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Exploring Puerto Rico’s Hidden Gems: Embalse Guayo and Embalse Garza

Puerto Rico is a Caribbean paradise known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and lush rainforests. However, there’s more to this beautiful island than what meets the eye at first glance. If you’re a tourist looking to discover the less-traveled areas of Puerto Rico, consider embarking on an adventure to Adjuntas. Nestled in the central-western part of the island, Adjuntas boasts two picturesque reservoirs that are well worth a visit – Embalse Guayo and Embalse Garza. Let’s dive into the details of these hidden gems.

Embalse Garza: A Natural Oasis

Built in 1943

Embalse Garza, also known as Garzas Reservoir, is a tranquil oasis located just 3 miles southwest of the charming town of Adjuntas. This reservoir, nestled on the Vacas River, offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. To reach this natural wonder, you can access it easily from the PR-518 highway, which runs parallel to the reservoir and features a convenient boat ramp.

Reservoir Specs

With an expansive area of 1.98 square kilometers (503.9 acres) and a capacity of 5,797 cubic meters, Embalse Garza is a significant water body. It holds a volume of 78,280 cubic meters and plays a vital role in Puerto Rico’s infrastructure. Managed by the Electric Power Authority, this reservoir has been a part of the island’s landscape since its construction was completed in 1943.

Versatile Utility

The waters of Embalse Garza serve dual purposes – they are used for both the production of drinking water and hydroelectric energy, generating 12,240 kW of power. This dual utility makes the reservoir not only a picturesque site but also a critical component of Puerto Rico’s energy and water supply.

Fishing in Paradise

If you’re an angler or simply enjoy fishing as a leisurely activity, Embalse Garza offers a diverse range of fish species. Here, you can find bass, snail chub, chub, white barb, and freshwater sardine. Whether you have your own boat or prefer to fish from the shore along PR-518, you’re sure to have a memorable fishing experience.

Natural Wonders

Embalse Garza is nestled within the Guilarte State Forest, which means you’ll be surrounded by lush, abundant vegetation and stunning natural attractions. Along one of its branches, there’s even a suspension bridge for those seeking a unique adventure. The Vacas River, which feeds the reservoir, features a waterfall with stone platforms perfect for relaxation and nature appreciation.

Embalse Guayo: A Water Wonderland

Built in 1956

Just a short drive west of Adjuntas, you’ll discover another hidden treasure – Embalse Guayo. Situated between the Bartolo de Lares neighborhood, Guayabo Dulce, and Guayo in the Municipality of Adjuntas, this reservoir is approximately 6 miles from the town center.

Reservoir Specs

Embalse Guayo boasts an impressive basin of 2.71 square kilometers, making it a substantial body of water in the region. Covering an area of 115.34 hectares, it has a capacity of 21,463,448 cubic meters and a volume of 91,960 cubic meters. This reservoir is supplied by the Cidra River, the Guayo River, and several tributary streams, all contributing to its size and utility.

Utility and Management

Similar to Embalse Garza, Embalse Guayo is managed by the Electric Power Authority. Since its completion in 1956, its waters have served two crucial purposes: irrigation and the production of electrical energy, generating an impressive 20,000 kW.

Diverse Aquatic Life

For those who enjoy fishing, Embalse Guayo is a haven for various fish species, including bass, commoner, channel, and parrot tilapia. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner looking to cast a line, you’ll find the reservoir’s waters inviting and filled with opportunities to catch a variety of fish.

Scenic Views and Remnants of the Past

As you explore Embalse Guayo, be sure to take in the stunning scenery. The dam area offers picturesque vistas, and from certain vantage points, you can see a silhouette formed by several mountains of the Central Mountain Range, known as the “sleeping giant of San Sebastian.” Additionally, there are remnants of a monorail in the area, providing a glimpse into the region’s history.

Embalse Guayo and Embalse Garza are two hidden treasures in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and historical significance. Whether you’re interested in fishing, exploring lush forests, or simply enjoying a peaceful day surrounded by nature, these reservoirs have something to offer every tourist seeking a less-traveled path in Puerto Rico. Plan your visit, and let these hidden gems leave you with unforgettable memories of this Caribbean paradise.

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