If you’re driving south from Cabo Rojo to the southwest corner of Puerto Rico, also known as Cabo Rojo, which is a bit odd, be on the lookout for the tree fort to end all tree forts. I’m just sure that you, as you read this, are surely on the verge of driving this route, so I’m glad I can offer this great advice at such a timely juncture in your life. Hey man, it’s what I do.
It’s easy to spot, being conveniently located just across the street from the area’s tourist information office. The office is connected to what looks like a half-baked mechanic’s shop, and the signage isn’t very good, but luckily, the flat landscape has this 40-foot tall lookout point across from it, so if you can’t spot it, you may be wearing blinders. I know I was, at least metaphorically, but I had the fortunate grace of a chauffeur to point it out, pull over and force my gaze upward and outward.
And it really is the tree fort to end all tree forts, because it’s not built “in” a tree, so much as “out of” trees. Can’t even guess where the lumber came from, because it’s made of big, straight wood, the likes of which the island’s trees are unlikely to provide. It works for me though. I’m all about exploration and climbing the stairs to see the sites was just what I felt like doing once I saw it.
Cabo Rojo is an interesting place. It’s been a site of many battles over the lucrative salt flats, still in use today (as evidenced by huge mounds of sand and free samples of the salt at the tourist center), but it’s a better view than that still.
The water in the inland flats is in hues of brilliant blue and green from the satu-salty waters, and red from the rich iron in the hills, with pure white sand at the edge. I’m a connoisseur of Kool-Aid, so it shouldn’t surprise me that water can come in so many colors, but I don’t drink seawater, so it was still a bit different.
Once you’ve ascended the stairs, you can enjoy the view, or look out through a no-cost tourist-style binocular thingy (the sort that normally costs a quarter or two for a few minutes of looking around). Of course, there isn’t much to see you can’t see with the naked eye, but it’s a nice bonus just the same.
What you can see is the Cabo Rojo lighthouse in the not-too-distant distance and that’s an attraction all it’s own… as such, I’ll cover it all on its own in a later article, but it’s a worthwhile destination all by itself.