The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide to the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse Ruins in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Punta Borinquen lighthouse aguadilla

Aguadilla is a municipality located on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico. It is surrounded by Isabela, Aguada, and Moca. Also, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Since it is a coastal municipality, Aguadilla, has a history with lighthouses since the Spanish colonial era. Nowadays, the ruins from Punta Borinquen Lighthouse are a popular tourist destination.

Punta Borinquen Lighthouse Ruins in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Finding the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse destination

Aguadilla is located at a 3-hour drive from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Therefore, if you are staying in San Juan or some other near municipality, you might want to start your trip to the west early in the day. This way, you can also make some stops on the way to visit popular places. For example, you can skydive in Arecibo or take a stroll on a boardwalk in Isabela.

However, depending on your taste for exterior activities, you could spend a whole day between the ruins and their surroundings. So, if you don’t feel like stopping, don’t worry. There is a lot to see in Punta Borinquen and Aguadilla.

Since the ruins and the attractions around are on the exterior, make sure to wear:

  • a comfortable pair of sneakers
  • sporty – casual clothes
  • caps or hats
  • sunglasses
  • sunblock
  • mosquito repellent

Also, make sure to bring enough water and some snacks if you get hungry often.

As with many other public touristic destinations, you can access the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse ruins for free. It is open all day. Yet, for general safety, visit during daylight hours.

Once you exit the main street, you will have to go through the Punta Borinquen Golf Club field. Don’t worry, just follow the signs with a lighthouse on them. Not long after, you will get into a road that’s mostly sand and rocks. If you have a low-level car, you will want to take it easy.

All along the way, there will be signs guiding you in the right direction. Besides, you’ll see frequent traffic too. You’ll know when you’ve arrived because you’ll see the ruins ahead. Once you’re there you can park your car parallel to the main road at your preferred spot. However, see that you don’t obstruct it. As a safety measure, don’t let valuable objects be visible. Also, lock your doors after leaving the car.

How to start your hike to the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse Ruins

After you get to the ruins, you’ll notice there are other attractions around. Therefore, you must choose how you’ll start your visit. Most people start by going to the lighthouse ruins first. After you make this first stop, you can read the map in front of the ruins to follow the trails to the other attractions.

The Punta Borinquen Lighthouse Ruins

History

The original Punta Borinquen Lighthouse was built in 1889. It was also known as La Ponderosa. During that time, Puerto Rico was still under the ruling of the Spanish government. The lighthouse, along with others lighthouses built by the Spanish government, was meant to light the coasts of Puerto Rico. They were important and helpful for guiding the Atlantic and Caribbean sea traffic. During those times, Puerto Rico was a strategic location for ships that transited from Europe to the American continent.

Punta Borinquen Lighthouse, 1989, Library of Congress

In 1918, an earthquake damaged severely the structure and it was abandoned. As a result, a new lighthouse was built close by on the higher ground. This other lighthouse remains up until today. However, it is located inside a military base and it is only visible from afar.

Appearance

According to the author José A. Mari Mut, the lighthouse was designed by Enrique Gadea and built by Pedro Tolosa. The original building was red and white. Moreover, the tower was located in the middle of the building and it was 45 feet high.

Photocopy of measured drawing, ca. 1888; FLOOR PLAN OF ORIGINAL LIGHTHOUSE, Library of Congress

Nowadays, only a few remains of the original Punta Borinquen Lighthouse are visible. However, you can still see the stairs, the main entrance, and some window openings. Only two from the four walls of the rectangular structure stand. There is no roof either. In addition, the rocks and bricks from the original walls are exposed. Yet, you can find traces of the red and white colors that made the building striking more than a century ago.

Punta Borinquen lighthouse aguadilla

The Spanish Well

After you finish admiring the lighthouse ruins, you have other sites to see. One of them is the Spanish water well. Same as with the ruins, this water well dates back to the time Puerto Rico was a colony of the Spanish empire.

Punta Borinquen lighthouse aguadilla

To find it, you will have to follow the signs and the trail into a little forest. It is a 15 minutes walk from the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse ruins to the water well. However, make sure to watch out for the possible traffic of ATVs. Sometimes, ATV runners use the same trails that lead you to the water well.

Las Ruinas Airsoft Field in Punta Borinquen

Another attraction you will notice as soon as you arrive will be a big building with the flag of Puerto Rico on it. This building is used as an airsoft field. So, it is possible that when you visit, you see people practicing inside it.

However, don’t miss the opportunity to take a picture with Puerto Rico’s flag behind you.

Punta Borinquen lighthouse aguadilla

The ATVs

As I mentioned before, you’ll probably see people using ATVs around the ruins. This is because the field in front of the ruins has trails prepared for this kind of activity. If you are an ATV lover, this is the perfect spot to run your ATV. If not, you should be careful as you walk around.

The View

You shouldn’t leave the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse ruins without taking a good look at the view. As you walk by the airsoft field, you’ll find a wooden table where you can take a break. If you brought snacks this is the perfect spot to eat them. Meanwhile, enjoy the view of the beach. Yet, as tempting as it may seem to take a dip, be aware of the fact that it is not for swimmers. On the other hand, this beach is a popular spot for surfers.

Punta Borinquen lighthouse aguadilla

The bridge

Punta Borinquen lighthouse aguadilla

If you continue to walk uphill, you will notice a red wooden bridge. This breathtaking viewpoint will make a great spot for taking your IG photos. However, make sure to follow the instructions and warnings about the use of the bridge.

Punta Borinquen lighthouse aguadilla

Leaving the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse

You could spend a whole day in the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse ruins and their surroundings. If you are a surfer or an ATV runner, you’ll probably spend more time than those who go sightseeing. However, it is advisable that you leave before it gets dark.

Visiting the ruins is a great activity you can do absolutely free. If it is your first visit to Aguadilla, this is a stop you must do. If you’ve been here before but haven’t visited recently, then you should visit again. Rescate de Playas Borinquen restored and cleaned the surroundings not long ago for a more joyful experience.

If after visiting, you feel like you need to take a dip in the beach, you can visit Crash Boat beach in Aguadilla. If you’re hungry, swing by Aguadilla’s Foodtruck Park and eat something yummy.

Finally, if you are returning back home, play some good music on the radio and enjoy the ride.

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