Puerto Rico is full of special places all around you. I didn’t think there were many things to see in Fajardo until I arrived. Boy, was I wrong…visiting La Zanja was one of my highlights here.
We stayed in Fajardo for two weeks and only scratched the surface. At first, it felt like just a touristy beach town, but that’s far from the truth.
La Zanja trail is along the water here near Seven Seas Beach. This trail leads you to a natural pool that feels very secluded.
You’ll have to add this to your list of things to see when visiting the North Eastern part of Puerto Rico!
Where is La Zanja Trail?
La Zanja trail is a beach hike alongside Las Cabezas de San Juan. The actual natural pool can also be reached by going through this park, but that isn’t as adventurous, right?
If you’re staying in the town center of Fajardo, you’ll have to venture another 15 minutes to get to this corner where it’s at.
This is a great activity to do after the day visiting El Yunque and hikes like the Mount Britton Tower Trail. Beauty and relaxation!
I was shocked at how unique this trail was and it’s definitely one of the best hikes in Puerto Rico!
How to Get to La Zanja Trail in Fajardo
To get around Puerto Rico and around Fajardo, you’ll need to rent a car. Everyone and their mom have a car in Puerto Rico.
This means there’s not much public transportation outside of San Juan. The trail is located right next to Seven Seas Beach, which is where Playa Colora is.
Fajardo to La Zanja Trail
If you’re in the Plaza Fajardo, you’ll want to make your way down Av. El Conquistador. Take this road all the way down until you reach PR-987 and make a left.
Depending on the construction going on, you may be told you can only go one way. This is fine. You can park on the road or pay $5 to park at Estacionamiento Parque Nacional.
Are you planning on staying in Fajardo to be closer to El Yunque National Forest? Here are some other activities you can do while visiting:
La Zanja Trail (Fajardo) Hiking Details
- Distance: This hike is a 3.5-mile out & back trail.
- Duration: On average, it will take people 2 hours to finish. This depends on fitness level and time at the natural pool.
- Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as moderate because of the certain water sections.
- Incline: The elevation for this hike is around 351 feet or 107 meters.
- Hiking Guide: A guide is not needed for this hike and is easily accessible by the public.
Things to Know Before Hiking La Zanja Trail
Puerto Rico is the land of adventure! La Zanja is no excuse. This is an excellent natural pool in Fajardo that you should visit. Here are some things to know before going.
Things to Bring
Even though La Zanja isn’t located in the rainforest, you still should be prepared. You don’t need any fancy hiking attire, but you want the right gear to enjoy yourself.
Below are a few things I suggest bringing with you:
Walking Along the Beach
This hiking trail takes you along the water and, in some sections, through it. My suggestion would be to try and go at low tide if possible.
We accidentally went as the tide was getting higher, and on the way back, the water was very deep. It’s still nothing to be worried about but just a thought.
Las Cabezas de San Juan
Las Cabezas de San Juan is the park where La Zanja is located in. There are other attractions here to see as well! Unfortunately, we were told it was closed.
It didn’t make much sense as we saw other people going and leaving. Even the owner of our Airbnb told us to go through here.
I would try to go through here if you can; if not, there’s a part of the trail that goes inside. Or you can follow the beach line like a lot of other people.
I did read that sometimes there’s a guard along the trail that stops anyone from coming in.
Best Places to Stay at in Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Fajardo is an excellent location to stay if you’re looking to get away from San Juan. It’s close to El Yunque and a lot of other attractions. Below are some of the best places to stay in Fajardo!
- El Conquistador Resort: Looking to soak up some sun while staying in the most beautiful location in Fajardo? Then I highly suggest checking out this resort!
- Relaxing Beach Apartment: If you want a medium-priced accommodation but not a hotel, then this is your place. This relaxing beach apartment is perfect for families!
- The International Hostel El Collage: Traveling on a budget? El Collage is only $25 a night! This is a hard deal to find when visiting Puerto Rico.
Similar Activities in Puerto Rico
La Zanja Trail is a crazy adventure but there are so many different activities that you can do during your visit. Below are some of my favorites, which are free or extremely budget-friendly!
- Las Tinajas Falls
- Charco Prieto Waterfall
- Gozalandia Waterfall
- Charco El Pilon
- Cabo Rojo Lighthouse Hike
- Cerro de los Cielos
- Angelito Trail
My Experience Hiking La Zanja Trail in Fajardo
La Zanja is the perfect activity for those beach lovers who are also itching for a hike. This isn’t your typical hike, either. And that’s the beauty of it!
At first, I wished we were able to enter the park, but the trail along the beach was more adventurous. We hiked on a Sunday, and the beach section at the beginning was still packed.
Hiking Along the Beach
I’ll admit it. Beach hikes aren’t my favorite. I love the stability of my hiking boots. Walking on the sand makes my feet pretty sore the following day. This hike was a little different, though.
There are some places where I was knee-deep in water, moving around areas of the park.
We started to pass fewer and fewer people on the beach. They’d pop up as trickles here and there. It took us around 45 minutes to get to the land, partly because of the high tide.
This wasn’t too big of a deal besides the sun beating down on us. Zero cover, but getting a tan at the same time.
Reaching the Land Trail
After going through the main water part, La Zanja trail would follow the edge of the cliff on rocks. After jumping around from rock to rock, we finally made land.
This next part was the easiest part of the hike, in my opinion. We had to maneuver up a slight incline, but we just kept to the edge of the land and were fine.
The land section of La Zanja trail only last for around 10 to 15 minutes.
Arriving at La Zanja
After around an hour or so, we finally arrived at La Zanja! In order to get to it, you’ll have to start climbing down again.
We were one of four people there, but after only a few minutes, they left, and we had the place to ourselves. It was magical. The water was crystal clear too!
I flew the drone and but it was later in the day. The sun and overcast weren’t ideal for the shots. But I got them.
We swam in the natural pool for a little bit longer and headed back the way we came.
Final Thoughts on Hiking La Zanja Trail in Fajardo
Fajardo is full of surprises, and La Zanja was definitely one of them. That’s a good thing, though! This hike combines adventure and beach with a beautiful landscape!
It’s easy enough that the whole family can do it. Just make sure you bring the right gear!
Thank you for reading my guide on hiking La Zanja trail! Hopefully, this gives you some ideas for your trip to Puerto Rico.