La Playuela – A Picture-perfect Beach
We were at the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse a couple weeks ago and the panoramic views observation platform on top of the lighthouse were simply magnificent.
As I spun around, soaking it all in, I turned toward the north … and there it was … a white crescent beach with bright blue water. I was surprised to see one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in Puerto Rico.
Once we saw it, we knew we had to get over to explore it. We asked the lighthouse ranger about the beach and, he said lovingly, "Oh – the jacuzzi? That is La Playuela". Luckily there are trails that lead right to the beach from the lighthouse.
Lunch On the Beach & A Quick Swim
When we got to La Playuela, there were only 3 other small groups of people on the beach, so we had our choice of spots to set-up. We chose a nice spot under a tree with a little shade. We spread out our beach blanket, had our picnic lunch (that we had packed at home) and then took a short swim. The water was warm and the calm, since the beach is in a large, protected crescent. The sand was white and fine. The water had seagrass/seaweed along the surf line toward the ends of the beach, but the bottom was clean and soft toward the middle of the beach.
The views from the beach are spectacular — the lighthouse on the cliff to the right and more cliffs to the left. The water isn’t crystal clear — it has fine sand particles in it, making it turbid. But it is so nice. And the water here has high salinity, so your skin feels so soft when you come out! I have read that sometimes there are waves at this beach, but the day we went it was almost flat.
There are trails all around the beach, so you can walk around and find more great views. But be aware — it is hot, sunny and the limestone rocks are sharp. So take water, sunscreen, a hat, and sturdy shoes.
This beach is a favorite for off-the-beaten path locals and tourists alike. I imagine that this beach could get pretty busy on weekends and during the summer, just because it is so pretty there. Some people and travel guides incorrectly refer to this beach as Playa Sucia, which the ranger said was further inland, on the Bahia Sucia, in the nature reserve.
Both this beach and parking are free.
The beach is open during daylight hours. Note- it can get very crowded on weekends. The rangers will close the road once capacity at the beach is reached. Get there early.
There are no services (restrooms, showers, food, etc.) at this beach. There are no lifeguards, swim at your own risk.
This is a remote beach. To get there, drive to the end of Route 301. You will eventually come to the parking for the lighthouse — at that point you want to take the road to the left. This road has huge pot hole/craters, so only drive as far as you feel comfortable then park and walk to the rest of the way to the beach. (Note 2013- they have leveled it out a bunch and made a parking area!).
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.
- La Playuela Beach: (17.936000, -67.188640)