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Punta Guaniquilla Nature Reserve

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

In Punta Guaniquilla we find one of the most extraordinary places in all of Puerto Rico: a landscape of boulders in the middle of a lagoon, which could very well be taken as out-of-this-worldly. These rock formations are part of the southern karst belt, and date back to geological processes more than 11,000,000 years old, when Laja’s Sierra Bermeja was one more island of the Puerto Rican archipelago.

The main access to the area allows us to leave behind the usual noise of human beach activities, giving way to the delicate maritime-terrestrial ecosystems of this nature reserve. Dry forests and grasslands predominate, together with salt flats, mangroves and the imposing Laguna Guaniquilla, a lagoon that serves as an important refuge for migratory birds protected at both local and federal levels, and which visit the area every winter from such distant places as the Canadian Tundra.

Because of this, Punta Guaniquilla has also been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA), a classification given by BirdLife International to those areas that are crucial to the survival of endemic, native and visiting species. In fact, fifteen of all seventeen endemic species of Puerto Rico are found here.

Additionally, its ecosystems provide habitat to numerous species of flora and fauna that are rare or currently either in critical conservation status or endangered. For all these reasons, Punta Guaniquilla represents a fragile natural treasure to all Puerto Ricans. Help us keep it in good condition.

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