Meet the Real Pirate of the Caribbean. Who Was Roberto Cofresí?

The Dominican Republic, pirates of the Caribbean, hidden treasures…. what if it turned out that this story was not just a figment of the imagination? To this day, Roberto Cofresí continues to inspire contemporary artists, appearing in their books or movies. He is one of the most famous Caribbean pirates who reigned over exotic seas and oceans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Our hotel owes its name to Cofresí Bay, which in turn – as you may have guessed – was named after the very pirate Cofresí. In today’s post, we invite you to learn more about the turbulent history of one of the Caribbean’s most famous pirates!

Entwined With the Sea

Roberto was born in June 1791 in the picturesque village of Cabo Rojo, located on the south-west coast of Puerto Rico. At the age of just four, the boy lost his mother, and after this event he was brought up by his aunt and his father, who was an important figure to him. From an early age, Roberto loved adventure – preferably complete with foamy waves. The sea was a haven to which he returned whenever he could. Researchers into the history of that region have described him as a strong, resolute child, with an unyielding character and extraordinary courage [1]. Cabo Rojo’s location made the town an important port center where contraband was not uncommon. Cofresí began his seafaring adventure as a sailor, but rather quickly decided to follow his destiny and tame the waves as a pirate. In the course of his ‚pirate career‘ he eluded Spanish, Danish, French and American ships, among others. Eventually, the local authorities organized international assistance to capture him – a trap was laid for Roberto and his crew, forcing them to fight. The corsair managed to escape from the ship and hide on shore, but the good fortune did not stay with him for long – Cofresí and most of the crew were executed shortly afterwards; this event took place in 1825.

The Figure of Cofresí in Folk Tales

There are many legends that were passed down orally from generation to generation long ago – among them, of course, the story of Roberto Cofresí could not be overlooked. According to one tale, the beginnings of his pirate future had already begun when he was a young boy. As a child, Roberto loved hiking, usually in the company of his beloved father, who was in the business of selling coffee to merchants arriving in Guánica. One day, the captain of one of the ships picked up his merchandise and, after failing to pay Roberto’s father, he crated his men, who beat him and tied him up before throwing him into one of the coastal boats. The event left its mark on the young boy, who swore revenge. Years passed and Roberto grew up with his father by his side, still with the memory of the incident from a few years before. One day, Roberto’s father passed away, leaving the twenty-one-year-old with deep sorrow. Yet, it also sparked a desire for revenge that had been growing for some time, now reaching tangible proportions. It wasn’t long before Roberto ordered a boat to be built – the sturdiest one possible – and then, when the new acquisition came into his hands, he held a feast in honour of the start of a new chapter in his life. The friends participating in the ceremony noticed that Roberto was exuding sadness, after which they began to ask him why he felt this way. Roberto told the audience a story that had happened to his father years ago, evoking a sense of solidarity. A few days later, the whole crew set out to sea with one specific purpose – to find the captain who had marked Roberto’s future a dozen years ago. Many days of sailing passed before a ship navigated by the man Roberto could not forget all those years ago flashed on the horizon. Cofresí avenged his father, then plundered the enemy ship and returned to the city to bury the treasure, which has still not been found. To the end of his life, Roberto Cofresí ruled the Caribbean waters, sowing fear among sailors who feared a clash with the legendary pirate and his crew.

Where Would the Pirate of Cofresí Spend the Night?

Cofresí Bay, the ideal place for lovers of maritime adventures, owes its name precisely to the pirate Cofresí. The bay is home to Cofresí beach, which is an ideal haven for those seeking relaxation, but also for lovers of water activities such as diving and snorkelling.

As you may have guessed, the name of our hotel was also inspired by this famous pirate.

We are sure that if Roberto were to choose the perfect place to relax after a long sea voyage, it would be Cofresi Hills Residence.

No wonder! Elegance combined with comfort, the highest standard of service and suites overlooking the ocean… and then there are several hideaways, perfect for locating treasure.

Whether you’re sailing the seas, enjoying a holiday or working remotely, the Cofresi Hills Residence hotel will give you the relaxation you crave at the highest level. Who knows, maybe as you watch the sunset, you will see a ship in the distance that is deceptively reminiscent of the sea mecca of a legendary pirate…

[1] This information is provided by, among others, Dr Ibern Fleytas, who has researched the history of Cabo Rojo.

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