For any angler, camper, or hiker, Guajataca Lake is a gold mine. This 324 acre, man made lake is a hot spot for fishing, filled with dozens of species of fish. It is also a great place to visit on an exceptionally hot day; the large expanse of water makes the surrounding area an average of ten degrees cooler than the rest of Puerto Rico, and is a great escape from the blazing sun!
The U.S. army forces constructed the damn that now holds Guajataca Lake in 1929, and originally intended it for irrigation and water supply for local towns. Swimming in the damn is prohibited, however kayaking is allowed! Reasonably priced rental shops surround the lake, making this a great, affordable way to spend an afternoon. If kayaking is not your forte, perhaps a day fishing is a better way to spend your time at Guajataca lake. Catfish, peacock and large mouth bass, sunfish, threadfin shad, tilapia, and perch inhabit the lake in unbelievable quantities; you are bound to take home dinner for the next few days from after a single afternoon fishing.
Many campgrounds surround the lake, and are a great alternative for those more outdoorsy types. Away from the major towns and the main attractions of Puerto Rico, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the island’s natural setting. If you do enjoy your daily shower though, it is a relatively short drive, and a great day trip. Hiking trails through the surrounding area cut through the shaded, frond filled jungle, and up the rainforest-ed foothills that rise above the dark blue lake. The dark green canopy stretches high above the trails. The air itself seems to be green as the sun reaches through the giant leaves, and casts tinted shadows onto the forest floor.
Native wildlife can be heard and seen in the area surrounding Guajataca Lake, and in the lake itself. Vibrantly colored birds of red, blues, yellows, and greens can be glimpsed on the near by hiking trails, but are more easily heard in the dim light of the afternoon, chirping and singing to their companions. Down by the lake on the beaches, elegant white cranes slowly wade through the navy blue water. Osprey swoop down to pluck their dinner out of the water. This natural vivarium makes you realize what the entire island must have been like all those years ago.
This quiet and serene setting is a great escape from the attraction hopping that will be taking place during the duration of you Puerto Rican vacation. The natural landscape and relaxing setting is a great way to spend one of the last days of your trip, providing a great way to wind down and enjoy the natural beauty the island has to offer.
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