Tips, Tricks & Guides

Hiking to the Blue Puddle, Puerto Rico

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Hi Travelers!

We just got back from our trip to Puerto Rico. There was so much to experience and I wish we had another two weeks there, but we did some really amazing things in the 4 days we spent on this beautiful island. One of my favorite things was hiking to the Blue Puddle! It’s also known as Charco Azul – Cuevas Arenalas! We knew from the moment we saw pictures of this paradise that we needed to see it for ourselves!

How To Get There

Driving Directions

From San Juan we took PR 22 west to Exit 35 where you will turn right off the highway onto Route 160 South. You will stay on 160 South until about 10.8 KM. You will then take a right turn onto Calle Andre Sierra Torres and follow the road down, you will see wooden signs posted along the way that have the words “Rio” painted on them in white paint. There will be a sign for parking to your right, it is on private property and the homeowner asks for a $3.00 parking donation so make sure to bring some cash/coins with you.

We followed directions from this blog, they have also provided GPS coordinates! 

Charco Azul / Cuevas Arenales, Vega Baja Parking: (18.361643, -66.386825)

Charco Azul / Cuevas Arenales, Vega Baja: (18.361628, -66.389535)

Walking Directions

From the parking you will take a right out of the property and walk down the road a short way until you see a concrete road on your right. Turn down this road

WARNING- it is very steep and slippery, so wear sturdy shoes (I wore these chacos!) and DO NOT drive your car down here. First of all, there is no where for you to park, and only a small space to turn around. Second of all.. you will have one hell of a time getting your car back up! Just do the smart thing and support the locals and pay for $3 to park where it’s safe ha! 

Once you are at the bottom of the hill you will see a pump station, take a left and continue following the road. It will turn into a dirt road and lead down to the river, once you hit the river take a right. Walk through the river for a bit, at the time of our trip there had been some large logs that blocked the way, I believe this was a result of Maria. Just climb through/around them. There are a few trails off the side of the river, you will see them, you will want to be on the left side. It doesn’t take long before you find this beautiful otherworldly place in the river.

What to Bring

Most importantly, make sure to bring lots of water! These are the bottles I use!

Bring some snacks for yourself and maybe some beef jerky for “tour guide” the sweet little dog pictured below that will lead the way if you are lucky enough to meet him. He really stole our hearts!

Wear a bathing suit– you will get wet! Bring something dry to wear on top, that you can hike in! We didn’t bring or need to use a towel, but you could bring one if you’d prefer. 

We found a lot of trash while we were there, unfortunately. We really wished we had brought a trash bag. We did find a bag that had been left behind and Adam collected all the trash he could fit inside. It felt much nicer but there was still some miscellaneous items around that we couldn’t fit. Do your part in keeping this beautiful spot nice and clean! Pack out what you packed in and collect trail trash if you see it!

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What to do

Cliff jump! There are plenty of places to jump in and aside from a large bolder near the canyon wall, it is pretty deep. Just make sure to jump out far enough!

Check out the cave across the river! If you are hanging out in the larger opening, you can see a small cave kind of up and to the left, there is a trail on the other side that leads along the side of the canyon wall and up to this cave. We didn’t have the chance to check it out, but wished we had. So if you do, come back and show me some pictures!

Swim up the canyon! There is a treat waiting for you on the other side and it is sweet! (P.S. you can see what it is in our (video) and while you’re there, please like and subscribe! Thank you! 

Enjoy the sounds of nature! In my opinion, the best part of all! There are so many chatty birds telling lengthy stories and the trickle of water off the jungle walls into the puddle, put them together and it is simply therapeutic.

Have you been here before or planning a trip? I’d love to hear all about it, and if you have any questions, ask away! You can comment below or email me!

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Hi Travelers, thank you for coming to my little piece of the internet. Lets see the world!


    • AStravels

      Omg, it was seriously breathtaking! It is a silly name huh, it’s much prettier in Spanish, Charco Azul! The hike was incredibly easy, a walk down a steep concrete road and down a little dirt road then just through the river. As long as you don’t mind getting wet, anyone could get here!

    • Sarah N Portaleos

      That looks beautiful! Was it crowded when you were there? I can’t find much about it on the internet which I feel like is a good sign! I am going to Puerto Rico in a few weeks and it is such a beautiful area but we don’t love the idea of being around a bunch of other people when we are exploring. Also, do you have any other recommendations?

      • AStravels

        We passed a group of about 4 or 5 people leaving on our way back to the cave but we had it ALL TO OURSELVES the entire time we were there! Definitely check it out if you can, we were told there were some waterfalls up or down the river I can’t remember now but maybe you can find a local to answer that or somewhere else on the interweb lol! Totally go visit 7 arches! We LOVED exploring there and it was beautiful! There was a REALLY cool hidden cave that we got to by climbing through a tiny crack in the rocks. It was very cool! We spent a lot of time in Old San Juan as that is where our Airbnb was and we had fun there! If you’re into climbing, the rock climbing here is amazing! Enjoy Puerto Rico it’s amazing. I’ll try and pull together a post about our trip there.. it was almost a year ago but it’s pretty vivid memories LOL

    • AStravels

      LOL! Kemi, I didn’t jump.. although after watching how much fun my boyfriend had cliff jumping I really wished I had!

  • Louise

    This looks like a wonderful hike, pictures are beautiful too! Would love to visit someday and see the Blue puddle for myself! Thanks for sharing.

  • Richa

    Such a visual treat this post is 🙂 The Lush landscapes and the piercing blue Caribbean waters are making me feel like booking my tickets to this exotic place. I like the way you have reminded to keep swimsuit – I am sure it would be nearly impossible to resist diving in such a beautiful natural pool!!

  • Chastity

    How long does it take to get here from San Juan. Is it a good day trip? I’m taking my grandma for this trip so I’m wondering if she would be able to do this. She is pretty fit. But won’t swim.

    • AStravels

      Hi Chastity, sorry I’m just getting back to you! It took us about 45min to get there San Juan! The walk down to the trailhead is a little steep but doable in sturdy shoes and as long as the road is not wet. The trail is pretty simple, she will need to get into the water about waist deep to cross over to the cave but swimming is not absolutely necessary! Hope you guys go and have a ton of fun! I’d love to hear back 🙂

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