List of rivers of Puerto Rico

Tanamá in Utuado

List of rivers in Puerto Rico (U.S. Commonwealth), sorted by drainage basin and then alphabetically. There are 47 main rivers and 24 lagoons or reservoirs.[1]

Most of Puerto Rico's rivers originate in the Cordillera Central. There are four slopes through which rainwater flows towards the sea. According to their orientation they are known as the north or Atlantic slope; southern slope or the Caribbean Sea; the east slope of the Virgin Passage and the Sonda de Vieques and the west slope or the Mona Passage. Due to the generally abundant rain and the flow of its water currents, the most important rivers of Puerto Rico slide down the north slope. Taíno and native people normally built their communities near the rivers. During the Spanish colonization era, the same was true with many pueblos being founded near rivers.[2]

There are about 5,385 miles of river in Puerto Rico; 224 rivers and 553 named streams.[3][4][5][6] Only 8.9 miles of Puerto Rico's rivers have the official U.S. Wild and Scenic River Designation.[7]


Sign on the side of PR-435 in San Sebastián indicating there is a quebrada (stream)

A quebrada is a stream. An arroyo or ensenada is a creek. A río is a river. A canal or caño is a channel. A cayo is a cay.

Reservoirs and lagoons

These are also reservoirs and lagoons in Puerto Rico:[1]

  1. Guajataca
  2. Garzas
  3. Dos Bocas
  4. Caonillas
  5. Laguna Tortuguero
  6. La Plata
  7. Cidra
  8. Laguna San José and Laguna Los Corozos
  9. Carraízo
  10. Laguna Piñones and Laguna Torrecilla
  11. Fajardo
  12. Valenciano (in planning)
  13. Patillas
  14. Carite
  15. Toa Vaca
  16. Guayabal
  17. Cerrillos
  18. Garzas
  19. Luchetti
  20. Loco
  21. Laguna Guánica (drained)
  22. Laguna Cartagena (refuge)
  23. Laguna Joyuda
  24. Casei (in planning)
  25. El Guineo
  26. Matrulla

By drainage basin

Rivers of Puerto Rico listed by drainage basin:

North Coast (Atlantic Ocean)

East Coast (Vieques Passage)

South Coast (Caribbean Sea)

West Coast (Mona Passage)


A waterway in Puerto Rico

See also


  1. ^ a b "Ríos principales de Puerto Rico" (PDF). GIS OTG. US Geological Survey Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  2. ^ Tesoros naturales de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Island Finance Corporation. 1996. pp. 14–15.
  3. ^ "Los Ríos" (PDF). Hojas de Nuestro Ambiente. Puerto Rico: DRNA. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "Puerto Rico". National Wild and Scenic River Systems. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Rios de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 23, 2008.
  6. ^ "Jacksonville District Navigable Waters Lists" (PDF). SAJ. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-01-26. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Rio de la Mina". National Wild and Scenic River System. Archived from the original on 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2019-03-09.

External links

  • USGS Hydrologic Unit Map – Caribbean Region (1974)
  • USGS Geographic Names Information Service
  • Rios de Puerto Rico
  • River Basins in Puerto Rico (in Spanish)
  • Guia de Saltos y Caidas de Agua de Puerto Rico. Gobierno de Puerto Rico. Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales. Division del Monitoreo del Plan de Aguas, Secretaria Auxiliar de Planificacion Integral. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Carmen R. Guerrero Pérez, Secretaria Estatal del Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales. Edited by Ivelisse Pérez Rodríguez, Nervalis Medina Echevarría, Aurielee Díaz Conde, and Marianela Torres Rodríguez. 2016. 181 pages. Archived.
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