Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🍔 ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
👪 The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
👪 The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.
📄 ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

Explore the Carite Forest

9/2020- Lots of devastation in the forest from Maria- all the picnic areas were smashed by fallen trees. There is a path to Charco Azul. It is usable, camping closed..

Survivor Falls in Carite Forest

The Carite Forest is located just up the road from the Guavate area in Cayey. The forest encompasses over 6000 acres and is maintained by the Departmento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (DRNA, or Department of Natural Resources) as a recreation area.

The forest has some nice picnic and camping areas, some great natural swimming pools and waterfalls. Since it is along the Ruta Panoramica, there are some great views to be seen, too.

We had an enjoyable day by eating lechon in Guavate, spending some time in the Carite Forest, and enjoying a drive along part of the Ruta Panoramica.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Just like you, I do a ton of research to find info on things to do here in Puerto Rico. Then I go out and find out the real deal. One thing I’ve learned about Puerto Rico is not to believe everything you read! So much information in guide books and on the web is out of date, missing important details, based on hearsay, or just plain wrong.

For example, the Carite Forest is "said" to have over 25 miles of hiking trails. The fact is that after hurricane Georges in 1998, the trails were never reopened and they are currently not being maintained. So, contrary to most of the information I was able to find during my pre-trip research, hiking trails are something that you won’t find in this forest.

What We Found

Charco Azul in Carite Forest

We stopped at both DRNA offices in the Carite Forest to get the "official" scoop on what this forest has to offer. The first office (on Road 184 at KM 27.8) was staffed by forest security officers who were very helpful and bilingual. The second office (on Road 184 at KM 27.5) is the "Forest Manager" office. The woman at the desk was nice, but she didn’t speak English nor know much about the forest. So, if you want any more specific information than we have in this article, stop at the first office!

Officially, there are no "hiking" trails open in the Carite Forest. The only trail that is open is the trail to Charco Azul. It is a short walking path that leads to a cute swimming hole that I think is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Picnic Areas

Picnic Area in Carite Forest

There used to be picnic tables/gazebos at the Guavate Recreation Area, just a few kilometers up the road from the lechonarias. But they were destroyed with Hurricane Maria. Last we went through, they still had not been repaired. If you drive another 15-20 minutes or so to KM 17.8, you will find a nicer picnic area along a river at the Charco Azul Recreation Area. This one gets busy on weekends, also.

Camp Sites

Since Maria, no camping is allowed in the Carite Forest, both camping locations- in the Guavate Recreation Area and the Charco Azul Recreation Area are in shambles.

Charco Azul Recreation Area

Sadly, the only thing the Carite Forest is "known" for seems to be Charco Azul, which is a cute, natural river pool with blue water.

By venturing off the official path, we were able to find some other more private and/or nicer swimming holes and waterfalls! We would never recommend that anyone do this. So if you do decide to do this, it’s at your own risk!

You can see the river from the parking area at the Charco Azul Recreation Area. We followed the river downstream, and found a number of blue pools — each one more private than the next. We had to alternately walk in the river and along the riverbank. It was not that easy — the river rocks are slippery — you need to wear water shoes or Tevas.

As we continued going downstream (about 30 minutes total from the parking area) we eventually came to the top of a waterfall. 7/21 update- there actually is a rope that might help you down, but be careful. And this is now call it Infinity Pool de Patillas. Supposedly if you walk down 184 (toward Patillas), you will find a trail down to the river. It is a muddy trail…we will write about it!

Survivor Falls

Our favorite find was Los Tres Chorros, which has 3 ponds and a waterfall. Located as you continue on Road 184 to KM12 (or so), there is a bar on the curve called Los Tres Chorros. We parked on the right side of Road 184 and walked down the little street (down the hill toward the river), across the bridge and to the right across a smaller bridge. There, in the tall grass, there is a small foot-path that people have made to get to the swimming holes and waterfalls. If you follow this path to the end, you will find a nice waterfall and 3 blue pools.

We went swimming! The pools are very deep in areas. There’s even a rope swing. The locals call this place Survivor Falls (or Cascada SobreViviente). While we were there, about 8 local kids were showing off tricks and telling us where to "safely" jump into the water. We thought it was a fun and beautiful place to play. Unfortunately, this area is very popular with the locals so it can get crowded and there is lots of trash along the trail.

Plans for our Next Visit

We ended up spending our day at these pools and falls, but next time I get out that way, I am going to try to explore Lago Carite, which is supposedly a large lake with fishing.

The DRNA guys gave us these directions to get to the lake … Take PR184 to PR179 to PR7741 to PR7738. Go through gate (tell the guard you are going to the lake) and drive as far as you can — even across the flooded road. These road numbers aren’t on any map I have, so good luck if you try to do this!

The Details

Survivor Falls in Carite Forest

The DRNA offices are open? maybe? Monday – Friday from 7am – 3:30pm. They ask you only use the other areas during daytime- 9am – 5pm.

You can call the Forest Manager’s Office at 787-747-4545 or 787-747-4510 for more information

From the San Juan area, take Route 52 south to exit 32 (that’s the Guavate exit). Turn left at the end of the ramp and take Road 184 up into the mountains. Turn right at the tee. The Guavate Recreation Area is located on Road 184 around KM25. The Charco Azul Recreation Area is located on Road 184 around KM17.8. Los Tres Chorros is located on Road 184 around KM12.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Ads & Sponsors

Other Puerto Rico Resources …

Coqui's Hideaway Rainforest Villa in Rio Grande Located in the Foothills of El Yunque