There are approximately 15 lighthouses around the island of Puerto Rico, and 11 of them are still active. The oldest is the faro, or lighthouse, at Castillo de Morro in San Juan which was established in 1846, and most of the rest were established within the next 50 years. In 1981, all of the lighthouses were placed on the National Register of Historic Places, so many of them continued to be maintained for use and for tourism.
You will be traveling down 301 that will take you all the way to the lighthouse, but about 1.1 kilometers from the parking area, the road becomes a dirt road, and it is bumpy with a lot of potholes. Do not let that deter you, just take your time and look for the smoothest areas possible. Drive on either side of the road, it is what everyone does and visitors are always watching for other cars. While this may not be the most comfortable ride, you will still see some fascinating sights like the salt flats, and there is a lot of scrub forest and even cactus. If you’re a bird watcher, this path goes through the wildlife refuge, so keep your eyes peeled for interesting birds, and of course you will probably see an iguana or two.
Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes, particularly if you plan to do hiking beyond just walking up to the lighthouse. There is a paved path that is approximately .5 kilometers long stretching from the parking lot to the lighthouse, but there is also a free trolley that runs about every 10 minutes between the two. You should also bring water and bug spray, and a hat and sunscreen if you are going to walk around outside, and make sure you pack your beach bag if you want to enjoy the most beautiful bay in Puerto Rico.
Cabo Rojo Lighthouse was built in 1882 and was the second built by the Spaniards. Its lantern room was constructed of cast iron, copper and glass, and is still beautiful to this day. The lighthouse also had housing for the keeper and his family as he helped guide ships through Mona Passage. Today this is automated, but it is still the aid that ship captains use to safely sail this part of the Caribbean.
On the way to or from the lighthouse, you can tour the salt flats and learn about this interesting industry. Just before the dirt road as you go to the lighthouse there is an observation tower from which you can see for miles, or if you have binoculars or a spotting scope, do some bird watching. There are paths that lead down the cliff to Playa Sucia from the lighthouse, then walk along the beach around the bay to the other side and hike up the cliffs for another amazing view. There is also a natural stone bridge you can walk across, just be very careful.
Puerto Rico is an incredible place for a destination wedding, and there is no backdrop more beautiful than the view from the balcony of the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse. Contact them today to set up your special day.
Cabo Rojo Lighthouse is open Thursday-Tuesday, 9am-4pm (closed Wednesdays), but it is closer to 9:30 before you can actually get in and before the trolley starts running. Admission is free and the trolley is free too. For more information or if you have questions, call 787-255-1560, or check out their Facebook page.