Venture Out to Santa Clara Waterfall
If you are looking for a waterfall that is off the beaten path, a little difficult to get to, but so worth the effort, then Salto Santa Clara might be for you. Everything about this place impressed me – the trail was well-maintained, the surrounding area was clean, and the waterfall was large! All in all, this is an excellent adventure!
Salto Santa Clara is located way up high in the mountains in Yauco (a town on the south coast of Puerto Rico). The way to get there is pretty direct from the south coast. You follow the same road up almost all the way. But it is a twisty/turny little road, so it is slow going. Make sure you pre-load the map into your GPS/phone. We had no cellular service up there, so your maps app will be of little use otherwise.
The trail head is at the end of a dead end road with just a couple houses on it. You park along the side of the road. At the end on the right, you will see a swing with a view and then the trail head with a sign (so you know you are in the right place!).
The trail starts as a “road”, going downhill. In a little bit, there is a sign pointing to the small trail off this road. It is dirt/mud most of the way, so it can be a bit messy and slippery in spots. You will have to cross a little stream – keep going. When you get to the larger river, this is the start of the top of the waterfall! Keep walking (the trail is on the right).
There is one really steep area that someone put a steel wire to help you go up and down (so bring padded gloves!) and toward the end, you have to climb on some rocks. It is not an easy trail, but none of it should impossible to do for most anyone who is in decent shape. Just take your time and be careful. Maybe not the best idea for little kids, as there are some steep drop-offs on the sides.
The falls are beautiful, really tall! And there is a nice pool at the bottom. Surrounded by steep rock walls, it is pretty cool! You can swim or just relax on the large rocks there.
It is not a widely visited place, so it was clean. Please keep it that way! And a big thank you to whomever keeps the trail clear – it was a great hike! It took us about 30 minutes going down to the falls, and a little longer for the way up!
Go during daylight hours. Figure at least 30 minutes to get to the falls, and more time walking back (uphill) to your car. Leave enough time to get back to your car and drive down the mountain before sunset. Driving those small, mountain roads in the dark is no fun!
There is no cellular service in the area, so do not depend on the “maps app” on your phone to get you there and back. Preload the map for the area in your “maps app” before you head into the mountains.
Wear appropriate footwear – sneakers or hiking boot are required. Flip-flops, Crocs, and similar will not work. Bring gloves to protect your hands during the hike.
How much time will this take? Allow 60-90 minutes to hike round-trip to the falls and back to your car. Add on however long you plan to spend at the waterfall itself.
From Route 2 in Yauco, you’ll take Road 372 all the way up into the mountains. That drive will take you 30-60 minutes.
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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!