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Take a Boat Ride to Lunch at Lago Dos Bocas

El Paseo en Lancha por el Lago Dos Bocas para Disfrutar de la Gastronomía

Ver en espanolView in English Posted on Apr 11th, 2010 by • Updated on Jul 17th, 2014
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Lago Do Bocas

Looking for a nice off the beaten path way to spend a weekend afternoon? You can always hop in the car and head to Lago Dos Bocas toward the center of the island, where you can enjoy a free boat ride around the lake or, to make a longer day out of it, go to one of the lakeside restaurants and enjoy drinks or a meal while admiring the views.

Lago Dos Bocas (Dos Bocas Lake) is a man-made lake (as are all of the lakes in Puerto Rico) located between Arecibo and Utuado. It was constructed in 1942 by what is now the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) by blocking the Arecibo and Caonillas Rivers where they meet. There, they made a dam and installed a hydroelectric power plant. I am pretty sure the dam is still used to generate electricity, and the beautiful lake is used as a potable water reservoir and for public enjoyment (mainly on weekends).

We recently stopped here for lunch with my brother John and his wife Chris after our Cueva Ventana adventure on a Sunday in March. The lake is just about 15 minutes away from the cave and it was lunch time — so it was a perfect plan!

The route to the lake is easy to follow — there are large signs pointing the way to the embarcadero (pier) parking area. Here you will be helped by attendants into finding a spot to park. Parking was free when we went, though there was a booth (so maybe they charge sometimes?). From there, just walk to the left toward the water.

In the parking lot, representatives from the restaurants had sample menus and pictures of their places. They all serve typical Puerto Rican cuisine, or comida criollo. All of the restaurants looked good — it was difficult to choose which one to go to!

The Restaurants

All of the restaurants are lakeside, though some higher up and some close to water level. Each one has their own boat that picks up customers at the boat dock and ferries them them to their restaurant. Once you decide which restaurant to go to, the rep will call the boat and they will meet you at the dock. The boats range in size, but most can hold 10 to 12 people.

Lago Do Bocas

The lake was much larger than imagined it would be. The boat ride, going at a nice fast clip with a great breeze, took about 10 minutes each way. Along the way, there were great views of the mountains and water fowl. All of the restaurant have open-air, covered seating areas for meals. Some also have indoor seating.

Keep in mind that these restaurants are only open on the weekend, usually from 10 or 11am until 6 or 7pm. They are sometimes open on Monday holidays. The may be open mid-week in July. It’s best to call ahead just to make sure.

All of the restaurants have similar prices — appetizers run about $3 to $7, main meals about $12 to $17. I believe all the restaurants take Visa, MasterCard, ATH (debit) and (obviously) cash. A few may take American Express. You may want to check with the representative before boarding the boat.

There are 5 restaurants located at the lake, but we were only able to get information from 4 of them. If anyone has information on the fifth one, let us know in the comments below. (9/10- Thanks Francisco!)

We decided to go to El Fogon de Abuela just because of the name (it means Grand-mom’s cooking stove/area). We tried the mofongo (one with with rabbit & one with shrimp), the churrasco (skirt steak) and filete de chillo (snapper fillet). They were all very good!

The Ferry Ride

If you don’t want to eat, but just want nice (free!) boat ride, the Department of Transportation & Public Works (DTOP) has some ferries (lanchas) that can take from 18-23 people around the lake at one time. This boat ride is generally intended for residents of the lake area, however anyone is free to take it if there is room on the trip. The schedule is every hour or so, M-F 6:30am-5pm, weekends and holidays 8:30am-5pm. The 45-minute trip goes all around the lake and returns to the boat dock. These are free rides, and they don’t take reservations (call to see if this is still true) or even guarantee you can get onto a boat. You just go down to the boat ramp (the larger one on the right, not the one the restaurants use) and wait. Ask the DTOP employee if they can fit you on.

When we went, they were having trouble with the motors and only lake residents were going on a reduced schedule. If you get lucky and it is working when you are there- cool! You can call 787-854-1010 or 1-787-977-2200 or 1-800-981-3021 for current information.

The Department of Natural Resources (DRNA) is also on-hand to help maintain and secure this beautiful area.

Other Activities on the Lake

They allow fishing at the lake, with a permit. I believe you can rent a boats and kayaks to enjoy on the lake, also.

Other Things to do Nearby

Lago Do Bocas

If you’re going to make the drive to the Arecibo/Utuado area for Dos Bocas, you might as well visit one of the many nearby attractions and make a full day out of it. Some nearby attractions include

Details

Note that Lago Dos Bocas is popular with local people and gets VERY busy on summer weekends!

Driving directions: From the San Juan area, take Route 22 West to Route 10 South (exit 75B). At KM 69.7 on Route 10, turn left onto Road 621 (there are large signs for Dos Bocas) toward Road 123. Turn right onto Road 123, and stay on Road 123 (it turns to the right at one intersection) following the signs to El Embarcadero parking area. Be aware, Road 123 is a small and twisting/turning road.

Lago Do Bocas

¿Le gustaría hacer un paseo por un paraje algo remoto en una tarde de fin de semana? Pues móntese en su auto y diríjase al Lago Dos Bocas en el centro de la isla. Allí podrá disfrutar de un paseo gratuito en lancha alrededor del lago o si desea pasar un poco más tiempo, puede ir a comer a uno de los restaurantes del lago mientras admira el paisaje.

El Lago Dos Bocas es un lago hecho por el hombre (como todos los lagos de Puerto Rico). Está localizado entre los pueblos de Arecibo y Utuado. Fue construido en el año1942 por la Autoridad de Energia Eléctrica de Puerto Rico (PREPA). Ellos represaron el Río Grande de Arecibo y el Río Caonillas en lugar donde se entrelazan. En esta represa instalaron una planta hidroeléctrica. La represa aún se utiliza para generar electricidad y este precioso lago se usa como una reserva de agua y también para el disfrute del público en general, mayormente durante los fines de semana.

Recientemente nos detuvimos allí para almorzar junto a mi hermano John y su esposa Chris luego de nuestra aventura en la Cueva Ventana un domingo de marzo. El lago está sólo a 15 minutos de la cueva y ya era hora de almorzar así que el plan nos quedó perfecto.

La ruta al lago es fácil de encontrar – hay unos letreros grandes que dirigen al estacionamiento del embarcadero.  Los empleados le ayudarán a encontrar un lugar donde aparcar el carro. El estacionamiento salió gratuito en esa ocasión pero vi una casilla por lo que creo que quizás cobren en algunas ocasiones. De este punto en adelante sólo debe caminar en dirección al agua.

En el estacionamiento, los representantes de los diferentes restaurantes le mostrarán los menús de éstos. Todos sirven comida típica criolla. Todos los locales de comida lucen bien – muy difícil de escoger a cual de ellos ir.

LOS RESTAURANTES

Todos los restaurantes están junto al lago aunque algunos están un poco más arriba. Cada uno tiene su propia embarcación la cual recoge a los comensales en el muelle y los transportan en la lancha hasta su local. Una vez usted elija el restaurante de su predilección, el representante llamará la embarcación la cual lo recogerá en el muelle. Las lanchas por lo general tienen un cupo para 10 o 12 personas.

Lago Do Bocas

El lago es más grande de lo que imaginábamos. Si la embarcación va de prisa, se tomará cerca de 10 minutos en cada trayecto. La brisa, las aves del lago y el paisaje de las montañas se pueden apreciar durante el corto viaje. En todos los restaurantes se puede comer en áreas al aire libre o en áreas bajo techo. Algunos también tienen mesas en el interior.

Debe tomar en cuenta que estos restaurantes sólo abren durante los fines de semana, usualmente de 10–11 am hasta de 6–7:00 pm. A veces también abren los lunes feriados. Puede que abran los días de semana en el mes de julio. De todas maneras, es mejor llamar con anterioridad para cerciorarse.

Todos los restaurantes tienen precios similares – aperitivos de $3 a $7 y platos principales de $12 a $17. Creo que todos aceptan tarjetas de crédito o débito y aunque no estamos seguros si aceptan American Express. Puede verificar con el representante antes de abordar la lancha.

Hay 5 restaurantes en el lago pero sólo pudimos tomar información de cuatro de ellos. Si alguien puede proveer información sobre el quinto por favor déjenos saber en los comentarios al fondo. (9/10– ¡Gracias Francisco!)

Decidimos ir al Fogón de Abuela por lo peculiar de su nombre. Pedimos un mofongo relleno de conejo y otro de camarones, un churrasco y un filete de chillo. ¡Todos muy buenos!

El PASEO EN EL FERRY O LANCHA

Si no desea comer pero quiere dar una trillita gratis en esta embarcación, el Departamento de Transportación Publica (DTOP) tiene unas lanchas que transportan de 15–40 personas alrededor del lago en un paseo único. Estos paseos generalmente se hacen para los habitantes de la zona del lago, pero sin embargo cualquier persona interesada puede tomarlos siempre y cuando haya cupo en la lancha. Los horarios son los siguientes: 9:10 am, 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm y 4 pm El barco recorre el lago en 45 minutos y retorna al muelle. Este viaje es gratuito y no se hacen reservaciones ni garantizan admisión. Diríjase al muelle grande de la derecha y espere. Recuerde que el muelle de la izquierda es únicamente para las lanchas de los restaurantes. Puede preguntar a los empleados del DTOP si hay posibilidad de que realice el viaje ese día.

Cuando fuimos, los motores de la lancha estaban averiados y sólo los residentes del lago estaban usando la transportación en un horario reducido. La página web del DTOP indica que están abiertos diariamente desde las 6:30 am– 5:30 pm No se si esta información es correcta ya que no contestaron el teléfono cuando les llamé (787–879–1838). Asumo que abren sólo los fines de semana.

El Departamento de Recursos Naturales (DRNA) da también la mano para ayudar a mantener este bello lugar.

OTRAS ACTIVIDADES QUE SE REALIZAN EN ESTE LAGO

Se permite la pesca en el lago, con un permiso especial. Creo que se pueden alquilar botes y kayaks para el disfrute del lago.

OTRAS COSAS QUE HACER EN LOS ALREDEDORES DEL AREA

Lago Do Bocas

Si va a estar en el área de Arecibo/Utuado para ir al Lago Dos Bocas, quizás quisiera visitar una de las atracciones cercanas y quedarse el día entero en el área. Algunas de estas atracciones son:

DETALLES

¡Tome en cuenta que el Lago Dos Bocas es muy popular y se llena los fines de semana durante el verano!

Direcciones: Desde el Área Metropolitana, tome la autopista 22 hacia el oeste hasta la carretera 10 (Salida 75B). En el kilometro 69.7 de la carretera 10 doble a la izquierda hacia la carretera 123 (esta carretera gira a la derecha en una intersección) siga el letrero hacia el estacionamiento del embarcadero. Cuidado, ya que la carretera 123 es angosta y tiene curvas.

 

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

Utilice el siguiente mapa para localizar los lugares mencionados en este artículo. Puede hacer clic en cualquiera de las marcas de posición para ver las coordenadas GPS de ese lugar.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid ... then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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13 comments
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  1. This is one of my favorite trips to take whenever I have stateside friends in the island.

    I have combined the trip with the Cavernas de Camuy, Lares town square and the Caguana Park in Utuado.

    Great choice!

    PS I also prefer “El Fogón de la Abuela”, Luis the owner and ferry captain is a great guy who always welcomes you as family. Highly recommended.

  2. Thanks for your information! I loved it!

  3. Restaurant El Cacique is the 5th, check this article:

    http://www.elnuevodia.com/asisecomeenlamontana-752887.html

  4. We are residents of Lago Dos Bocas and eat at El Fogon de Abuela often. It has become a place to take unexpected visitors and out of town guests. We love the food and the convenience it affords us. Our guests love the food as well as the experience of visiting us by boat. It gives them a relaxing ride as well as the opportunity to see the native birds and fauna.
    We highly recommend the experience.

  5. There might be some validity to the daily operation of the ferries. Residents utilize them as real transportation. I’ve been there twice, once on a weekday for a boat ride, and once on a weekend to eat at one of the restaurants. On the weekday visit, there were kids who had gotten out of school, and waited at the dock for a ride to their homes —- delivered right to their back yards, which was pretty cool. That explains the early hours of operation, too.

    I enjoy the experience, because it visually very pretty. The lake is like a valley surrounded by lush, lush, deep green mountains, which at places slope upward sharply from the waters edge. It made me feel like I was traveling the Amazon. Not that I’ve ever been to the Amazon, but that’s what it makes me think of.

  6. I brought my husband and 7 and 12 year old children for an early dinner (at 2:30) this past Sunday. We went through an 6 hour 15 minute ordeal, so I want other readers to be aware of what to expect there. After parking we walked down to the boat launch, where there were about 15 people hanging around. It was not really clear that we had a choice of restaurants and after a little confusion we were assured we would be on the 2nd trip out to Abuela’s in about 30 minutes. Since we weren’t starving and always travel with the assumption we won’t come by that way again, we agreed to wait. I was concerned about being out after dark since we were staying in the mountains but about 45 minutes later we were on the boat out. There were a couple big parties and some smaller ones like us, as well as several empty tables, so they did not appear that busy. The wait staff seemed bewildered to see us when we asked for a table. After sitting there for 25 minutes, (we found our own menus) with the staff avoiding eye contact with us, I cornered an employee and asked for service, when she came to the table I asked how long dinner might take, she left to check in the kitchen and assured me it would be served quickly because we had already sat there for so long. With this promise we ordered; snapper, two different mofongos and the children’s chicken strip platter. We also ordered drinks that came in another 15-20 minutes along with four cups of conciliatory soup, a chicken base with pureed plaintains.
    An hour and 10 minutes later our food arrived, but they forgot the childrens plate, which came out another 10 minutes later. At this point we were starving, and ate quickly. We asked for the check and were surprised to see 15% gratuity added in for our table of 4. When we asked about it they said, it was “optional”, but c’mon. Then the real fun started, we queued up for the boat, and because there were more than 12 people ahead of us, I knew we were in for another 40 minute to an hour wait. It started to pour rain, I brought the kids back up to the restaurant and we took turns checking on my husband. When the first boat came there was a stampede for the boat and about 20 people crammed on the boat pushing ahead of us in line. To his credit the driver got off, folded his arms, and informed them only 12 could sail. My husband berated them in his best Spanish and after 10 minutes or so some folks who had been in the front of the line stepped off. We were soaked, it was pitch black out and my kids were begging us to walk back to the car. Not having a clue were we were, walking was not an option so we had to wait it out. Eventually another boat came and we got back to our car, at about 8:45. We were staying at the state park villas on Lago Caonillas so we had a treacherous ride ahead of us in the dark. (which we had tried to avoid with the early dinner.) The bottom line is, the food was very good, sangria was good too, but the service was the worst I have ever experienced, even by PR standards. This might be a better trip for a group of 20 or 30 somethings who come out at noon and can devote several hours to drinking and eating. I expected to be there 3 or 4 hours tops. When my daughter got back to the car she said poignantly, “and all I wanted was a hamburger.” BTW, at your recommendation we had hiked Cueva Ventana, been to the Ceremonial Park and stopped at Cafe Gran Batey for coffee and convo with the lovely Morales’. All those activities went perfectly. Oh well, some day we will look back on this and laugh…

  7. We combined Lago Dos Bocas with the Cavernas de Camuy and the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park. It was a lovely day. We had lunch at Rancho Marina, a lovely place. We ordered salmon and grilled chicken breast and the food was great. The desserts are really delicious!

  8. Planeo visitar el área con mis hijos que vienen de vacaciones y me gustaría ir el miércoles 22 de Agosto.¿Tendrán los restaurantes abiertos? Por favor dejarme saber ,estoy planeando la visita con anticipación.¡Muchas gracias por los detalles!

  9. Some of the restaurants are open during the week, but the boats don’t run. You would have to call each one for exact schedule and for directions on how to get there by land route.

  10. We drove to Dos Lagos after going to the Camuy caves and Aricebo Observatory. We ate at Paisaje Escondido and really enjoyed our food. Everything we tried was delicious and eating on the lake was relaxing. I tried to look at each of the restaurant websites and this one seemed pretty cute. The restaurant did not disappoint. On our ferry ride back to the parking area, the captain gave a small tour (in Spanish) of the surrounding area and we were able to see a nearby waterfall. All in all a great afternoon! Wouldn’t have made it to this restaurant if it weren’t for this website!

  11. visited Cueva Ventana January 1st. Just want to let everyone know, the TEXACO is now Puma. The entrance/parking is about 6 miles south from when you get off highway 22., On the left.

  12. After parking our vehicle, we were approached by two guides coaxing us to visit their restaurants, one was “Paisaje Escondido” ( this guide showed us the menu with prices), while the other was “El Fogon de mi Abuela” (This guide did not have prices on the menu). I decided to visit “El Fogon de mi Abuela, and was disappointed with the service. They did not greet us upon arrival, I had to wave to a waiter and ask if i could sit down anywhere i liked. After sitting and ordering our food; i noticed the waiter had forgotten about us. Other tables were being served before us; even when we had arrived and ordered first. The food took aprox. an hour to be served. Even though the food was good. Personally i would not return to “El Fogon de mi Abuela”, until the waiters receive proper training on how to attend the restaurant.

  13. We ate at Otoao and were pleased with the food and the service, though the dining area is up a hill a little farther from the water (you can still see the lake and surroundings though). The owner called the boat for us when we were finished, and it came in about 10-15 minutes.

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