Best time to travel to Puerto Rico

Waterfalls and Swimming Holes in Puerto Rico

Escape tropical heat in the cool waters of jungle waterfalls

Best time: all year round

Waterfalls and Swimming Holes
Waterfalls and Swimming Holes
La Coca Falls, El Yunque

Taking a dip into a natural pool surrounded by a lush tropical rainforest is a dream that can come true in Puerto Rico. The island receives plenty of rainfall during summer and boasts many waterfalls that are suitable for swimming. Plunge pools are usually beautifully framed by moss, lichens, lianas, and tree ferns.

El Yunque Waterfalls

El Yunque National Forest is a must-see destination for waterfall enthusiasts. This Caribbean rainforest, located in the Luquillo Mountain Range, has unique flora and fauna. Discovering its hidden falls and streams is an unforgettable experience. La Coca Falls is perhaps the most beautiful El Yunque waterfall located the closest to the main entrance. However, being one of the most photographed sites in Puerto Rico, La Coca is not the best place for a swim. So you should head further to La Mina Falls if you are looking for a relaxing dip. La Mina Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Puerto Rico, thanks to a 35-ft (10-m) drop and picturesque jungle all around. La Mina can be reached by a 7.5-mi (12-km) La Mina Trail or a bit longer Big Tree Trail, both of which start at the main road. La Mina and La Coca are the most famous waterfalls in El Yunque. However, there are more falls to discover there. For example, Juan Diego Falls, located not far from La Coca Falls, maybe not so impressive, but it's also less crowded and suits well for a refreshing dip.

Charco Azul

Charco Azul is a beautiful swimming hole located in Vega Baja and surrounded by Carite Forest. Its name means "blue pond" in Spanish, which is exactly how it looks. Charco Azul is famous for the turquoise color of its waters. In addition to swimming, it's possible to jump from the rocks and explore the caves above the swimming hole. It's located just 45 minutes from San Juan, making it a suitable one-day trip from the capital.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Puerto Rico for swimming in waterfalls?

The ideal time to visit Puerto Rico for waterfall swimming is during the summer when the island receives adequate rainfall. With temperatures ranging from 80 to 90 F (27 to 32 C), June, July, and August are the warmest months and perfect for refreshing swims in jungle waterfalls. Show more

Apart from swimming, what other activities can be done at La Coca Falls?

In addition to swimming, visitors to La Coca Falls often enjoy hiking and wildlife spotting. The place has several trails ideal for hikers; some are fit for beginners while others are for experienced hikers. Bird watching is also popular due to the area's abundance of bird species, such as the endangered Elfin Woods warbler. Show more

What's the duration of the walk/hike to La Mina Falls from the main road?

It takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour to hike to La Mina Falls from the main road following the moderate La Mina trail. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes and exercise caution as the trail can get damp and slippery. Show more

What are the extraordinary fauna and flora found in El Yunque National Forest?

El Yunque National Forest boasts of distinctive fauna and flora that are unique to the area. The Puerto Rican parrot, among the world's most endangered birds, is one of the famous plants in the forest. The rainforest is also home to several species of bats, lizards, insects, and amphibians. Giant tree ferns, epiphytes, and bromeliads are prevalent in the forest. Show more

Is it possible to jump from rocks at Charco Azul?

Visitors to Charco Azul can jump from rocks, but caution must be taken due to the slippery and sharp rock surfaces. To avoid injuries, it's advisable to hire a guide who's familiar with the area. Additionally, visitors can enjoy cave exploration, picnic on the nearby platforms, among other activities besides jumping. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen