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 include 4 other mangrove islands managed by 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.
When to Visit / Hours
During the week in high season months (December – April) you may have the island to yourself. High season for locals is 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.
We recommend tourists to visit elsewhere in the summer months.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 9am to 5pm
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 sanitiser, cooking utensils, aluminum foil, etc.
Things to Do at Mata La Gata
Have a picnic
Mata La Gata is one of the best places to picnic in Lajas, the scenery sorrounding the island and the peacefulness of the place makes 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 worth 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 are a sweet melody.
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 on the area, you swim at your own risk. Always use common sense and never snorkel alone.
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.
Getting to Mata La Gata
There are various friendly tour operators ready to take you for a day adventure to the pretty offshore little islands of Lajas. Click here for more information on tour operators and boat rentals.
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.
More photos of Mata La Gata, La Parguera Nature Reserve
Map of Mata La Gata, Lajas, Puerto Rico
More places you may enjoy visiting on the west coast of Puerto Rico
- Gilligan’s Island / Cayo Aurora in Guanica
- Playita Rosada in Lajas
- Playa Sucia / La Playuela in Cabo Rojo
- Guanica Beaches
- Beaches on the west coast of Puerto Rico