Bienvenido! I’d like to thank you for joining me as I take you on a quick tour of one of my islands most hidden treasures. Some call it heaven on earth it is so beautiful! What if I told you there’s a place in Puerto Rico that you’ve probably never heard of or read about? A place that’s so beautiful you want to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming? It’s hard to imagine that there are still parts of Puerto Rico that are off the beaten path. But there are. And one of those places are the Gozalandia Waterfalls in San Sebastian, on the western side of Puerto Rico.
Gozalandia or Las Cataratas or El RobleWaterfall in San Sebastian is sometimes called the secret waterfall even though it is actually on a couple of the official Puerto Rico tourism maps. I guess it is not that secret after all!
The Double Waterfalls of Gozalandia, both an Upper and Lower Waterfall, make for one of the best waterfall trips in Puerto Rico. You won’t see signs for the Gozalandia Waterfalls on the highway, so you’ll need to rely on Google Maps or Waze to get you there. Most of the drive is on the highway through beautiful green mountains, with occasional pops of orange from the royal poinciana trees that are so common throughout Puerto Rico.
Gozalandia Falls, located in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico – on the West side of the island, features a 60ft+ tall waterfall as the main attraction. The ‘upper falls’ has a great rope swing, and this area tends to be less busy since its about another 1/4 mile hike from the main fall. A few rocks to jump off of as well but nothing compared to the high jump of the main falls. tend to get full on hot summer days, so come early and stay for lunch!
The main falls features a small half-submerged cave to dive or swim into. You can also take a leap of faith and climb the waterfall to a point where the locals jump from. The path can be slippery but definitely do-able with water shoes and the assistance of the ropes that are tied off throughout the falls. This area also features a shallow area where many families come with children – it is big enough for 30 or so people to hangout comfortably.
The jump itself is about 30ft, so if you seek adventure – definitely explore the main falls! Maybe watch a few locals do it first to settle in.
Gozalandia is a little bit of a drive out of the main towns around this area but is 100% worth the trip! Take a half-day while your in Aguadilla and take a short 40 minute drive, you wont be disappointed!
Camera / GoPro
The water is cold, but super refreshing. It definitely takes some getting used to! I sat down on a rock and then slowly slid into the water, although I suppose it’s probably better to just dive in and get it over with! This waterfall was my favorite of the two because there are a lot of places to sit and it’s easy to walk in the water as there’s a rock shelf that slowly descends into the pool.
There is a driveway/road on the left just at a curve in the road. Look for the parking sign and park in a lot for $5 plus IVU (sales tax). Gate open from 9am – 6pm.
It road goes up and down pretty steeply in spots. Once Parked, walk toward the man-made pond with pavilion around it.
You will find some paths into the forest (I was able to hear the river and falls below). Gozalandia Falls has a path either to the left or just straight down. This whole trip takes maybe 10 minutes on the way down.
This is how I got there- Once I was on Route 111 in San Sebastian, I turned north onto Route 446. I took this a short way until a large bridge on the right. I turned right, went across the bridge and drove up the road about 0.6 miles. You will see a large gate on the left. Right around that area, I noticed places on the sides where others have parked but I would recommend you park in the lots for $5.
Once lunch rolls around, you definitely need to eat at Sha’s. They open at 11:30 and have a full liquor bar and are well known for their mojitos. I had some pina coladas that were very delicious and they’re pretty liberal with their pouring. The drinks are only $6 each. Sha’s also has the best mofongo I’ve ever had in Puerto Rico. I had the chicken mofongo (pictured above) and ate until I felt sick! You should also try their incredible plantain nachos. My mouth is watering just thinking about the food! Sha’s is open until 7:30 during the week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
There were very few tourists there, maybe 10 or 15 total over the course of the day. Most of the visitors were locals there with their families and friends. It was a really cool way to spend the day and you’ll be happy you went.