Puerto Rico > Puerto Rico Beaches > Playa Sucia / La Playuela
Located on the most scenic location of the main island of Puerto Rico.
Travelers from around the world also agree that Playa Sucia is indeed a special beach, this piece of paradise has been voted as one of the Top 25 Beaches in the Caribbean in 2014, 2015 & 2016. We are proud to have sent many travelers to this spot when we included it in our best beaches list before any other travel guide did. Come to La Playuela Beach / Playa Sucia, spend lazy days on the sand or be adventurous exploring all the surrounding natural attractions and hidden treasures. No oceanfront hotels or services here, the naturally dramatic landscape is what makes this place so special.
Top Rated Tours to Cabo Rojo & Southwest Coast
La Playuela, commonly known as Playa Sucia, is a true Caribbean all-inclusive beach for nature lovers, located on the amazing beach town of Cabo Rojo. Dramatic scenery, gorgeous watercolors, natural bridges, unmatched Caribbean views, sights of the most attractive lighthouse on the island, hidden caves, private beach coves to explore, dramatic limestone cliffs, bird watching, and hiking scenic trails await on this spectacular location.
If you happen to see La Playuela for the first time from the top of the lighthouse, it will surely be love at first sight. Your heart will pound with excitement to get down and jump on its waters. As you walk down the hiking trail under the hot sun, you arrive at this magical spot with turquoise waters inviting you to jump in and refresh.
The magical sunshine rays of the Puerto Rican sun gives frequent visitors different colors to enjoy each time. As you go through the photos, you will notice the water ranging from light turquoise to emerald green to gorgeous cerulean tones. The sand changes from sparking white to tones of pink depending on the time of the day and the light of the sky. Over time, the green kelp turns to brown, then dries soft black, which then simply disappears into the white sand.
Lie under the sun for the perfect tan or get here early to grab a shaded spot under a tree. Most of the shady spots are towards the middle of the beach, but you’ll find a few more scattered around the beach. If you plan on coming on a busy summer day, be sure to bring an umbrella if prefer to have some breaks from the sun.
Playa Sucia is a great beach for bathing and playing but after you’re in the water waist-high (adult), the waves can pull you out further very quickly. The surf is playful and depending on the weather the waves can get a bit demanding, you need to be a good swimmer to be on the deeper waters. There are no lifeguards on this beach, you swim at your own risk, supervise your children at all times. The waters are calmest in the summer months, it’s a fun beach to play with a bodyboard. There are some shallow spots for smaller children at both ends of the beach.
If you love the sound of the surf, this is a wonderful beach to sit down on your lounge chair with your favorite book as the melody of the ocean breeze relaxes your spirit.
Bring your walking shoes. This spot is the most scenic location on the entire island of Puerto Rico. A short 10-minute hike will take you to Faro Los Morrillos, the most visited lighthouse on the island, where you’ll be wowed with breathtaking 360-degree views of the Caribbean Sea.
Walking west on the hiking trails around the lighthouse facing the ocean, enjoy the sights of limestone cliffs with hidden caves and natural bridges, the views are spectacular.
What’s up with the name? – The Never-Ending Argument, let’s put it to rest
The current and unending argument is its name, some locals call it La Playuela and some Playa Sucia. Sucia translates to dirty, but don’t let the name of this beach deter you from visiting. The waters are clean, with gorgeous blending tones of turquoise, emerald greens to deep navy blues. The sand is light and white, at times, especially around the full moon, seagrass covers the shores but within a few weeks, it gets cleaned or the seagrass turns into sand. Those that have loved this beach for decades wish the name would actually keep people from coming so it stays pristine and quiet.
To put this argument to rest… locals born and raised in Cabo Rojo called it that way for decades, out of respect to them, we will continue to also call it Playa Sucia. Some people say that those that call it Playa Sucia confuse it with Bahia Sucia (Dirty Bay named after all the ocean trash and debris that the current brings to shore), a bay located just behind this beach, but this is not true, there is no confusion. For decades locals simply gave it that name because there were no signs or maps with a name, so they named it Playa Sucia for being located next to Bahia Sucia.
There’s one thing that locals and seasoned Puerto Rico travelers can agree with, Playa Sucia / La Playuela is beautiful, unique, and unarguably located on the most breathtaking spot on the main island of Puerto Rico.
Dear locals: Stop arguing about the name; the name is not hurting anything. What actually hurts this beach and should be a topic of discussion is the trash that some people decide to leave at the beach… So please, take the trash with you so it doesn’t truly become “Sucia” (Dirty).
Visiting TipsLa Playuela / Playa Sucia - Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
- On the way to La Playuela / Playa Sucia, be sure to stop by the observatory tower where you can enjoy scenic views of the Las Salinas (The Salt Flats), mountains, & the Caribbean Sea.
- Food: Bring a cooler with enough drinks and food for your visit. During high season, weekends and holidays, there’s a lady that comes around the beach selling ice cream. On your way to the beach, you’ll pass Bahia Salinas Hotel where you can stop for lunch or dinner.
- Facilities: There are no restroom facilities at the beach, be sure to stop at the Salt Flats office where they have public restrooms.
- Make sure you have a spare tire just in case.
- If you want to avoid crowds, get here during the weekdays in the winter months when local families have school. On the weekends and holiday weekends, La Playuela can get pretty full, be sure to bring your own umbrella, most shaded spots will be taken.