El Centro Interpretativo de las Salinas de Cabo Rojo “Efrén Pérez Rivera” – CISCR
The Salt Flats in Cabo Rojo is one of the most under appreciated natural treasures in Puerto Rico. This is a beautiful place with high educational value for all ages. Las Salinas is an excellent eco attraction and one of the most scenic stops on the west coast of Puerto Rico to admire nature. The Salt Flats became a part of the Cabo Rojo Wildlife Refuge in 1999, thanks to the efforts of community agencies in order to help protect and conserve them. The Salt Flats are comprised of 1,249 acres. Nearby attractions of Los Morrillos Lighthouse and La Playuela Beach (Playa Sucia) gets most of the attention, be sure to make a stop at Las Salinas before heading there.
On this nature reserve you can observe 6 ecological systems equally necessary for the protection and conservation of the Salt Flats. They eco systems are: subtropical dry forest, Hypersaline Lagoons and Salt Marshes, Seagrass, Marine Lagoons, Coral Reefs and Mangroves.
At the hypersaline lagoons, there’s a greater concentration of salt. The lagoons were modified for the production of salt. Water from the Sea is controlled, then it’s evaporated for the extraction of salt. Brine shrimp is abundant on the salt flats, they help with the production of salt and they are one of the factors for the reddish color of the flats.
Please do not step or climb the salt mounds. Thank you!
Activities at Salt Flats in Cabo Rojo
- Bird Watching / Birding – If you love bird watching, this is one place in Puerto Rico you can’t miss. The Salt Flats are considered the most important stop over for for migratory shorebirds in the Caribbean. Studies have shown that this location has the highest number and the most diversity of birds in the Caribbean. About 40,000 migrating birds from North and South America head to the Salt Flats for winter. During the entire year, you can also watch a variety of endemic birds. The saline lagoons and mangrove swamps offer crabs and shrimp as food for birds.
- Hiking – Enjoy walking the nature trails where you can closely observe the flora, fauna and ecosystems.
- Observation Tower – Bring your camera, the views from the observation tower are beautiful. From the top you can observe the flora, mountains, the colors of the Salt Flats, the Caribbean Sea, and Los Morrillos Lighthouse.
If you look closely, the salt flats look like abstract works of art. If you’re into nature photography, this is one place you don’t want to miss. The colors of the salt flats are never the same, they vary with the sunlight, the amount of water, salt and organisms in the water.
Visitor’s Center – El Centro Interpretativo de las Salinas de Cabo Rojo “Efrén Pérez Rivera” – CISCR
Be sure to stop by the visitor’s center right across from the observation tower. Here you can speak to friendly volunteers that will provide you with great information and knowledge about the Salt Flats. The center is administered by Comité Caborrojeños Pro-Salud y Ambiente (C.P.S.A.), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Salt Flats and educating the public.
The center offers:
- Interpretive exhibitions and documentaries.
- Small gift shop
- Donations are appreciated.
- Interpretative tours – “To better serve our visitors and ensure an unforgettable day we recommend that you make your reservation in advance to avoid disappointment. In the same way you can coordinate the time, the number of people and the cost if they decide to make the journey through the interpretive route. In this way will have a pleasant and hassle-free visit.” For reservations and more information please visit their website: CISCR
Cool Historical Facts
- The oldest rocks on the island were found here, dating back to 195 million years.
- This area used to be part of the neighbouring town of Lajas when it was submerged under water.
- The operation of extracting salt on this site began with the Taino Indians back in 700 AD
Photo Gallery of Las Salinas, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Map & Directions to Las Salinas, Cabo Rojo, PR
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Sources: UPR, Cabo Rojo Wildlife Refuge
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