Read more about our entire trip to Puerto Rico in our "Puerto Rico Road Trip" blog post, here!
Taylor and I noticed the canyon rising out of the beach, and we immediately headed toward it. We climbed up the stark, white canyon finding a beautiful view of the surrounding mountainous jungle. There were people floating below, so we asked where the carvings were - no one knew.
We kept exploring, hopping from rock to rock, and keeping our eyes out for carvings in the stone.
See more from our adventures around the canyon in our YouTube Video below, and subscribe to our channel for more videos!
Read more from our entire trip to Puerto Rico, including our tours of local coffee farms and our sightly unfortunate "event" that happened in the jungle. Check it all out below or on our Puerto Rico page!
We had two more nights to plan, and we were torn between the beaches and the jungle.
You can read more about all of our other planned trips in Puerto Rico including plans to visit Ponce, Rincon, and El Yungue National Forest in the “How We Planned a Trip to Puerto Rico” blog post - coming soon!
Old San Juan 360-Degree View Room
Robert and his beautiful apartment were our first welcome to the island. We flew into San Juan late at night and Robert accommodated our midnight arrival graciously. He greeted us with a tour of his home, located in the hear of Old San Juan, then showed us our bedroom for the night.
If you would like to book your own stay at Robert's room in Old San Juan, check his availability here!
If you have never booked with Airbnb before, use this discount code on your first stay and save up to $60! https://www.airbnb.com/c/taylorc1809
You can see more from all of the places we stayed in our YouTube video below, and in more videos on our channel, here!
Lago Caonillas Lake View House
The apartment itself isn’t much.There is a kitchen table, couch, and kitchenette with a coffee pot, minifridge, and microwave in the main room; a bedroom with a bathroom, closet, and queen sized bed; and a TV room with a large couch and closet. Though the necessities are on the inside, the main amenity is on the outside.
If you would like to book your own stay at in Utuado, please call Danny at 787-616-8949 or check his Airbnb calendar here!
Hotel La Terraza
Eventually, we had to return to San Juan to catch our flights back home. We booked our second stay in Old San Juan at a place fit for wandering the area, but when we suffered a flat tire in the jungle, our plans changed dramatically.
Read all about our wild experience driving through the jungle in our “What It’s Like To Drive In Puerto Rico” blog post here.
If you would like to book your own stay at Hotel La Terraza check their Airbnb site to see what's available here!
All things considered, we chose great places to stay through Airbnb and can’t complain about a thing. A good place to call home-away-from-home can make or break a trip, and all of ours made the trip even more special.
We loved every place we stayed and visited in Puerto Rico. Read more about every where we went in Old San Juan, Utuado, and Arecibo in our blog post HERE!
We traveled west out of San Juan to Arecibo and south to Utuado stopping wherever we wanted along the way.
We rented a car through Enterprise Rental Cars and had quite an experience with it! Read all about what it was like driving around Puerto Rico here.
La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce.
We booked an amazing stay in Utuado through Airbnb and could not have picked a more dreamy jungle getaway. Read all about it here!
Sabor Isleño by Los Paneles
Cafe El Bohio
The next morning, we woke up and grabbed an early, traditional Puerto Rican lunch from Cafe El Bohio along the shores of Lago Caonillas. We were staying just up the road at Coanillas Lake View House, and it was too convenient to not try.
We enjoyed our fried pork, beans, and rice before hopping in the car and exploring around Utuado. The meal wasn’t anything special, but it tasted great and fueled us for the day!
Cafe Gran Batey
See more from this great tour in our YouTube Video below and in our more detailed blog post here!
La Placita del Vivi
After learning about the native Taino culture at the Caguana Ceremonial Indigenous Heritage Center, we grabbed a bite from the roadside cafe, La Placita del Vivi.
Carbon y Leña Beach Restaurant
Read more about all of the Airbnbs we stayed at across the island in the “Where to Stay in Puerto Rico” post here!
Every single meal we had in Puerto Rico was absolutely delicious! We branched out, tried new things, and were never disappointed. Each place had such friendly staff who were willing to help us, and we appreciate all of their kindness and all of the fantastic meals. We only got a taste of Puerto Rican cuisine, but we loved every bite we had!
Read more about our entire Puerto Rico road trip in this more detailed post here! We share were we stayed in San Juan and Utuado and give details about all the amazing places we went and saw.
Read all about it HERE!
We waved to a gentleman who was sitting in the shade outside, and then we walked inside and discovered a busy lady serving coffee, cornbread, and carrot cake to a family of visitors.
Finally, the beans are aged and roasted before they’re packaged or ground.
He was Lotty’s husband and owner of the Gran Batey Coffee Farm. He told us about growing up on the farm, working away from home, then returning to run the farm as his own. The man had done an incredible amount of work in his life and it showed. He and Lotty had grown the farm’s business to the point of partnership with major coffee brands, but the work was wearing on him. He still loved the place, but you could tell it was hard on him.
We will be drinking Cafe Gran Batey coffee for a long time to come, and we are very excited!
See more from our entire tour of Cafe Gran Batey in our YouTube video here!
Check out more of our blog posts from Puerto Rico below!
We chose Utuado for its nearby attractions like Cerra De Punta, Torro Negro State Park, El Cemi Museum, and all of the white canyons. Even though we only made it to one of the later, we loved every moment of our time in the Puerto Rico mountains.
If you would like to read about our entire trip, including two nights in San Juan and our afternoon in Arecibo, read our“Long Weekend Road Trip in Puerto Rico” blog post HERE!
Read more about our entire experience dining at Sabor Isleño by Los Paneles and other restaurants across the island in our “Where We Found Great Food in Puerto Rico” blog post here!
Driving around in Puerto Rico was an experience in and of itself read all about what happened with our rental car in our "How Safe Is It To Drive In Puerto Rico?" blog post HERE and watch our YouTube video below!
This wasn't our only amazing airbnb in Puerto Rico, we also stayed at two great places in Old San Juan - which you can see more about here!
We warmed up the hot tub and unpacked our gear before starting to plan out an itinerary for the next day. We sat outside and gazed at the stars while reading DiscoverPuertoRico.com’s article about Utuado. We did a little more research before deciding to go west and visit some coffee farms, learn about the native people of the land, and do a little hiking.
Lotty, who gave our tour, did not speak English! Fortunately, another family was on the premise, and their father spoke English well enough to translate.
If you want to learn more about Cafe Gran Batey, check out the detailed blog post here!
See more from Cafe Gran Batey in our YouTube video below!
You can see more from this interesting site in our YouTube video here!
Read about all of the Puerto Rican mofongo and mojitos we had in the “Where We Found Great Meals in Puerto Rico” post here!
If you want to see more from our adventure through Canon Blanco, check out our YouTube video below!
We tried to continue to our next stop, La Piedra Escrita, but were halted when the road we had been following on Google Maps ended! The pavement turned to jungle floor, and we had nowhere to go. It was quite scary and was only worse when one of our tires popped.
We knew it would be best to act with haste, and John replaced our tire so fast that I swear he could have been trying out to be a NASCAR pit crew member.
Read about what it was like to drive around the Puerto Rican rainforest in this more detailed driving blog post, here!
We had SO much else we wanted to see while in Utuado, here are just a few of the place we wanted to visit:
- Cerro de Punta (PR's highest point)
- Chorro de Doña Juana Waterfall Or Cascada Las Delicias
- Museo De Nuestros Martires
- El Cemí Museum
- La Piedra Escrita
We loved every minute of our time in Utuado, and have ever intention to come back to explore more one day!
Here are some of our other blog posts from our entire trip to Puerto Rico. Enjoy!
Where to Stay In Puerto Rico - Beaches or Rain Forest??
How to Plan a Vacation to Puerto Rico!
Where We Found The Best Food On The Island - Lots of Mofongo and Mojitos!
Read more about our entire road trip to Utuado, Puerto Rico in this outlined "Puerto Rico Road Trip" blog post, HERE!
Taylor arranged our rental through Enterprise Rent-A-Car. She booked us for an SUV, but it was a little unfortunate that we couldn’t select exactly which car we wanted. It also was crazy how much more expensive off road and 4WD drive vehicle got!
See more of what it was like to drive around, watch our YouTube video below!
The first drive in the Rogue was from Old San Juan to La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce. The city streets were narrow, but not confusing or difficult to navigate.
Check out where all we stayed in San Juan and Utuado in our "Where to Stay In Puerto Rico" blog post, HERE!
Once we got through Utuado the roads got narrow and started winding with a consistent, steep grade.
While driving through the mountains we learned it is common to hear horns honking to notify anyone around the curve that a car is coming. It’s also common to turn a curve to find a relaxing dog in the middle of the road or a group of people gathered near the roadside!
The views of Puerto Rico’s mountain ranges are stunning, but I couldn’t afford to take my eyes off the road for any amount of time.
For two days, Taylor and I explored the mountain roads on either side of Utuado. It was exhilarating to drive up and down these steep and lush roadways. When researching routes around the Utuado Area, I had read that some mountain roads in Puerto Rico are impassable and that GPS directions are not to be trusted.
Read more about all of the planning we did before arriving in Puerto Rico, please read our detailed post - coming soon!
Even though I had gone as far as drawing certain intersections and sections of road map in my notebook, Taylor and I forgot the warnings about GPS.
We accidentally hit this trail pretty hard, and to make matters worse, something in the grass punctured our passenger’s side front tire.
After a speedy tire change, the Rouge sported an emergency spare as Taylor and I limped it back to a tire shop.
No matter what day or time we were on the highway, traffic never seemed to slow. Commercial trucks and older vehicles kept a slow pace, some vehicles cruised at just above the 55 mile per hour speed limit, and a few zipped by everyone. This remained true in a steady downpour.
The last piece of driving the Rogue in Puerto Rico consisted of dangerous water pockets and flooded interchanges. As we neared San Juan, the edge lanes of the highway became more and more likely to hold water pockets that would jerk the steering wheel. The streets of San Juan were flooded, but Taylor and I returned the car safely to Enterprise.
All things considered, driving in Puerto Rico was a great experience, but a little bit more Spanish and familiarity with certain routes would have helped tremendously.
It is not a task for the faint of heart, and constant diligence is required, but the exhilaration while speeding around a mountainous curve kept me in a state of bliss while driving in Puerto Rico’s mountains, and the suspense of never knowing when an oncoming vehicle would appear, made those mountains one of my favorite places to drive.
See what it was really like in our YouTube video below, and see more on our entire channel HERE!
More from our road trip in Puerto Rico:
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!