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Rio Tanama y Charco Waterfall

On April 16th, 2021 skip, Ezra and I made our way from Rincon to Arecibo, a beautiful colorful town that had barely wide streets for our rental car to make it through.

In 1923 the towns nearby relied on this hydroelectric power-plant that is now a tourist attraction, not one but two beautiful "Man-made waterfalls." Pieces of the power-plant are still embedded into the mountain at the second waterfall, and the actual power-plant is still standing in the parking area.

While visiting any body of water within a canyon, it is recommended to immediately leave during a rainstorm. Flash floods happen often. They are fast and very dangerous.

As more of us, tourists make our way to Puerto Rico to explore the more crowded and trashed all these beautiful areas become. Remember to always be respectful and carry out what you pack in and leave the site cleaner than you arrived.

There are no restrooms at the trailhead nor on the trail. The trail is hectic, and around noon, the waterfall becomes very crowded, so please use the bathroom before making your way to the waterfall and or always dispose of your human waste properly.

There may or may not be a gentleman charging you to park at the trailhead, and depending on when you go, it could range in price. We paid $5. We are not sure if it was a random guy hustling us or what. But the parking lot was full, and it was nice to have someone directing traffic and helping us park. When we got back to our car, he was no longer there.

Directions to Trailhead

  • From Route 22 or Route 2 in the Arecibo area, take Route 10 south.

  • You'll eventually see a sign to the right for the Arecibo Telescope/Observatory.

  • Once you see that, continue on Route 10 south for about another 2 miles. Then you'll see a sign to the right for Río Hondo.

  • That's where you turn.

  • Follow the road, and you will pass a ball court.

  • Continue to follow the narrow road to the end, but do not go over the bridge.

  • Use Alltrails map. The trailhead is an unmarked location and may hard to find on maps.

trail Guide:

The trail to the first waterfall is market well on a dirt path that descends down a hill. Once you reach the bottom, you cannot miss the waterfall. It is tremendous, plus the water is coming out of the mountain fast and hard. You will get wet from the spray off regardless of how far back you stand. This area was super busy and crowded even in the morning. There were multiple people in the small pool under the waterfall and multiple groups sitting along the river.

To reach the second waterfall, you must cross the river, and this is where most people turn round and hang out at the first waterfall. At the first waterfall, you must cross the river to the other side immediately. You can see a trail across the stream, so head towards it. We are relatively tall, and the water was past our knees. We have hiking sandals that we love and hike in all the time. We recommend wearing some type of shoes that do not flip-flop to cross.

Once you reach the other side, you follow the dirt path to cross the river once more. The river at this point was a little deeper, we planned to swim at the second waterfall, so it wasn't an issue.

Once you cross, this is where the trail either goes uphill, or you can walk along the river. We did not see a route that went up into the mountainside, so we continued along the river.

If you go along the river, you will come to a dirt path that you should take to avoid going too deep into the river. Once you get on the track, you will begin to scale large sharp boulders. At this point, you can see the second waterfall and veer off any direction to reach the water.

This is where you can see portions of the power-plant embedded in the mountainside.

If you go up the mountainside to stay dry, we are unsure about the route or conditions.

At the second waterfall, the water was shallow, where there were rock slabs underneath and super deep closer to the waterfall. There was a rock you could jump off into the swimming area. I attempted, but I am deathly scared of heights, so I decided to not.

Skip attempted to climb on the mountainside to see what

was on the other side of the waterfall. Unfortunately, he could not see over the wall they have built, and he did not want to get hurt, so we came back down.

The second waterfall was not busy until around noon when multiple groups started to flood in, and it became overly crowded, so we headed back to the car.

Overall, this was such a fun waterfall and swimming hole. The water was crystal clear, clean, cold, and a nice break from the salty ocean. We highly recommend hiking to the second waterfall in the morning.

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