Cool Off at Charco La Ollita
Way up the the mountains of Juana Díaz, a town in the south central part of the island, lies a hidden gem of a river pool known as Charco La Ollita (it is called La Hoyita on Google maps). This little pool has a cascade of water leading to it. And being so far up the mountain, the water is clean. It is out of sight from the roadside, down a dirt path, so this natural swimming hole offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life on a hot day.
Charco La Ollita is a small, natural almost circular-shaped pool formed by a cascading waterfall, surrounded by rocks and vegetation. There is a smaller pool above it at the top of the falls, and then the larger one at the bottom.
The waterfall itself is slippery, and I have seen videos of people using it as a water slide — though its shape seems to be dangerous for that, some of the people almost didn’t make it into the bottom pool! I have seen other people use the wet rock on the right side of the waterfall as a slide, and that looked better — though we still don’t recommend it. Either way, we did not use either as a slide … we just sat in the pool. It is not super popular, so you will probably be the only ones there when you visit.
The journey to the site is part of the adventure, as you navigate through the winding roads and then the path down that lead you to this hidden oasis. Carretera PR-517 is a thin, local road, so be very careful when passing oncoming cars. Getting down to the pool is a little bit difficult, you do need to work your way down a steep, dirt path from the road. It has some cement steps someone made and some tree roots, and there are and plants/trees on the edges of the path to help has handholds.
I think sneakers would be the footwear of choice (as opposed to flip flops). I would think it is doable by most able-bodied people. We went on a slightly sprinkling day, and the rocks were a bit slick. But we played around for a while.
Allow enough time to get back to your car before dark.
There are no facilities at this location. Please pack-out anything you have brought in.
From the main part of Juana Díaz, travel north on Carretera 512, and turn left onto Carretera 517. Follow 517 north-west until you get to the charco. Google Maps will take you right to area near the charco, just be sure to download the map into the app before you get there (there is little to no cellular coverage in that area). Park on the side of the road (there are some pull-offs).
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!