Drive just minutes from the mainland shore and enter a scene of seemingly endless green countryside. Rolling hills with scattered trees and wandering farm animals hold an untouched beauty, only further emphasized with the ocean and distant mountains in the backdrop. But there’s more to these natural wonders than just looking at them. We checked out a few nearby hikes and outdoor excursions, making excellent day trips from Isla Palenque.
Los Cangilones in Guahaca
Look for two adjacent gas stations midway between Boca Chica and David on the InterAmericana Highway. Take a left and follow the road through Guahaca, the same town that hosts the rodeo championships. About ¾-mile past the town lies the entrance to Los Cangilones or The Buckets: a natural canyon and river opening. Defined rock formations split down the center, creating a narrow opening for the river to flow through. The waterway widens out further down the way, where locals come for a nice swim.
We stood over the cliffs, which dropped about 20 feet into the water below. ‘Hmmm, I wonder if you can jump from here?’ we wondered. Two girls passed us a moment later, stood over the edge, and jumped on in. I guess that answers that question. Sight-seers and thrill-seekers alike can enjoy this place.
Waterfall in Chorcha Town
Roughly 30 minutes out from Boca Chica, look up the mountainside and you’ll see a waterfall flowing down the cliffs overhead. A dirt road lies off to the side with a metal gate about 100 feet further; look for a small red house as a signal to turn in. Don’t worry about the gate, it’s just so the cows don’t get out. Park your car and walk up the road from there. You’ll encounter a shin-deep river a few minutes into the hike, but that’s the last water you’ll see until the top.
The incline goes on for about an hour, but follow the road and you’ll encounter another series of gates. Go through the first one and take a left at the fork. Keep following the gates and you’ll arrive at another river. Cross it, walk along the grass until you encounter it again, then walk through it and you’ll see the opening. Acrophobes, your journey ends here: you’re at the top of the waterfall.
The calm stream flows right into a picturesque view of the countryside, from the hills to the mountains and ocean and all the islands surrounding the mainland, Isla Palenque included. Trees surround you as you stand hundreds of feet up, the cliff dropping straight down. The rocks are quite stable, but we’d recommend you keep a safe distance from the edge.
While there’s no cliff jumping here, the scenery is spectacular and the hike simple but rewarding. This is a place people can stay for hours.