Disappear into the vast expanse of the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge. This area of stunning natural beauty sits in southwestern Puerto Rico and stretches down onto the Morrillos Peninsula. Follow miles of walking trails, relax on sheltered beaches and meet the wildlife of this scenic Caribbean refuge.
The area was once private land owned by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service but became a wildlife refuge in 1974. Look to the skies to see the migratory birds that flock to this haven. About 40,000 migrating birds come here for warmth during the winter months.
Amble along over 12 miles (19 kilometers) of trails to see the different landscapes of the refuge. The paths cross through the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats, a series of red and blue lagoons on saline plains. Watch the ground and you might spot lizards, frogs and iguanas scurrying around in the undergrowth.
Head to some of the most attractive points in Cabo Rojo by exploring the refuge’s limestone coastline. On the southern tip of the Morrillos Peninsula you can see the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse, which was built in the late 19th century. Stop at the Puente Natural, a natural stone bridge that juts into the sea.
Relax on La Playuela, a naturally sheltered beach in a cove near the lighthouse. Fine golden sand and calm, crystalline waters create a classic Caribbean beach appearance.
Visit the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center to plan your trip into the refuge. Pick up maps and learn about the different sights you will see. The salt flats also host an interpretive center that highlights the importance of the refuge as a destination for migratory birds.
Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge is about 20 minutes away from downtown Cabo Rojo by car. The walking trails here are open between Monday and Saturday but may close in bad weather. Come at any time of year to enjoy the refuge, but visit in winter for the best bird-watching experience.