Cabo Rojo (KAH-bo, ro-ho) located on the Western Costal Valley. Bordering the Caribbean Sea; and the Mona Passage, south of Mayagüez and Hormigueros; and east of Hormigueros, San Germán and Lajas spread over 18 wards and Cabo Rojo Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city).
It is said that Cabo Rojo obtained its name from the considerable amount of minerals found in its coasts that made the waters look reddish. Cabo is the Spanish word for tip and analogous to the English word Cape in this context. The word rojo, translates to red. According to legend, the name was given by Christopher Columbus himself, although this is highly unlikely. The first church, founded in 1783, was called San José. The present-day main catholic church is called San Miguel Arcángel located in the town's square.
People from Combate are known as mata con hacha ("those who kill with axes") based on an old folk tale about a fight over the Salinas where those from Cabo Rojo fought with axes against people from the adjacent town of Lajas. The latter apparently fought back by throwing stones and are thus known as tira piedras ("those who throw stones").
Cabo Rojo was founded on December 17, 1771 by Nicolás Ramírez de Arellano and Miguel de Muesas.
The flag contains elements of the coat of arms, excluding the sword, the anchors and the crown.
Coat of Arms
The point or red triangle symbolizes the "cabo bermejo" (cape bermejo) in Los Morillos. The blue and white, with the anchors, represent the sea that bathes our coasts. The flaming sword, is an attribute to San Miguel de Arcángel, patron of the town. Finally, the crown, which heightens and distinguishes the shield, stands for the status of municipality.
- Cabo Rojo Pueblo
- Llanos Costa
By Mildred Arroyo
Hoy estoy triste por la distancia
que me separa de mi dulce patria,
y de un pueblito donde mi
padre y mi madre me esperan
Mi Cabo Rojo pueblo adorado,
jardín de flores te quiero yo
y en la distancia a ti te añoro,
por eso lloro en mi cantar.
Son tus palmeras flores divinas
y son tus playas, un manantial
Mi Cabo Rojo, me siento solo
por eso lloro en mi cantar
pero muy pronto besaré tu suelo
o desde el cielo te adoraré.
Its tourism industry has flourished with the development of hotels and marinas, but local and international environmentalists are concerned that this development will endanger Cabo Rojo's rich and beautiful beaches,sunsets and natural resources. Cabo Rojo is also well-known for its fishing, particularly the Puerto Real
fishing village, and its many seafood restaurants, most of which are found in the village of Joyuda
Landmarks and places of interest
The famous Cabo Rojo lighthouse, Los Morrillos Lighthouse
, known by locals as El Faro
, was built in 1881 over limestone cliffs that rise 200 feet above sea level. This old lighthouse was automated and electrically charged in 1967 and is considered to have some, if not the, most spectacular ocean views in Puerto Rico's West Coast. The lighthouse has undergone recent renovations, of which has created controversy because of the quality of work. According to locals and scholars, the internal structure was gutted leaving nothing of historical significance behind.
The lighthouse is located near the Salinas, or salt mines. These salt mines are reported to be the oldest industry in the New World. Salt has been mined in this site non-stop since the times of the Taínos. Near the Salinas, a local civic group Caborrojeños Pro Salud y Ambiente run a visitor's center known as the Centro Intepretativo Las Salinas De Cabo Rojo don Efrén Pérez Rivera. They offer free guided tours of the local area, which is rich in flora and fauna.
In 2006, Cabo Rojo was specifically chosen by the Latin Grammy-winning Puerto Rican group Calle 13 as the setting for their video "La Jirafa" because of its beautiful natural scenery.
- Boquerón Beach
- Cofresí Cave
- El Combate Beach
- Joyuda Beach
- Joyuda Lagoon
- Market Plaza
- Nautical Club
- Punta Arenas Beach
- Punta Real Beach
- Isla de Ratones
- Buye Beach
- The Lighthouse (El Faro) Beach
Festivals and events
- Pescao Festival - March
- Años Cuarenta Festival - April
- Chigüero Festival - April
- Betances Festival - April
- Oyster Festival - May
- Boquerón Bay Crossing - July
- Watermelon Festival - July
- Retorno a la Arena - July
- Patron Festivities - September
- La Pileta Festival - December
- Le Lo Lai Festival - December
Although Cabo Rojo lacks an airport
, it is approximately 11 miles from the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Airport
(MAZ), a commercial airport that serves direct flights to and from San Juan. Cabo Rojo has grown tremendously in the last few years as evidenced by its recent accreditation as a city
. Cabo Rojo nearest airport servicing international destinations is only 45 minutes away in the Aguadilla's Rafael Hernandez Airport
(BQN). This airport was part of the now deactivated Ramey Air Force Base.
Cabo Rojo had a BSN basketball
team, Los Turistas de Cabo Rojo
(the "Cabo Rojo Tourists") from 1989
Some "caborrojeños" who have distinguished themselves are: Eziah M. González Ramos
,Mildred Arroyo, Ramón Emeterio Betances
, Carlos Betances Ramírez
, Salvador Brau
, pirate Roberto Cofresí
, Rebekah Colberg
, Ramón López Irizarry
, Tommy Muñiz
and Bartolomé Javier Petrovich
Cabo Rojo's former mayor, Santos "El Negro" Ortiz, made history in 1988 by becoming the first public servant to be elected into office without being affiliated with one of Puerto Rico's major political parties.
Another of Cabo Rojo's former mayors, Santos Padilla, was affiliated with Puerto Rico's pro-statehood party. Puerto Rico's former (and first female Governor) Sila Calderon, a San Juan native, was a member of the pro-status-quo party. Both Padilla and Calderon are credited with Cabo Rojo's recent development and growth spurt.
Santos Padilla, Cabo Rojo's mayor, suffered a massive heart attack and died Aug 4, 2007.
Emiliano Mercado del Toro, who was for a time the world's oldest living man and oldest veteran, was born in Cabo Rojo on August 21, 1891.
Other notable "caborrojeño" is Mary Ann Acevedo, a singer and songwriter, participant of the reallity show Objetivo Fama.