Home to breathtaking caves, rivers, waterfalls, and the most important Taino archeological site in the Caribbean, there are tons of fun things to do in Utuado! I’d say that Utuado is your go-to destination for an unforgettable vacation in Puerto Rico.
Located in La Cordillera Central, the mountain region of Puerto Rico, Utuado is an adventure-lovers paradise and one of the best-underrated destinations in Puerto Rico. You’ll have a blast getting your heart pumping with adrenaline-inducing activities and relaxing in the gorgeous nature alike.
As a local that loves hiking, rock climbing, canyoning, and swimming in rivers, I can tell you without a doubt that Utuado will be anything but boring.
Want proof? Here are 15 amazing things to do and see in Utuado, Puerto Rico!
Table of Contents
- 15 Best Things to Do in Utuado
- FAQs About Utuado
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15 Best Things to Do in Utuado
Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park
Learn about the Taino.
The Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park is one of the most important sites left behind by the Taino in Puerto Rico. The park features ten ceremonial plazas surrounded by monoliths with petroglyphs, and a small museum where you can see Taino artifacts on display, watch a film and learn more about Taino history.
👉 Did you Know? El Parque Caguana is known for being the largest Taino archeological site in the Caribbean. That is why it’s one of the top activities to do in Puerto Rico!
Swim in the river.
Nature enthusiasts will love trekking along the Caonillas River, swimming in the refreshing waters, and finding El Sofá, a concave boulder where visitors can sit. Up the river, you can also admire La Danzante waterfall, one of the hundreds of waterfalls in Puerto Rico.
👉 Local Tip: While visiting the rivers in Utuado, be alert for flash flooding, whirlpools, and strong currents. When you’re in doubt if it’s safe to swim, ask the locals of the city.
Tanamá National Forest
Zipline through the mountains of Utuado.
Besides hiking through green scenery or swimming in the Tanamá River, families and adrenaline junkies will love to zipline through the mountains of Utuado. Batey Adventures allows you to combine ziplining with hiking, river trekking, and swimming.
Camp close to the lake.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (787) 240-4140
Utuado sports great locations for camping, from where you can see the sunrise every morning and the fog of the mountains of Puerto Rico.
Finca Viernes offers one of the best views of Lago Caonillas, with facilities like bathrooms, showers, and meals for an additional price.
Utuado’s Town Center
Pose with Puerto Rico’s flag.
It’s not uncommon to find flags painted over random structures in Puerto Rico, but in the downtown area of Utuado, you’ll find one of the most beautiful and popular over a building that was once an abandoned police station.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? You might want to stay a few days in Utuado to explore everything the city offers. Check out Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, with a restaurant, a garden, and a pool for a peaceful vacation.
La Hamaca Bridge
Dare to cross a hanging bridge.
While exploring the city, make a stop at La Hamaca Bridge, one of the hanging bridges in Puerto Rico that goes over a river connecting El Verde and San José neighborhoods. You can visit by yourself or with a guided tour, just keep in mind that the bridge might be unsafe for kids as there are missing parts on the base.
Hacienda Las Cascadas
Kayak until the river turns into a lake.
If there is something better than enjoying the view of Lago Dos Bocas from afar, it’s enjoying it from within. Hacienda Las Cascadas offers kayaking tours through the lake with stops that allow you to appreciate the surrounding nature and the biodiversity. After kayaking, you can even visit the waterfalls on the hacienda’s land.
Hacienda Gran Batey
Tour a coffee farm and buy coffee.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (787) 636-5442 | 9 am – 3 pm daily
Coffee addicts will be thrilled to know that one of the things to do in Utuado is to visit farms dedicated to coffee growing. Hacienda Gran Batey is one of the coffee farms in the city, run by a local family where you can learn about the roasting process and buy their coffee Cafe Gran Batey.
👉 Local Tip: As of January 2022, Café Gran Batey is temporarily closed to the public. Check their social media or call ahead before visiting to know if they are already open to the public.
Drift away with the current.
The Tanamá River is the center of adventure in Utuado. Visitors can either go body rafting or river tubing while swiftly drifting through the caves and around the river. Both Tanama River Adventures and Tanama Adventures offer body rafting cave tubing tours in the city.
See Utuado from the top of a mountain.
One of the best things to do in Utuado is to hike through its beautiful natural environment. Cerro Morales is an uphill hike of over an hour but it has a spectacular view of Utuado, Jayuya, Arecibo, and Ciales.
👉 Local Tip: Most of the top attractions in Utuado lack any security. As a general rule of safety in Puerto Rico, don’t leave articles of value in your car and always lock your doors.
Rappel into beautiful caves and rivers from above the canyon.
Another way you enjoy the caves in Utuado is by descending into them as you hang from the rappelling ropes. Tanamá River Adventures sports rappelling tours with altitudes as high as 250 feet. Their tours also include cave tubing, trekking, caving, and swimming in the river.
Cueva del Arco
Admire one of the best open caves in Puerto Rico.
One of the best things to do in Utuado for nature lovers and adrenaline seekers is to explore the caves. Cañon de Tanamá is home to multiple caves carved by the river, including Cueva del Arco, a giant open cave you can only admire by getting your feet wet in the river.
👉 Looking for more amazing hikes? Don’t miss my round up of the best hikes Puerto Rico has to offer.
Charco Los Morones
Hunt the petroglyphs in the boulders.
The hike to Charco Los Morones is somewhat challenging, but the view of water flowing through the small dam is one of the top attractions of Utuado. To add to the experience and value of the place you can find the petroglyphs on the different rocks as you go.
Finca Vista Bella
Enjoy a glass of Puerto Rican wine.
You’ve probably heard of the rum industries in Puerto Rico, but have you heard about Puerto Rican wine? After tasting the coffee head over to Finca Vista Bella, where you can taste local wine along with a delicious meal. With a reservation, you will learn about the wine-making process and you can finish the day walking by the vineyards.
Visit coffee plantations.
Utuado sports beautiful landscapes with lakes, coffee plantations, waterfalls, and rivers. Hacienda Horizonte is a popular Puerto Rico coffee farm in the region that, besides offering lodging and coffee tours, also has a farmers market and activities on offer.
FAQs About Utuado
Is Utuado safe?
Overall, Utuado is a safe city in Puerto Rico. Crime rates of robbery, pickpocketing, and theft are higher than in other cities, but international visitors can avoid them by taking common-sense safety precautions. Visitors should also take precautions when visiting Utuado’s natural resources. See my guide about safety on the island to learn more.
When was Utuado founded?
Utuado was founded on October 12, 1739, by Sebastián de Morfi. It was the 11th town officially founded on the island and the first one in the interior region.
Where are the best places to stay in Utuado?
The best places to stay in Utuado are the areas surrounding Lago Caonillas, for a great view and a relaxing vacation.
When is the best time to visit Utuado?
The best time to visit Utuado is during the dry season from December to April, since it rains less and it’s safer to swim in the rivers and travelers can also enjoy fresher temperatures in the mountains. Some of the festivals of the city take place during this season too.
How do I get to Utuado from San Juan?
Travelers going to Utuado from San Juan should rent a car and take the PR 22 Highway straight to Arecibo, and take the exit 75B to PR 10 until reaching Utuado. The complete trip from Old San Juan takes less than one hour and a half. You can use Discover Cars to find the best deal for your rental car.
📚 Related Reading: Guide to Driving in Puerto Rico
Thanks for reading the top things to do in Utuado! Whether you want to enjoy a family vacation or go on an adventure trip with your friends, this paradise in the mountains will certainly meet your expectations. Before you go, don’t miss the complete list of fun things to see and do in Puerto Rico.
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