Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🍔 ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
👪 The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 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. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
👪 The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. 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.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.
📄 ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

Salt Flats & Wildlife Refuge in Cabo Rojo

Cabo Rojo Salt Flats

2021- The rising sea level is invading the salt flats- they are being destroyed. Environmentalists are working to try to reduce the destruction, but sand and water is quickly taking over. I hope they can do something to protect this beautiful area.

While the name salt flats doesn’t conjure images of a natural area, it is actually a pretty neat place. The salt flats are part of a larger wildlife refuge set aside in Cabo Rojo. There is an observation tower that over looks the salt mining operation and an interpretative center for information about the area.

As it turns out, indigenous people have been mining salt in this area for over a thousand years before the Spanish came to Puerto Rico. Salt was (and still is) a valuable commodity, so it continues to be mined in this area.

A Visit to the Salt Flats

Our first stop was at the Interpretive Center. Officially called the Centro Interpretativo de las Salinas de Cabo Rojo (CISCR), it is run by local volunteers (from Caborrojenos Pro Salud y Ambiente, Inc.) who really know the area and the salt-mining process. There are all sorts of information posters, pictures and displays in this center. The bilingual guide told us the process of salt mining.

Cabo Rojo Salt Flats

It seems the water in this area is very salty. So, using the same pits that have been used for generations, they flood the pits, and then let the wind and sun evaporate the water. This leaves very salty water behind. Salt crystals form and fall to the bottom of the pit. Once there is enough salt built up, they drain the pits of water and then scrape and scoop the salt crystals out using heavy machinery. They put the salt in large piles (which you can see in the photos). The salt is used for non-food purposes, like swimming pools, ice melting and soil amendments. Supposedly, there is a video about it in the info center, but we didn’t get a chance to see it.

After visiting the information center, we went across the street and into the observation tower to watch since they were mining the salt that day. It was a great view up there.

The Wildlife Refuge

The US Fish & Wildlife Service maintains over 1800 acres in Cabo Rojo as a National Wildlife Refuge and the salt flats have been incorporated into it. There are walking & bike trails all around in this area. This refuge is a Mecca for bird watching.

Cabo Rojo Salt Flats

The trails range in length from about 1 to 2 miles, and start right behind the interpretive center. There is a nice loop trail very close to the building that has a lot of informational signs along the way, so one can learn about the nature and wildlife of the area. Or for a fee, they offer interpretive guides that will go on the walks with you, but you need to make a reservation for this.

The wildlife refuge has many ecosystems in it — from dry forests, lagoons ranging from hyper-saline to regular marine, mangrove forests, sea grass and coral reefs. So there is a large variety of different areas, to see different animals and plants that call these areas home. One of the trails is a butterfly trail where you can see among other things … butterflies! There are also bike trails.

Even if you are not their on a day the tower or center is open, you can always visit the actual salt flats (except when they are actively working). Just drive down 301 a little more and you will see the pink pools on your left. When you see a gate, park off the road and walk in. Stay on the paths, it can be muddy! And don’t touch the pink water.

After one is done with the salt flats and the wildlife refuge, you might want to visit the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse or La Playuela Beach, which are both just a little farther down Road 301.

Details

The interpretive center is free. They have a donation box to help offset costs, as well as a small gift shop. Trail tours (by reservation) are $6 per adult, $4 for seniors and kids. You can walk them on your own for free.

The interpretive center and observation tower are open Friday to Sunday from 8:30am until 4:30pm.

Bring bug spray and drinking water. Wear closed toe shoes, sun screen, hat and sunglasses. It is hot there!

Allow 30-60 minutes for the interpretive center and for viewing the salt mining. Allow more time if you intend to use any of the trails in the wildlife refuge. These trails can be a bird lovers paradise.

You can call 787-851-2999 for more information.

There is a composting restroom available.

The salt flats are located at Road 301 Km 11 in Cabo Rojo.

Click on a placename 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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