Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 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 18 Apr 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR 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 08 Mar 2022)
📄 The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
• The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ 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.

Charco Azul – Swim in a Natural Pool in Carite Forest

2/21- It looks like the DRNA has abandoned this park. Some volunteers recently went in to cut the grass and get rid of some trash, but it is not maintained regularly. The bathrooms were never repaired post Maria- no roof etc. No camping area anymore. But the path is clear and people are going, it is usable, just not maintained well. The charco is still nice!.

If you like natural swimming pools, Charco Azul is one of Puerto Rico’s most famous ones. Located in the middle of the Carite Forest, in Patillas. It is about 15-20 minutes up the road from the lechonarias in the Guavate region of Cayey.

The name Charco Azul means blue pond in English. When you see the water in this pond, you will see that it is aptly named, since the deep water has a blue color.

Deep Blue Water

This fresh-water swimming hole is 30-40 feet across. It is fed by 2 small streams that spill into the charco making a cute 8-10 foot waterfall. The water around the edges is not deep — a couple feet maybe. You can sit on the edges and watch the little fish that call this pond home. I was happy to be wearing water shoes since the bottom was sandy with rocks here and there.

We went swimming. As we got out into the blue area, it gets deep — at least 15 feet. On the deep water side, there is a boulder that people use for jumping into the water. Of course we don’t recommend doing this, but “Crazy Bob” did it and said it was a lot of fun!

Solitude?

The day we went (mid-week in early September), a few other people showed up to see the pool and swim, but we had it to ourselves for a while. However, it becomes a mad-house on weekends (especially in the summer!). So plan your visit accordingly.

I think a great day trip would be to go to Guavate, get your plates of lechon to go, then spend some time having a picnic and swimming. Swim at your own risk, there are no lifeguards here, just nature!

Getting There

To get to Charco Azul from the San Juan area, take Route 18/52 south to exit 32 (the Guavate exit) to Route 184. Follow Route 184 through Guavate and the forest for 15 minutes or so. Note- you will need to stay on RT 184, kind of a left turn at the intersection with Rt 179. Continue on RT 184 until you get to the Charco Azul Recreation Area at KM 17.8 (it is marked).Park in the lot and walk across the street, and follow the path until the end. You will end up walking past (update- the remains of) the camping area and bathrooms. It is a nice easy paved walk in the woods. You will cross the river via small bridges a few times. This trail is less than ½ mile each way. At the end, you will find the pond, and a rain shelter, and a few BBQ areas and garbage cans.

Right by the parking area you will find picnic tables (some are very close to the river). It is a well-maintained park. There were restrooms, but they were locked even though the people in the forest manager’s office assured me they would be open. Camping is allowed in this recreational area, but you need to get a camping permit ahead of time at the DNRA offices in San Juan.

Details

There is no cost to visit Charo Azul.

Update- no gate anymore, so open all the time! .

The phone number for the forest manager’s office is 787-747-4545 or 787-747-4510. If you want to camp at Charco Azul, you need to obtain a permit in San Juan. You can call 787-999-2200 ext 5157 for info about camping.

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