by Ariana Pinero

In the middle of the summer, a trip to the mountains is always welcome. We love the respite from the heat so much, our visits might become an annual tradition. Family traditions are fun, right?

Utuado is beautiful, lush, and full of winding roads. We gave ourselves 5 days and 4 nights to unplug, enjoy the pool at our AirBnB, admire the mountain views, and explore a couple hotspots that were perfect for day trips - El Cañón Blanco & El Lago Dos Bocas. We stocked up on food and prepared feasts where we stayed, although we did eat out one day after our kayaking trip. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destinations. Pack snacks and meals to-go. The roads are sometimes tricky but the drive is always stunning. Enjoy it!


The white stones with a river running through got us all excited about where we were. We hiked a bit, swam in the water, and sunbathed with an epic view of the mountains in the distance. The water was high so we weren't able to go on the couch, aka el sofá, aka the most instagrammable part of the canyon, but it was the first adventure of our mountain trip and we had a great time just being there - climbing on boulders, jumping into the water, and trying to catch fish. :) There's easy parking and it's free to explore, so this scenic stop is one I recommend!

Check out the map with driving instructions and extra tips on Puerto Rico Day Trips.


It was really cool to see a family business, Hacienda las Cascadas, thriving in what felt like such an isolated spot. The kayak trip was easy and we were able to go with children as young as 3, but make sure you get the OK from them to have young kiddos when you make the reservation. The water level on the Río Limón was low the day we went, so we had to walk the kayak through a few low spots, but once we got going on the flowing river it was peaceful and exactly what we wanted - a chance to kayak and explore the rivers, man-made lake, and check out the gorgeous scenery. The trip lasted a couple hours - we stopped a lot in the beginning to allow the large group to get situated and for a few stragglers to catch up. At one point near the beginning we took a longer break to have snacks and take pictures, but after that we didn't regroup until the adventure was almost over and we got a chance to swim in the water and cool off before hopping on a school bus to head back.

Things to know before you go:

- Wear clothing & shoes that can get wet & bring a hat!
- They will provide the life jackets & even had some for the littles.
- There is food to purchase for a post kayak meal, but we decided to check out one of the nearby lakeside restaurants, La Marina de Rancho, which happened to be a delightful surprise & place I would return to.