Breathtaking Views at the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse
Located on top of 200-foot limestone cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse marks the south-west tip of Puerto Rico. Built in 1881 by the Spanish government, the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse (Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo and know locally as El Faro) uses the same building design as the Fajardo and Arecibo lighthouses. We have visited both of those other lighthouses, and it was kind of interesting to see how similar they all look.
The Cabo Rojo Lighthouse has been renovated/restored over the years. It is still operational and helps ships navigate safely through the Mona Passage from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
Unless you are really "into" lighthouses, I think you will be less than impressed with the lighthouse. Though it still is important in helping navigate the waters around this point. In itself, it is small in scale. There is a photo exhibit on the inside walls. You can walk up the spiral staircase that leads to the observation deck on the roof of the building, and there are some nice panoramic views of the surrounding area. There are "park rangers" there to welcome you and answer your questions.
More Than a Lighthouse
Though the lighthouse is interesting, the big attractions here are the incredible views from the limestone cliffs this lighthouse is built upon. We walked outside the fence of the lighthouse and there I was amazed at the beauty! Just be careful not to walk too close to the edge, since there is no guard rail and you can see where pieces of the cliff have broken off over time. We spent a lot of time here, just taking a million pictures from all the angles as we walked along the bluff. It is breathtakingly beautiful.
The other great thing about visiting this lighthouse is that you can see (and easily get to) a beautiful coved beach called La Playuela. A few hours on that beach was like a dream – the water there was warm, calm and it is just beautiful.
Getting to this lighthouse is part of the fun. You have to drive past the salt flats on Route 301, at which point the road changes from asphalt to packed dirt. It is about 7/10 of a mile of potholes and (at times) mud.
We parked at the first "parking-lot-looking" area and walked up the cement driveway to the lighthouse. There are other paths that eventually lead up to the lighthouse, if you are in the mood to do some walking/hiking on rock in the full sun. The parking is a considerable distance from the lighthouse — maybe ¼ mile. So wear a hat, bring water and mosquito repellent. Note 2014- they now have a trolley that will bring you from the parking area up to the lighthouse! It is free and runs every 10 mins or so from 9:45am – 4:20pm. And the lighthouse was newly refurbished in 2014.
Admission to the lighthouse is free. And they have bathrooms available.
The lighthouse is open Thursday- Tuesday (closed Wednesday) from 9:00am to 4:30pm. It gets very crowded on weekends, so road may be closed by rangers once it reaches capacity. But now there is a free trolley that will take you all the way up to the lighthouse!
You should allow an hour to see the lighthouse and walk around the grounds. Allow more time in the area if you want to visit nearby attractions like La Playuela Beach or the Salt Flats.
You can call 787-255-1560 for more information.
To get there, take Route 301 in the Cabo Rojo area all the way to the end.
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