Hurricane Sam (updated 24 Sep 2021 @ 8am)
📍 Hurricane Sam is expected to strengthen to a "major" hurricane (Category 3) on Friday night or Saturday. The current forecast projection has the storm passing to the northeast of Puerto Rico. We will be keeping an eye on this system over coming days to monitor its development.
🌊 Expect storm surge from the hurricane to affect our beaches, especially on the north and east sides of the island, during the first half of the coming week.
🌦️ Keep an eye on our weather page for updates from the National Hurricane Center
Temporary Mandates from 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 (updated 20 Sep 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces, and in outdoor spaces where 50 or more people are gathered.
🛒 Restaurants, bars, and stores must remain closed from 12 midnight to 5am. This limitation does not apply to supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, food take out and delivery, or healthcare.
🍺 Alcohol cannot be sold anywhere, nor consumed in public, from 12 midnight to 5am.
🚩 Effective 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 per executive order EO-2021-065. Note that this executive order was extended until 14 Oct on 20 Sep.
Current COVID-19 Mandates, with no end date (updated 30 Aug 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces.
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Effective 16 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-062.
🍔 In order to be admitted to a bunch of different places (restaurants, bars, theaters, tours, excursions, casinos, etc) you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Other types of businesses may, at their option, require this documention to access their facility.This applies to all people 12 (twelve) years old and older. Effective 23 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-063.
✈️ All domestic travelers arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older.If you are un-vaccinated and do not have negative results when you arrive to PR, you have 48 hours to produce those results. Otherwise you will be fined $300 per person. See the PR Government Travel Safe site for details, and to submit your contact tracing information

Off the Beaten Path on Route 123 in Utuado

Road 123, Utuado

While I love taking highways and expressways to get to where I’m going, we often miss some great things by avoiding the little back roads. This is true all over, but Puerto Rico’s Route 123 in Utuado is a great example.

This little road, which runs parallel to Route 10, is a lush, green 2-lane road. You need to drive slowly, and really enjoy what rural Puerto Rico looks like. This was “the” main road until the Route 10 highway, built back in the 1970s. Though we drove just a small portion of this road, we had a half-day’s worth of fun, and took lots of photos!

Road 123, Utuado

Route 123 is “old Route 10”. It runs from Arecibo to Ponce, but we just did the stretch from Arecibo to the first part of Utuado. This small section of road (maybe 15 miles, tops) had a load of interesting things to see. We really think this drive should be incorporated into a day trip to the region.

Our Visit

We took Route 10 and got onto Route 123 going south (the intersection of Route 10 & 123 was not well-marked). We immediately noticed the difference between the highway and the local road. It was a slower pace, a curvier road, with houses, dogs, and signs of life. Driving this road does require a slower rate, but that gives you the opportunity to see what there is to see along the way.

Road 123, Utuado

The first thing we were looking for was the “other side” of Cueva Ventana. We have been in Cueva Ventana many times, and as you look out, you see a bridge. Well, when we got to that bridge, we stopped and looked up at the cave’s “ventana”. It was a neat to see this different perspective.

Continuing on Route 123, we found two (small) roadside waterfalls. The water for these falls comes right out from rock caves. They are so close to the road that it is hard to get good pictures of them, but they were really nice. It is pretty cool. After checking out the falls a bit, enjoy the bird-s eye view of the round “El Sombrero” building downhill on the other side of the road. Parking for these falls is just to the side of the road.

Road 123, Utuado

Continuing on, we encountered a dragon in a lovely, manicured yard. The house had Japanese-styled architecture, too. Not something you see everyday in Puerto Rico!

As we drove on, we decided to make a small diversion onto Route 146 to see the Lago Dos Bocas dam. It is just a quick left before the lake, you can’t miss it.

There was a fruit vendor near the dam, so we parked, bought some really reasonably-priced fruit/veggies, and walked across the damn while eating our fruit snack. It was really pretty and impressive too! We got some great photos of Lago Dos Bocas.

Road 123, Utuado

We then continued back to Route 123, where we passed the parking and dock for the Lago Dos Bocas restaurants. If you have a couple hours, you can take a boat ride to one of the restaurants for lunch on the weekends.

As we continued on Route 123, we noticed this cool, old hanging foot-bridge that connects the communities on either side of the river. We had to make a quick stop to walk across it .. can’t pass up that opportunity!

Road 123, Utuado

Since we were exploring with some friends who had never been to Cueva Ventana nor Cueva del Indio, we decided it was time to get off Route 123 and back onto Route 10 to head north to visit those sites. Along Route 10, we did stop at one of the roadside pincho stands, to grab a quick lunch.

That was our really cool day trip. So once in a while, take the extra time and take the small roads and explore!

From the San Juan area, you would take Route 22 west to Route 10 south to Route 123.

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...

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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I love the perspective of seeing Cueva Ventana from the outside.

Comment by Josh on 13 Mar 2014

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