La Playuela – A Picture-perfect Beach
1/23 I had heard the road leading here is closed to vehicles. You can park roadside and walk in, but be warned- it is a about a 1.25 mile, super hot walk!
The views from the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse are simply magnificent.If you look toward the north you will see 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. Of course you can always just drive to the end of the road to get to the beach!
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 since there are no services at beach) 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, and being a cove, it can get a lot of sargasso seaweed if the current pushes it in.
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. This beach does 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. Park only in designated areas, or you will get a ticket!
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. This dirt road can get full of huge pot hole/craters, so drive it slowly and carefully! You will eventually come to the parking for the lighthouse — at that point you want to take the road to the left. Park only in designated areas or you may get a ticket!
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