Cape Rachado, also known as Tanjung Tuan, is an 80-hectare nature reserve 18km south from Port Dickson town. This hilly cape is a gazetted wildlife sanctuary that features a historical lighthouse on its summit, picturesque bays and a fantastic viewpoint of PD's coastline at Bukit Batu Putih. Administered by the state of Malacca, Cape Rachado is also a popular bird watching spot.
At the base of Cape Rachado sit two poular tourist beachside destinations; Blue Lagoon and Pantai Cermin, both situated directly opposite each other before the entrance. Sheltered from development, visitors can hike through jungle and scramble down hilly slopes to reach isolated beaches - each imbued with its own natural charisma and pristine scenery.
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 joggers. 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 Batu Putih, a viewpoint area that overlooks the PD coastline on a limestone outcrop. 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.