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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
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!
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
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!
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!
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.