View of the hydroelectric Dam over the one of the best lakes in Puerto Rico

9 Best Lakes in Puerto Rico in 2023 (By a Local)

Did you know that the 36 lakes in Puerto Rico are all man-made and were created in the 20th century? It’s true, and while they were intentionally made to increase reservoirs of water, they also offer endless options for entertainment and Puerto Rico activities on a budget. 

I’m a Puerto Rico local, and I can tell you firsthand that we Puerto Ricans have fully embraced lake life. The man-made lakes in Puerto Rico aren’t for swimming, but some of them make for great Puerto Rico attractions.

In this article, I’ll spill the beans on the best lakes to visit on the island. Let’s dive in!

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9 Best Puerto Rico Lakes

Lago Carraizo

Located in Trujillo, this is the largest man-made lake in Puerto Rico.

Aerial view of Lago Carraizo surrounded by greenery
Carraizo Lake seen from above

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Free, Side road parking | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Four Points by Sheraton Caguas Real

Carraizo Lake extends between three Puerto Rico towns – Gurabo, Trujillo Alto, and Caguas. It’s the biggest man-made lake on the island and offers a ton of activities. 

Outdoor adventurers can camp next to the lake in Lac Caché, one of the best places to camp in Puerto Rico. Fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are also common activities at the lake.

👉 Pro Tip: There are multiple access points to Lago Carraizo, from Gurabo, Caguas, and Trujillo. Some are on private property and others are side road spaces that locals use to access. If you’re using an unofficial space to access the lake, make sure it’s safe first. 

Lago La Plata

You can navigate this man-made lake in Toa Alta on a boat or kayak.

Overlooking view of the lake from the Gazebos at La Plata
Gazebos at La Plata

📍 Google Maps |  🅿️ Parking: On-site, free parking open Wed-Sun, 7 am – 5 pm  | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Hyatt Place Bayamon

Besides being a reservoir with a water capacity of 10,700 million gallons, this lake is an eco-tourism destination where visitors can go fishing and kayaking between Naranjito, Bayamón, and Toa Alta.

Families can make the easy day trip from San Juan to spend the day at Lago La Plata. During your visit, you can’t miss a ride with La Plata Boat Trip.

👉 Safety Tip: Swimming in any of Puerto Rico’s water reservoirs is forbidden by law. Also, some local lakes and lagoons are infested with alligators, so even if you’re tempted, keep in mind it isn’t safe to swim.

Lago Guajataca

Located in Puerto Rico’s northwest, Lago Guajataca is great for family camping.

View of the blue sky reflecting on Guajataca lake in Quebradillas
Guajataca lake in Quebradillas

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Free, 6 am to 6 pm | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Royal Isabela

Lago Guajataca is a great place for a family picnic. The relaxing nature reserve sits between San Sebastián, Isabela, and Quebradillas. It features ample parking, gazebos, and picnic tables.

For a more immersive experience, try fishing, kayaking, or camping next to Lago Guajataca with Aventureo PR and Nino’s Camping and Guesthouse.

Photographers in particular shouldn’t miss the lake’s northside, where you can snap a photo of the lake’s tower.

Lago Dos Bocas

This lake in Utuado is surrounded by restaurants and farms.

Aerial view of the lush island on Lago Dos Bocas
Lago Dos Bocas in Utuado

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Free, On-site parking, access through other areas might be private | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Casa Grande Mountain Retreat 

Lago Dos Bocas is one of the two lakes at Utuado where you can go kayaking. Located between Arecibo and Utuado, this lake was made in 1942 and is famous for its boat tours. 

During the weekends families and couples can take a boat from the dock where you park to the restaurants that border the lake on the other side.

But, you can also pay for a ride around the lake if you don’t plan on eating. Nearby, Hacienda Las Cascadas offers kayak and hiking tours.

Lago Carite

A calm lake for fishing, kayaking, and retreating in nature.

A car driving along the road near Lago Carite at dusk
View of one of the roads around the Carite Lake

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Free side road parking | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: MI CASITA . BOHO CHIC

Made in 1913, this lake was once a hydroelectric plant. Nowadays, it’s used as a water reservoir located in the town of Guayama. You can fish and kayak in this natural space. 

Travelers looking for eco-tourism experiences can check out the surrounding farms and experience a rustic stay at one of the cabin rentals nearby. Once there, take a quick trip to the Pork Highway.

Lago Garzas

This Adjuntas Lake boasts a hanging bridge.

View of the hanging bridge over Lago Garzas in Adjuntas
Hanging bridge over Lago Garzas in Adjuntas

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Free, road-side parking | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Casa Grande Mountain Retreat

The best part of Lago Garzas, a small lake built between 1936 and 1941, is the hanging bridge that connects one part of the lake with the other. 

Hiking and photography enthusiasts will adore the short 10-minute hike to the bridge, with lots of foliage and picture-worthy stops in Adjuntas. Lago Garzas is also a popular fishing spot for black seabream and largemouth bass.

Lago Cerrillos

Spend the day with your kids next to the dam of this Ponce lake.

A man standing on the dock at Lago Los Cerrillos
Dock at Lago Los Cerrillos

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Free side road parking, or $1 in park Parque Luis A. “Wito” Morales | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Boutique Hotel Belgica

Although it’s one of the youngest on the list, dating to 1992, Lago Cerrillos in Ponce isn’t any less interesting to visit than the other Puerto Rico lakes. You can explore this lake on a kayak or a fishing boat. 

For families with kids, pay a visit to Parque Luis A. “Wito” Morales, one of the best Ponce attractions located south of the lake. You can see the dam of Lago Cerrillos up close and enjoy a picnic in a gazebo.

Laguna Grande

This bioluminescent lagoon in Fajardo shines throughout the year.

The author Vanessa Ramos, posing at the footbridge over Laguna Grande
Me in Laguna Grande during the day

📍 Google Maps | Official Lagoon Website | 🅿️ Parking: $5, Parking at Seven Seas Beach and hike from there | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: El Conquistador Resort – Puerto Rico

Bioluminescence is a rare phenomenon, but you can witness it in all of its sparkly glory at Laguna Grande in Fajardo. 

While technically a lagoon and not a lake per se, this body of water is filled with microorganisms known as dinoflagellates, which emit light when disturbed. As a result, you’ll see the water light up.

Night kayak tours into the bio bay are popular among families and couples and are one of the best and easiest San Juan excursions.

👉 Did You Know? There are two more bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, Mosquito Bay in Vieques and one in La Parguera. Visit on a new moon night for the best viewing!

Condado Lagoon

Located in Condado, this lagoon is calm enough to paddleboard with a great city view.

A woman paddleboarding in Condado Lagoon with the cityscape in the background
Paddleboarding is popular in Condado Lagoon

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Free for sideroad parking $8-14 for private parking | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel

While technically a lagoon, the Condado Lagoon is far easier to visit than most of Puerto Rico’s lakes. Located 10 minutes away from San Juan’s airport, the lagoon is a must-visit for paddleboarders and kayakers. 

Renting the equipment is easy and there is a variety of businesses around the lagoon. 

Couples should try the 2-Hour private Condado Lagoon floating picnic and later cross over to Condado Beach, one of Puerto Rico’s top beaches.

FAQs About Puerto Rico Lakes

Are there any lakes in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico features 36 man-made lakes created for energy and water supply. Although there aren’t any natural lakes, visitors will find over a dozen natural lagoons in Puerto Rico.

How were the lakes made in Puerto Rico?

All lakes in Puerto Rico are man-made. Most of the Puerto Rican lakes were created in the 20th century to increase reservoirs of water or produce electricity by using dams that controlled the river flow.

What is the biggest lake in Puerto Rico?

The biggest lake in Puerto Rico is the Carraizo Lake, located between the towns of Trujillo Alto, Gurabo, and Caguas. The lake covers 533 square kilometers and is 28 feet deep on average, but in some areas is 96 feet deep.

Can you swim in lakes in Puerto Rico?

Generally, travelers can’t swim in Puerto Rico lakes. Most lakes on the island are used as as a water supply and for safety and hygiene purposes, the law forbids visitors to swim in them. 


Thanks for reading my guide to the best lakes in Puerto Rico! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have opinions on the best lakes in Puerto Rico. Before you go, check out my guide to other fun sites to visit in Puerto Rico.

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