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La Playuela may get the award of most scenic beach location on the island, but Playa El Combate is at the top of the list for clearest water, best island vibe scene, and most seclusion on non-summer weekdays. Sunsets are an everyday wonder at Combate Beach. Colors of the water range from deep blue at the horizon, light turquoise to clear glass swimming areas.
Playa Combate has two very distinct sides: the north side is charming with simple colorful homes along the shore, fishermen boats, docks, and beach facilities. The south side of Combate is the most beautiful, with many dreamy spots, more secluded, and clearer water. Playa Combate is managed by Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (Deparment of Natural & Environmental Resources). Combate Beach is part of Bosque Estatal de Boqueron (Boqueron State Forest).
You can experience the island life in Combate, a full day of swimming, hiking, relaxing, and dining. If you don’t like to spend all day at the beach, then head over to Los Morrillos Lighthouse in the afternoon.
We’ll start off with the south side of Combate…a wonderful beach to take a long walk and find a quiet heavenly spot… Most beachgoers tend to stay on the other side and near Annie’s Place Restaurant for convenience, if you love seclusion and nature, head south. The water gets shallower and clearer with interesting things to see along the way.
As you walk down, you’ll be tempted to stop, sit down under a tree and simply take in the beauty and peace. As you can see, the shades of blue are postcard-perfect, contrasting with light golden sand and green flora.
The water is warm, clear, and calm. The sand is very flat along the shore, making it easy to take a long stroll down the beach.
On the way, you’ll pass the ruins of an old pier…a great photo stop.
You could head inland to walk the dirt trail, you’ll have a chance to get back towards the water…with various beautiful entries along the way…
If you were to stay along the nature trail parallel to the beach, you’ll get to the Salt Flats, an interesting sight to see. The contrasting colors of a blue sky, lush green flora, pink waters, and snow-white salt piled are a wonderful sight. Please refrain from taking salt, or stepping on the salt flats to protect them and keep you safe.
If you stay on the trail you’ll get to Keep Punta Aguila, more beautiful sights to see, and a dreamy beach spot, you’ll most likely have to yourself.
The north side of Combate is a completely different landscape. There are colorful island-style homes along the coast. Some of these homes are used as vacation homes and many are rented to tourists and visitors from other towns around the island. Accommodations are simple but fully equipped, great for families on a budget who plan on spending most of their time exploring Cabo Rojo and Porta del Sol.
The beach is wide, there are plenty of trash cans, please use them. This side has a more festive vibe, locals bring food, tables for playing dominoes, set up beach volleyball nets, and have music playing.
The north side of Playa Combate is home to the boats of local fishermen, the colors adorn the turquoise waters….
One of the most popular photo ops at Combate is jumping from the pier, just about every local living in the town of Cabo Rojo has jumped from this pier. The pier is a great spot for watching the sunset and late afternoon fishing.
Facilities and Facts to know
Dining: There are various restaurants along Playa Combate, one of the reasons this beach is so appealing. Some restaurants are simpler appealing more to locals for their non-touristy prices yet great food. Then there’s Annie’s Place, perhaps the most popular place to eat in Combate, a nice restaurant over the water, open-air appealing more to tourists, service can be slow when it is really busy.
Cleanliness: Combate is a public beach, it is not regularly cleaned like Boqueron Beach so facilities may not be up to standards for tourists. The southern end of Combate is cleaner because it gets fewer crowds and the area is more protected since it is part of a nature reserve.
Crowds: The crowd here is mostly families and very popular among teenagers with a party drinking scene on weekends. If you prefer fewer crowds and a quiet ambiance, walk to the south end.
- Picnic Gazebos
- Trees providing shade, get here early on weekends to get one.
- Free Parking
- Close by mini markets and local eateries
- Free Entrance
- Restrooms (unfortunately poorly maintained at times) – Bring toilet paper, wipes, and anti-bacterial lotion just in case.