I’m probably the least beach person you’ll ever meet. So, when my friends from work started talking about going on a trip to Puerto Rico and spending time at the local rivers, I was already convinced. From beginning to end, it was an amazing experience.

by My Puerto Rico Experience

One of my friends is from Puerto Rico, so she kind of planned the whole thing. We all agreed to visit some of the rivers where it’s safe to swim on our own in order to stay on budget. We rented a car and drove to the mountains to see more of the island. She was our tour guide, and was great at it! We even told her she should quit working at the coffee shop and open her own adventure company. If I were her, I would definitely move back to Puerto Rico. It’s paradise!

Ok, so she took us to several rivers. We went to Salto del Hippie in Naguabo. This one has a big pool with huge boulders. It’s on the other side of El Yunque Rainforest’s mountain. Beautiful! Bring your bathing suits and cooler. We jumped into the river from the top of the biggest boulder, but also had time to chill out. Spend mid morning there, and then headed to the beach for seafood and coconut arepas (fried bread). So good!

We also went to Gozalandia in San Sebastián. We didn’t know the exact location (the GPS won’t take you there), but once you’re nearby, the locals can give you directions. The waterfall is amazing! We climbed the rocks and used one of the jump ropes to dive into the water. Very exciting! After our time there, we grabbed some Medallas (local beer) and ate mofongo, rice and beans, tostones… Puerto Rican food is awesome!

Our last stop was Río El Ataúd in Adjuntas. Ataúd means coffin, and we were told this name was given because of the shape of the river (it’s very long). Make sure to bring sneakers or hiking shoes because you have to walk on a rocky path to get there. Once you get there, you’ll be amazed. There are several pools to jump in and relax. It’s like being in a natural spa! We spent a couple of hours there, enjoyed the tropical vegetation and, of course, we brought our cooler and iPod. We were lucky to have the place to ourselves. Only three or four locals came by, but no big groups.

We were river lovers by day and party animals by night. We stayed at Best Western Plus Condado Palm in San Juan. It was perfect! Definitely, the best hotel in San Juan due to its location and cost. We were right in the middle of Ashford Avenue (a very lively place to be that tends to be rather expensive) for an affordable price. The rooms were pretty nice and provided all we needed after a long day of adventure.

We didn’t get to see the rest of the rivers we wanted to (Tanamá in Arecibo, Chorro de Doña Juana in Ciales, and Charco Azul in Patillas). Make sure to visit any of these rivers on your trip to Puerto Rico. You won’t regret it at all!