The very lovely fresh water lake and river of the Lago Dos Bocas is the spectacular setting of the Rancho Marina Restaurant tucked away in the mountainous interior of Puerto Rico. I was fortunate enough to experience this unique and very local restaurant hidden away off a mountain jungle road overlooking the beautiful waters of Lago Dos Bocas. Rancho Marina is an easy but spectacular drive from The Casa Grande Mountain Retreat where I had spent the weekend just a few weekends ago.
Welcome to The Rancho Marina Restaurant as the sign is written at the foot and base of the Lake where there is a little boat dock; the Restaurant has its own complimentary boat service which criss crosses the lake and picks up guests along the way. One can drive either to the Marina on the opposite side of the Lake and take the Rancho Marina Boat or you can drive directly to the restaurant depending on your location. This unique family run restaurant is openly open on weekends and most of the time is reservation only. Many of the customers have been coming here for years from as far away as San Juan to take a little road trip for the weekend or some even come from the mainland USA. The Restaurant has been family owned for many years and the atmosphere is very warm, embracing and friendly. The Restaurant is decorated in a very colourful island way with both indoor and outdoor patio options; all overlooking the pristine waters of Lago dos Bocas and the spectacular jungle like mountains around.
If you are driving from Casa Grande in Utuado; exit the driveway and turn right onto route 612 which turns into Rte 140 running almost parallel with the Lake. You will then see this unmarked little road on the right which is also a tiny bridge which actually crosses the Lake and continues up the jungle like mountain and runs up and down alongside the Lake. You will then arrive at a fork in the road with three different options; to the left is an open driveway also unmarked. If the simple chain gate of the driveway is open this means that the Restaurant is also open and welcome to visitors. Simply drive in and find a place to part and you will enter the beauty and warm embrace of Rancho Marina!!
The staff will greet you and make you feel at home right away. The menu is as colorful as the natural jungle like surroundings. You will find everything here from delicious mofongo, to freshly caught fresh water lake fish, to meats, chicken, pork and all of the local delicacies and sweets combined. I started my most wonderful mean with a glass of fresh local tamarind juice!! Most stimulating actually and a great way to prepare for the local fare.
I continued then with a main course of freshly caught Tilapia Rancho Style with a wonderful Mofongo and lite salad garnish. The presentation is most creative and even somewhat modern, colorful yes but equally as tasteful.
This is the little boat that zips up and down the lake picking up guests and passengers along the way to Rancho Marina Restaurant. From Casa Grande’s driveway exit to the left and then instead of taking the little unmarked road crossing the lake, continue straight along the opposite side of the Lake and you will come to a marina landing where the Boat will eventually stop and pick you up to take you to Rancho Marina. I suggest calling ahead for reservations as the restaurant could be quite busy since its only open on weekends Saturdays and Sundays and some holidays. I was most fortunate to experience again another hidden gem in Puerto Rico!!!