Gozalandia Falls in Puerto Rico are amazing, natural waterfalls that have been improved for visitors and tourism. Many clients, such as Ana and Nate, are opting for adventure engagement sessions, or adventure elopements, so I wanted to talk about Gozalandia waterfalls as an option for your adventure photo shoot in Puerto Rico.
Gozalandia Falls are Located In The Central Mountain Range Of Puerto Rico.
This waterfall is located in the town of San Sebastian, an hour and a half drive from San Juan. This town falls within the central mountain range of Puerto Rico, which means the drive to the falls is surrounded by mountains, long, winding roads, and forests.
This rural region is mostly developed by and for locals, so you will be able to experience a real Puerto Rico, in contrast, to other, more touristy areas in the Archipelago.
The Gozalandia Waterfalls Are Located Within Private Property, but They Offer Parking During their Operating Hours
If you plan to visit the falls, make sure you're visiting within their operating hours. They update their hours regularly on Restaurante Sha's Instagram, a restaurant located within the property.
After a gated entrance, followed by a steep driveway, you will find a parking lot, where a guardian will help you park and collect $10 per car (in cash).
Change into your non-slip water hiking shoes, as the trails are incredibly slippery: the lush forest keeps sunlight away, so the concrete trails are always covered with moss, lichens, and if there have been recent rains, also frenzied streams of water.
Gozalandia has a series of two waterfalls. Visit the big one first by choosing the left, downhill trail on the main fork. The waterfall drops over 50 feet into a pool of turquoise green waters.
Safety first: Keep an Eye out for Flash Floods
The rule of thumb for this and any waterfalls: if it's raining, you don't go into the water or the river bed. Period.
It doesn't have to be raining for a flash flood, though, as rain can be happening elsewhere up the river path. Flash floods can happen at any minute and they get deadly.
If the water looks muddy, or leaves and debris are actively going down the river, this is your sign to get out of the way and find higher grounds as a flash flood might have already started higher up the river.
Always be mindful of the locals. Stay out of the rivers and waterfalls during rain or flooding, rescue squads are scarce in Puerto Rico and you don't want to put anyone else in harm's way to rescue you.
Many times, the rescuers will need to wait for the waters to calm down, and by that time, it might already be too late.
My recommendation to avoid flash floods is to plan for an early visit. Caribbean weather is unpredictable, but it's almost certain that afternoon rains happen very frequently during the rainy season on the west side of Puerto Rico.
Please check the weather app the night before and adjust your plans accordingly. If a rainy day comes to the mountains, you might be better off hitting the beach that day.
Ana and Nate's adventure engagement photos in Gozalandia Falls
With all these precautions, Ana and Nate chose an April date (outside of the rainy/hurricane season) for their adventure engagement session in Gozalandia.
We arrived at 9am to avoid crowds and ensure the natural lighting was at its best, and boy was it epic!
We got to explore the whole park with very few interruptions, the day was perfectly sunny and while that made the falls a bit dry, they were safe and perfect to jump around, having fun while we captured the romantic memories of their trip to Puerto Rico.
Here are a few of my favorites.