About Salto Collazo
Salto Collazo can be either a convenient roadside waterfall or a bit of an adventure for something a bit more.
You see, this is really a pair of waterfalls on either side of the road bridge along the PR-111 between the towns of San Sebastian and Lares in Western Puerto Rico.
For most passerbys driving this route, the upper waterfall is easily seen right from its colorful road bridge though there’s also a short path leading down from the left side (looking upstream) of the bridge going right to the bottom of this upper tier.
Experiencing the falls in this manner only takes a few minutes provided you’ve managed to park at one of the informal pullout spaces around the bridge.
The only catch is that since it’s a west-facing waterfall, you might be looking right against the morning sun as we did during our visit.
Now if you’re observant, you might also notice (and hear) another waterfall on the downstream side of the road bridge.
Unfortunately, this lower drop of Salto Collazo is harder to see, and it turns out that getting in front of this part of the waterfall requires some work.
How To Reach The Lower Salto Collazo Waterfall
I figured out that in order to get down to the bottom of the mysterious Lower Salto Collazo Waterfall, I had to go down a narrow road on east side of the bridge.
Then, as I descended the road, I looked to the right in search of a use trail that might get me down to the bottom of the falls without doing a fatal cliff plunge.
As much as the litter that I noticed in the jungle alongside the road (as I suspected some locals have used as a dumping ground), this litter actually hinted at the path that ultimately got me to the bottom relatively safely.
Although the path was narrow, overgrown, muddy, and steep in spots, I managed to get to the stream a bit further downstream from the base of Salto Collazo (but still maintaining a visual on it), and then I scrambled upstream.
Right at the base of the falls was a fairly large and secluded plunge pool fronting a vertical drop (I’m guessing is at least 35m or more) with a morning glow on the underside of the road bridge right above it.
If not for more litter (including discarded plastics and broken bottles) finging the plunge pool of the falls, this was actually a really nice spot as I’d imagine far fewer people make it down here than up by the upper waterfall.
Overall, this scramble took me around 15-20 minutes in each direction.
During most of that time, I spent it route-finding while wondering if I was trespassing or not (the litter around here suggested that no one assumed ownership here).
Salto Collazo resides in the municipality of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. I couldn’t tell if access to this waterfall involved going through private property, but it didn’t seem to be protected by a reserve nor any official authority.
Accessing Salto Collazo is pretty straightforward (at least in my mind).
So I’ll describe how we managed to do the drive both from Arecibo as well as from Aguadilla.
From Arecibo, we exited the PR-22 for the PR-129, which we followed for a little over 15 miles to the PR-111 in Lares.
Then, we took the PR-111 west for about 7 miles to the colorful Salto Collazo road bridge, where we found a narrow pullout to get out of the way of traffic and walk towards the bridge itself.
Overall, this drive would take around 30 minutes assuming we started the drive from Arecibo.
From Aguadilla, we’d drive south on the PR-2 before its off-ramp with the PR-111.
Then, we’d head east on the PR-111 for a little over 14 miles to a pullout space before the Salto Collazo bridge.
Overall, San Sebastián was about 24km (over 30 minutes drive) east of Aguadilla, about 43km (under an hour drive) southwest of Arecibo, about 31km (around 45 minutes drive) northeast of Mayaguez, around 72km (over 90 minutes drive) northwest of Ponce, and about 122km (under 2 hours drive) west of San Juan.
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