Check out the Heights of Puente Bellaca
Puente Bellaca is a metal bridge that spans a deep ravine. Though it’s not for the faint of heart — with it’s open grid floor and supports — it does give you a nice view from 125 feet above the ground. You’ll see the ocean to the north, and the wall of the ravine with caves to the west, all while looking down at the treetops below.
Puente Bellaca is located in Quebradillas, a town on the north shore of Puerto Rico. It’s construction started in the late 1800s as a railroad bridge. It was completed in 1906 and was used for many years, until the railroad system around Puerto Rico stopped. Today, it is officially used as a water line support, but it is a popular place to visit. The bridge is “open” on both ends, so people can walk out and across the ravine. High above the treetops, you get a nice view of the karst landscape of the ravine and out to the ocean.
We have visited this bridge a couple of times, and have found 3 ways to getting to it.
The shortest way is to park off on the side of Road 485, either right along road in dirt area (GPS: 18.480026, -66.900324) or, if your car can make it up that dirt road, go up the hill and park in lot up there (GPS: 18.480001, -66.901017). Continue walking up the road, past a fence and you will see the path to the left. There is now a site marker showing routes to the bridge or Puerto Hermina Beach. From this marker, you will have maybe a 5-minute walk to the bridge.
Another way that we found is a nice nature walk. For this, park at Playa Puerto Hermina and walk the trail up from the “river” (behind the ruins). We enjoyed the birds and different trees we passed along the way. But this is an uphill walk, maybe 10-15 minutes that leads you to the top of the hill/fence, and you will see the site marker and the path on right to bridge.
For another way that is a flat, paved walk (maybe 10-15 minutes) you can park on side of Road 4485 and walk down the little unnamed road (GPS: 18.480891, -66.906318). There was a round sign for the bridge on the corner (in August 2019). Just walk to end, and the “trail” is a concrete sidewalk that will get you to the western end of the bridge.
Either way you go, accessing the bridge requires you to climb down 4 vertical steps. The bridge walkway is thin, maybe 3 feet wide, so passing others requires you to get close! The sides have just 2 bar handrails, so caution is needed when on bridge. Be extra careful with children. We went midweek and we were alone. We went on a weekend and there were a number of other people.
The western side of the ravine has a number of caves. We made our way down to a few of them along little paths, but it was not easy (nor safe!).
You only need to stay a few minutes to enjoy the view from the bridge, so it is a nice quick stop on your way to other sites in the area. And as I mentioned, Playa Puerto Hermina is right there!
There seems to be a horseback company that will take you to see both the bridge and the beach, having the horses walk the trail for you. So if you are walking the trail yourself, watch out for droppings.
There is no cost to access the bridge.
We suggest visiting this bridge during daylight hours, and leave sufficient time to make it back to your car before dark.
The bridge is narrow, and open on the sides. Take extra care keeping an eye on your kids.
Take Route 2 to the town of Quebradillas. From Route 2, take Road 485 east until you get to the parking area for the bridge.
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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!