Waterfall , Charco, and Amazing Views in Orocovis
Orocovis is a mountainous town in the exact center of the island of Puerto Rico. While these mountains make driving a bit of a challenge, the views are fantastic, and they make for some interesting hikes. If you are exploring in the area, this is a 3-for-1 trek that requires some serious effort — but the payoff is huge. You can enjoy both Cascada La Plazuela and Charco El Guitarra in one river trek. But, it is not without a price — visiting here requires either a super “exciting” 4×4 drive on a horrible road, or a tough walk. We highly recommend the walk … better safe than sorry.
Here is the catch to this trip — In order to get down to the river, the only road in is posted “4X4 only”. They are not kidding. Do not try driving down this road unless you own, and have experience handling, a high clearance 4X4 vehicle. This piece of road is super steep and long — I would say a slope of 40-45°. The asphalt is slippery (even if only damp), lots of loose gravel on the road, many parts of the road are completely missing asphalt, and there are large, DEEP (some as much as 12″) potholes and grooves. It was obvious that many vehicles had trouble getting up and down the road. Don’t even try it — just walk. There is parking at the top on the flat area. It is a steep walk (took about 15 minutes to walk downhill to the river, about 30 minutes to walk back uphill to our car), but just take your time and realize this is your leg/cardio workout! And the views are just amazing – stop and take photos while you catch your breath.
How ever you get down the mountain to the river, you are now ready for a treat. Right at the river, you will see a hanging bridge. It is great for photos and a bit exciting!
From the road, turn to your left and walk up-river. You can walk in the river, or you can skip a little part of the river trek by using the dirt trail alongside the river. It takes about 10-15 minutes before you see where the other river comes in from the left. Go up the rocks here and you will see the huge waterfall Cascada La Plazuela. It is really tall, around 200 feet, and quite beautiful. We spent a bunch of time here, taking photos, and just enjoying it.
When you are done at the waterfall, backtrack to the main river, and continue walking up up-river. This part is a little more rocky, so it will require more of a work out as you scramble up, over, and around some large rocks. But it only takes about out 10-15 minutes until you get to a large swimming hole. The water is cold, clean, and clear, and the whole thing has a greenish tint.
It is shaped sort of like a guitar, where it got its name – Charco el Guitarra. This swimming hole has a few deep areas, and some people were jumping off the rock by the waterfall – it was about 20-foot jump. Really a great place to hang out for a while and relax.
You need to be in decent shape for this trek. I suggest sturdy, closed-toe shoes (no flip-flops) — sneakers at least, as there are many rocks to climb while in the river and then the walk down and back on the road itself, is tough. But we felt it was well worth the work out!
The area was very clean — please keep it that way! Take your trash home with you!
While you are in the area, consider exploring Cerro Mime and Cascada Vidrio.
The toughest part of this trek is the walk back up the road to your car. It is steep, and in full sun. Take your time. Stop to rest and take photos.
This trek requires sturdy, closed-toe shoes, sun protection, and ample drinking water.
Follow Road 593 for a long way, until you get to the “Do Not Enter / 4×4 Only” signs. This road is very thin (barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass), so take your time, and honk on blind curves. Park in a flat area, off of the road, and don’t block driveways. Walk down the road from there.
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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!