Cape Rachado

Port Dickson

Cape Rachado, also known as Tanjung Tuan to locals, is a nature attraction 18km south from Port Dickson town. The hilly cape is a gazetted forest reserve and wildlife sanctuary, with several hidden beaches, patches of mangrove swamps and a historical lighthouse at the summit. Administered by the state of Malacca, Cape Rachado is also a favourite bird watching spot, especially during the migratory season of raptors. While you can only camp here for an overnight stay, proper hotel accommodation can be found at its foothill, including Casa Rachado and PNB Ilham Resort; both a stone's throw away from the park entrance.

Cape Rachado is named after the Portuguese word for 'Broken Cape'. After conquering Malacca, the Portuguese colonial forces built a lighthouse at the peak in 1528, to guide friendly vessels to the port and keep an eye out for enemy ships. This historica lighthouse still stands here today, but with modern enhancements and adjoining radar transmitter that visitors can see. From the peak, visitors have an amazing view of the sea, along with lush forest scenery below and magnificent granite outcrops along the coast. An outline of neighbouring Sumatra can even be glimpsed on an exceptionally clear day. The seas here were also the site of an important naval engagement between Dutch and Portuguese forces in 1606, resulting in defeat for the latter.

The entrance to Cape Rachado starts after Blue Lagoon, next to Ilham Beach Resort. The paved road continues up to the lighthouse, but most will park outside as private vehicles are prohibited from entering. During the evening, this uphill road is frequented by locals who come to jog or walk briskly for exercise and recreation. From the lighthouse, visitors can access jungle trails that lead to hidden beaches, the most popular being the beach facing Pulau Intan island. Another popular trail leads to the mangrove areas near Pulau Masjid, which eventually loops back to the road. Keep an eye out for insects, mammals and birds as you trek through to the forest, as the area is fairly rich with wildlife. Entry to Cape Rachado during the day requires a small entrance fee at the gate.