Disappointment in the Town of Añasco

Salto de Encantado in Anasco

During a trip to Rincon, we took some time to explore the western coast and tried to find things in various little-known towns. Añasco, a town just south-east of Rincon, is along the west coast of Puerto Rico and has beaches and forests to explore. We didn’t have a lots of time to spend in this area, but we did visit two points of interest.

Unfortunately, they left me sad. Let me explain …

As we explore the island, we find many wonderful things … and sometimes disappointments. One of the biggest disappointments for me is when I see that the local and/or state government had invested a lot of money into some great project that they don’t maintain over the long term — the investment gets destroyed by nature, vandals, or both.

That is what we encountered, to varying degrees, in Añasco. We visited the Salto de Encantado (Enchanted Waterfalls) and the Mirador (Observation Tower). Both needed work to make them great again, though they are both sort of usable.

The Mirador

Mirador in Anasco

This lookout tower is easy to see and get to, since it is located right on Route 115 as you drive south out of Rincon. There is plenty of parking, the view is great in the parking area, and it just gets better as you go up into the tower.

Made of concrete, it seems sturdy and about 3 stories high, so you get a really nice view of the ocean and the Mona Passage. I am sure you could do some whale watching or sunset viewing from here. Officially, it’s open 7am-6pm, 7 days/week, though I don’t know if it is ever "closed" since I didn’t see a way to prevent people from entering it.

Obviously, some people use this tower to hang out, enjoy a beer or two, and, when they are finished, relieve themselves and break their bottles all over the steps, and then spray-paint graffiti all over the tower. It needed a good cleaning.

Salto de Encantado

This was once a beautiful place, with walking paths and bridges across the cascading water and around the park. It had picnic areas and benches so people could enjoy the day in this pretty place. Now, it has been left to decay in ruins.

Salto de Encantado in Anasco

The wooden boardwalks and cement paths are slick with mold (I almost fell a few times just walking around for the few minutes we were there). The paths and picnic areas are overgrown. The picnic shelters and bridge are covered with graffiti. There was trash everywhere. Even the steps down to the water were partially destroyed.

That being said, the water cascades are very pretty (they look brown due to recent rains).

It was a little difficult to find since there were no real directions or signs. Here are some directions that should help: Take Route 402 until KM 1.8, where you will turn left onto El Salto Road. There is no sign for this road, so look for the Gulf gas station right there on the corner and there is a hospital-looking building across the street. Follow this road until you see the wooden boardwalk on the right-hand side. There were only a few spaces for parking.

I am not writing the town of Añasco off my list — there are still more things on my list of sites to see there. I can only hope that other sites in that town are maintained better than these two.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

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Great! Thanks for the update- good to know!

Comment by Gwenn on 28 Feb 2016

Just as an update, we biked past the Mirador (February 2016) and it is all painted with a couple of food stands outside. We didn't stop, but we didn't detect a urine smell, and I saw someone in a uniform and rubber gloves changing garbage cans. I hope this means there is an improvement in Anasco's tourism focus. We stayed in Anasco at an Airbnb place, and we found it to be a charming, everyday kind of place. We enjoyed the (mildly disheveled) Balneario Anasco and biked into Rincon. The prices are cheaper in Anasco, and the pace feels less hectic, with fewer tourists. There are a lot of kioskos around for cheap food, too!

Comment by Wade Meyer on 27 Feb 2016

Thanks so much for this site! We had fun visiting the ruins of Salta de Encantado thanks to your post. It is in very poor shape but fascinating. Because it's in decay, it's a little dangerous. But we enjoyed it.

Comment by Peggy Farren on 26 Jul 2015

I am from Anasco. I have moved back to states about 4 years ago. I must agree it has become disappointing, Anasco always starts projects and never keep up with them. I am from Miraflores and when I was growing up we use to swim in the Rio Grande directly across the street from many houses we own. But that stopped when I was 15 years old because our mayor decided to take rocks out of the river for 6 to 7 years so now no fishing or swimming for our future generation. I love my town but I loved it more 15 years ago.

Comment by Nessy on 09 Jan 2015

As a resident in Ponce I decided to go visit Añasco mainly to eat at a rather new restaurant called Don Maceta. I decided to go to the Rincon Light House, the Mirador and El Salto de Encantado. I actually passed right by the Mirador without noticing it on my way to the Lighthouse. When I got to the Lighthouse there was some sort of Food Fest so I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there sere about 10 artisan tables set up and a few food kiosk. On my way back to Añasco I stopped at the Mirador. Sadly and as you have stated the stench of urine is noticeable as is the graffiti and the broken bottles. My last stop before eating was at Salto de Encantado, there is NO parking there. I did park in a spot that though against the law did not bother traffic flow. Sadly the place was very abandoned and my wife, son and I were the only people there. After the bridge you pictured the paved road ends and a dirt trail starts which lead to a basketball court and another dirt trail. The second dirt trail lead to an abandoned structure that resembles a kiosk. I followed a dirt trail down to the actual river because there was a rather shady looking car pulled over on the dirt road after the kiosk and out of precaution I decided not to explore that section (though I was legally carrying a firearm, I saw no reason to tempt fate). After another dirt trail I got to the actual river and got some nice pictures of the waterfalls and exited up a set of wooden stairs that was missing one. The entire boardwalk is a mishmash of missing planks or places patched up with panels. As you stated and overall disappointing day.

Comment by Nelson on 18 May 2014

Rincon is where all the action is at in that area- lots of bars/restaurants, shops, tours etc. Really not much to do in Anasco. Somehow we couldn't even find the beach (Tres Hermanos) that people say is nice- we found a deserted, empty, overgrown patch of sand with a huge parking lot. We just didn't get it. But that hotel is not that far from Rincon. If you like the hotel, stay there. You will need a car any where you stay out there. We usually stay in Rincon and take day trips.

Comment by Gwenn on 22 Jun 2013

I'm sorry to hear of your disappointment. Do you think things have improved or are getting worse. I'm planning a trip with my family this upcoming July 2013 to that area but after reading your article, I may reconsider. I made reservations at the Rincon Beach Resort but after your comments I will think, we will stay in Rincon instead.

Comment by Maria on 22 Jun 2013

First of all, let me say I really enjoy your website...I haven't seen anything quite like it in my search for good websites to reccommend to friends visiting the island (since they're constantly asking me for reccommendations). Now, about Añasco. I'm sad to say the only good that'll come out of visiting Añasco again will be to have more reviews on your site. I've lived in an area close to Añasco my whole life and I haven't found one satisfying experience I would reccommend to people. It's just your small, quite, plain ol' town. Besides the areas around the main road (PR-2) everything has been practically abandoned and is in terrible condition. The center of the town itself was a bit remodeled in the late 90's and it looks nice, but so many places have gone out of business, there's just empty buildings full of trash and vandalism -it's sad. On the other side of the #2 road (heading towards Rincon) there is the Rincon Beach Resort, which is pretty nice, but overpriced, and there are a couple of random seafood spots that are worth a try. My personal favorite for a long time was Kaplash (though I'm not sure if that's still Añasco or if it's going into Rincón), it offers a great view of the Rincon sunset, but the service is not great (slow, a bit rude). For a while there I thought the food was AH-MAZING, but in recent ocassions I've found the quality is just not the same...I'm always nostalgic about it though (since I moved to the US) and always go back to see if it's back to being good...so far it's let me down. :(

Comment by Victoria on 11 Mar 2010

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