Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 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 18 Apr 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR 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 08 Mar 2022)
📄 The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
• The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ 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.

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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