You’ll love this place, a little, little cay/island off the coast of the town of Lajas on the southern coast of Porta del Sol. This cute island’s colors are blue, green, turquoise, and coral, a nature lover’s tiny paradise surrounded by more sister islands, everywhere you stand on the island, the views are gorgeous. Mata La Gata Island is part of Reserva Natural La Parguera which includes 4 other mangrove islands managed by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA).
Mata La Gata is a wonderful place for families with children. Children love to jump and swim at a pool, imagine their eyes when they see this unique natural pool where they can snorkel safely to watch schools of tiny tropical fish. Be sure to take them on a walk along the mangroves, it’s a wonderful educational opportunity where they can observe these unique that are so important to the ecological health of Parguera Nature Reserve.
Facilities at Mata La Gata Island
Facilities include picnic tables, gazebos, barbecue pits, composting restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. DRNA is open, feel free to stop by to ask questions or request assistance.
What to Bring
There are no snack bars or stores on the island so bring everything you will need. Bring plenty of water, sunblock, toilet paper/wipes, hand sanitizer, cooking utensils, aluminum foil, etc.
What to Take Back? – Please bring a bag with you and take all your trash back with you.
Things to Do at Mata La GataLajas, Puerto Rico
Snorkeling at Mata La Gata, Lajas
The best time to snorkel is early morning when the water is calmer and clearer. On the east side of the island between Caracoles and Mata La Gata, there is a wall that drops pretty deep where you can do some snorkeling. Current can be a bit strong depending on conditions, there are no lifeguards in the area, you swim at your own risk. Always use common sense and never snorkel alone.
Have a picnic
Mata La Gata is one of the best places to picnic in Lajas, the scenery surrounding the island and the peacefulness of the place make it a very special place. We suggest you keep it simple, so you can spend more time enjoying the island and less time worrying about the details.
The gazebos at the front of the island are more family-friendly, they’re closest to the pool.
Romantics wishing for a more intimate and private ambiance will find pleasure at the back of the island, there you can claim a picnic table with the best views.
During weekdays in the winter months, you may be sharing the island with a few people or have it to yourself, especially early morning. The east and south side of the island are perfect places to sit at the picnic table or lounge chair with your favorite book.
The views are worthy of a painting, the colors of the waters range from turquoise to emerald green, contrasting with the hunter green of mangrove cays and hills of the main island in the distance.
A wonderful spot on the south side of the island, even on a busy day on the island, all you hear is the sound of the Caribbean Sea waves crashing against the reef. On a hot day, the caress of the breeze constantly cools, the playful of the pelicans are entertaining and the singing of birds is a sweet melody.
Take a short walk along the mangroves
This little island is complete with a boardwalk through a small mangrove forest. It’s a really short walk, but you’ll enjoy the artful formations of mangrove roots.
Tours & Water Taxis to Mata La GataLajas, Puerto Rico
When to Visit / Hours
During the week in high season months (December – April) you may have the island to yourself. The high season for locals in the summer months and on weekends it gets very busy on the island, so make sure you get here early to claim a picnic table. Summer weekends and holidays, Mata La Gata and Caracoles get really busy and it becomes a party boat scene.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm
Tours / Water Taxis
- There are various friendly tour operators ready to take you for a day adventure to the pretty offshore little islands of Lajas. See below for tours.
- You’ll find water taxi signs with information in the village of La Parguera. Be sure to stay longer for sunset and the magic of the bioluminescent bay.
To the east side of Mata de Gata is the neighbor island of Caracoles which is the best for snorkeling and popular for boaters, you can request for the tour company to take you there as well, just ask.