience the magic of these Puerto Rico waterfalls firsthand.
The best part? A lot of them aren’t even on most people’s radar. In this guide, we’ll break down 11 of our favorite waterfalls by region so you can decide which ones will fit into your itinerary. A trip to Puerto Rico is definitely not complete without exploring some of these incredible natural beauties.
San Juan Region
Charco Prieto (Poza Negra), Bayamón
Charco Prieto is one of the closest falls to the capital of San Juan and is a fantastic day excursion. While only a mile hike in, it is fairly challenging terrain due to the fallen trees and debris on the trails. One of the best parts about this hike is there are smaller pools along the way to the waterfall if you need to cool down.
El Yunque and The East
Juan Diego Falls, El Yunque
About an hour from San Juan, Juan Diego Falls has become one of the more well known waterfalls thanks to its beautiful tranquility. A quick quarter mile along some smaller pools will take you to this gem, but be sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds that start arriving around noon. The waterfall itself is 40-feet tall with a spectacular swimming pool right underneath. According to the park service, parking in the lot is limited to only 30 minutes so be sure to plan accordingly.
La Mina Falls, El Yunque
La Mina Falls is a challenging hike that takes about an hour to complete, depending on your pace. It’s a fantastic choice for travelers looking for a bit of adventure with a fantastic payoff at the end. There’s no surprise that this waterfall is the most well-known fall in El Yunque thanks to the spectacular flow of water in a pristine location. Hikers can expect winding trails and challenging ascents via concrete steps that lead up towards the falls. There are plenty of stops along the way to take a break under covered awnings and picnic areas.
La Coca, El Yunque
La Coca is located right next to the road shortly after entering El Yunque. It’s an easy access waterfall that you can basically walk right up to, just make sure your shoes have good grip — it can get slippery. The fall itself is about 85 feet and drops into a beautiful rock formation, making this a perfect photo spot. Given how popular this is, it’s no surprise that there is a gift shop in case you want to take home a souvenir.
La Canoa, El Yunque
La Canoa is a very unique waterfall, offering guests not only the spectacular falls, but also an insight into local culture through petroglyphs (rock carvings) and, of course, beautiful scenery. Keep in mind, getting to the petroglyphs involves climbing over some slippery boulders, so be cautious. Travelers can jump into the various pools along the fall, including some fairly tall cliff jumps for those looking to get a bit more adventurous. If you’re looking to take a refreshing dip, this waterfall is located near El Hippie Swimhole, a local favorite.
La Niebla, San Cristobal
La Niebla is the country’s tallest waterfall at 300 feet. Locals argue this is the most beautiful in the country thanks to its size and beauty. The trail is slippery, steep and best handled with a tour guide. Note, this is not a great option for a family outing with small children due to the tough terrain.
The West and Central
Gozalandia Falls, San Sebastian
This 60-foot waterfall is extremely popular, particularly on hot days, when you can find locals hanging out in the stunning, large pool. Underneath the fall is a submerged cave which can be reached up by diving and swimming below the cascades. The walk down a wide, cement pathway to the fall only takes about five minutes, making this a very easy experience for all.
Chorro de Doña Juana, Orocovis
Chorro de Doña Juana is a beautiful fall in the Toro Negro state park, right off road 149. It’s made up of three small chutes and is very popular with locals. You can hike down to the fall to cool down in the stunning pool which is very accessible, making it a great option for families and for picnics.
Salto Collazo, San Sebastian
Salto Collazo is located just off of 111 in San Sebastian and it’s popular for its easy access. The fall is beautiful and provides a great photo opp, particularly when the sun is shining down into the pool. It is approximately 25 feet tall and is best seen after a rainstorm. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, there is a challenging walk over a bridge to see a secret waterfall that is even taller.
Salto Curet, Mariscao
This 100-foot waterfall is earned through its tough access. Salto Curet is very remote and requires you to drive on a rough mountain road and hike in about 20 minutes. The hike also includes walking upstream through the water in some areas. However, thanks to this remoteness, you will be likely to have it to yourself, with nothing but gorgeous water to relax in.
Las Delicias, Ciales
Las Delicias is aptly named: The Delight. This easy-to-access waterfall is actually made up of two falls and is a spectacular place to stop within the grounds of the Tres Picachos State Forest. The water and area look like Jurassic Park, with lush tropical surroundings and cascading water.