Dare To Go To the Infinity Pool in Carite Forest
The idea of an “infinity pool” — where the water falls from a nice pool, over an edge, giving you views to the horizon — sounds magical! The infinity pool in Patillas, located in the middle of the forest, is magically beautiful. But don’t be fooled, it can be treacherous. This adventure is not for everyone, and definitely not to be done when it is raining!
There are a few infinity pools in Puerto Rico. This particular one is located in the Carite Forest in Patillas, a town in the center of the eastern side of the island. It is down-river from Charco Azul, so the water is crystal clear. Unlike Charco Azul, there will probably not be anyone else there. There are 2 ways you can get there — one route by land, another route by water — both ways are tough. This is a moderate-difficult adventure.
Years ago, we went via the river route. We walked through the lower parking area at Charco Azul and entered the river there. We then walked down-river until we reached the upper waterfall. At that time, we didn’t try getting down it into the infinity pool area.
Now, I hear there is a path that will take up up on the land to the path below. Or you can risk taking the rope that is tied at the top of the fall and rappel down. That doesn’t seem safe to me at all, and we don’t recommend that. The river trek took a long time, with a lot of maneuvering up and over rocks/boulders — so you need to be prepared for that. But some people may enjoy it, if you have the right skills and equipment.
The other way, and much more frequently used, is by the trail through the forest. Basically, you park at the Charco Azul parking lot and walk up the Road 184 about 10 minutes (toward Patillas, not Guavate) until just past KM 17.5. On the right side, you will see a thin path trampled down in the grass. You will see the old wooden fence that used to block the trail, and the remains of what I assume were danger/keep out signs on it.(Update 1/22- I see the DRNA has put up new signs and more fencing to block the trail.) So proceed at your own risk.
The path is super muddy, slippery, and steep in a bunch of spots. You really need to go slowly and carefully. There are some fallen trees that you have to go over/under, and some wash outs that you have to CAREFULLY maneuver over. There are a few ropes people left to help going down/up the worst parts (climbing gloves are very helpful). It takes about 30 minutes to the bottom. Once you are there, it is beautiful.
To the right, you will see the waterfall and a deep blue/green pool. It is cool and refreshing.
To the left, you will see the rock edge of the infinity pools, and the beautiful view. The pool on the right gets the most water, so it can have a current pushing you toward the edge and seemed more dangerous to me to enter. I enjoyed the pool on the left, it is about 5 feet deep in the center.
While in the pool, it is hard to realize what is below you. It wasn’t until we flew the drone over that we saw and really appreciated the beauty (and danger) of this area. There is a good 200 foot waterfall/drop from the pools.
Be super careful, if the rocks are slippery or you fall, or it rains somewhere up-river and a flash flood occurs — let’s just say that it won’t be a pretty situation. Don’t be stupid. Don’t get dead.
The trail was well used, but we didn’t meet anyone on the trail that day. The area was clean, please keep it that way!
Figure about 30 minutes to hike down the trail, and a little longer to hike back (uphill) to the road. Allow enough time to get in and out before sunset.
I would suggest long sleeves/long pants (for the razor grass on the edge) and definitely sneakers/hikers that can get muddy for this adventure. Also, having climbing gloves would help a lot since you will be using the trees and bushes along the trail for stability. Be VERY aware of the weather. If it is raining, threatening rain, or has recently rained, do not go.
Park at the Charco Azul parking area, and walk about 10 minutes southward on Road 184 to the trailhead.
Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...
- Carite Forest Infinity Pool
- Carite Forest Infinity Pool, trailhead
- Charco Azul Recreation Area, parking
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!