About Chorro de Dona Juana (Dona Juana Waterfall)
The Chorro de Dona Juana Waterfall (or Catarata Chorro de Doña Juana) is a convenient roadside attraction along the PR-149 that cuts right through the center of Puerto Rico between the towns of Villalba and Ciales.
I’ve found that it’s a nice spot to break up the winding and narrow mountain driving though parking around the bridge fronting this multi-tiered waterfall is quite limited.
In addition to this waterfall dropping three tiers (which I’m guessing is at least 35m or more) into a nice swimming hole, I also noticed that there was an additional hard-to-see drop below the other side of its bridge.
So its cumulative height could very well exceed 50m or so, which would make this one of Puerto Rico’s tallest, but I’m sure you’d need a drone to truly appreciate its full scale.
On our April 2022 visit, we showed up pretty early in the morning on a rainy weekday, and we were the only people who bothered to get out of the car to check it out (everyone else just passed by).
That said, I can easily envision this place being busy on weekends or on holidays, where traffic and parking could make it difficult to stop for it.
We had showed up a few days after the end of Semana Santa or Easter Week, and I’m sure it would have been a totally different story had we been here during the holy week.
As far as the parking situation goes, all the spaces nearest to the waterfall were on the west side (left side as you go north or right side as you go south.
I’ve found that navigating with a GPS can be pretty helpful in anticipating when to stop for the falls, but without it, you’d need to pay attention to the KM markers (see directions below).
Finally, just to underscore how slow going this drive is, we encountered plenty of blind corners and traffic in both directions, and this road even made my daughter throw up from car sickness.
Nevertheless, if you are self-driving in this mountainous part of Puerto Rico, we’ve also combined this visit with the Taino petroglyphs at La Piedra Escrita as well as another waterfall in Cascada Las Delicias (both near Jayuya).
The Chorro de Dona Juana Waterfall resides within the Toro Negro State Forest (Bosque Estatal de Toro Negro) in the municipality of Orocovis (though it’s right on its border with Ciales and pretty close to the town of Jayuya, Puerto Rico. It is administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales). For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try to visit their website (in Spanish).
The Chorro de Dona Juana Waterfall (or Catarata Chorro de Doña Juana) is right by the PR-149 between the towns of Ciales and Villalba even though it’s technically in the municipality of Orocovis.
More precisely, the waterfall’s bridge is a little over 13km (roughly 30 minutes drive) north of Villalba, over 28km (about an hour drive) south of Ciales, or 15km (about 30 minutes drive) southeast of Jayuya.
You’ll want to use GPS navigation to at least anticipate when you’re approaching the falls so you can prepare to find parking, especially since the PR-149 is a typical mountain road that’s narrow, twisty, and full of blind corners.
But assuming you also need visual landmarks, according to my notes, we spotted this waterfall somewhere between the markers KM 42.1 and 42.3.
The numbers increase as you head south on the PR-149 and they decrease as you head north.
All roadside pullouts were on the west side of the road (left as you go north or right as you go south).
We spotted a pullout with room for maybe 2-3 cars north of the bridge before the Dona Juana Waterfall while there was a building with seemingly more spacious pullouts south of the bridge.
For geographical context, Villalba is about 11km (at least 15 minutes drive) north of Juana Díaz was about 30km (over 30 minutes drive) northeast of Ponce, 29km (about an hour drive) southeast of Jayuya, 39km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Ciales, 30km (about an hour drive) southwest of Orocovis, about 33km (an hour drive) west of Barranquitas, about 67km (about 90 minutes drive) southeast of Utuado, and about 117km (about 90 minutes drive) southwest of San Juan.
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