Culebra One Of Puerto Rico Treasures
Culebra, a tranquil tropical island located 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo, is a perfect place for nature lovers and beachgoers. It boasts numerous natural areas and pristine beaches that invite you to explore and relax during your stay. The island is surrounded by over 20 cays and vibrant underwater landscapes, which make it an ideal destination for those interested in snorkelling or diving. Visitors can also mingle with locals and enjoy the peaceful environment, disconnecting from their busy lives.
To reach Culebra, you can take a small plane or boat from Fajardo, located on the east side of Puerto Rico. The island is about 10 square miles and has six districts or barrios. The marine life around the island is plentiful, and thus, it is an excellent place for underwater adventurers and casual beachgoers.
One of the top attractions in Culebra is Flamenco Beach, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand. It is considered one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico and a must-visit spot when visiting the island.
Come to Flamenco Beach
Culebra is famous for its exceptional beaches, with Flamenco Beach being one of the best beaches in the world, frequently appearing on top beach lists. The beach boasts soft white sand, contrasting beautifully with the green rolling hills in the backdrop. The calm waves of Flamenco Beach reflect different shades of blue, from crystal clear to soft turquoise and sometimes even emerald green, making it a sight to behold throughout the day. However, Culebra has other beaches worth visiting, such as Tamarindo and Carlos Rosario beaches, both accessible through Flamenco Beach and both deserving of a beach day on their own. Take advantage of the chance to capture some stunning photographs of the tanks at Flamenco Beach, which are some of the most captivating sights in Puerto Rico.
Snap a Selfie
The military tanks, rusted and covered in graffiti, located in the water at Flamenco Beach, are possibly more famous than the white sand and turquoise water. They are a remnant from Culebra's days as a naval base and have become one of the most iconic and photographed spots in Puerto Rico. Make sure to snap a selfie before leaving! Culebra is among the top destinations in Puerto Rico for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Snorkel Through the Reefs
Culebra is among the best places for snorkelling and scuba diving in the Caribbean. It boasts abundant coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests. Among the many beaches in Culebra, Flamenco Beach is a popular snorkelling spot. Taramindo and Carlos Rosario beaches are also great snorkelling sites, especially at the extremes of the beach. You can expect to see marine life such as remoras, bluetail fishes, angelfish, stingrays, and more.
Additionally, sea turtles are prevalent in the seagrass surrounding Culebra. Melones Beach is a great location to spot them, and it is located just 1.2 km from the ferry terminal and 2.3 km from Culebra's airport. If you're looking to explore further, there are several snorkel and scuba diving tour companies based in Fajardo, including Culebra Divers, Culebra Island Adventures, and East Island Excursions. It's worth noting that much of the island is a designated national wildlife refuge.
See The Wildlife
Culebra is an island with a long coastline and outlying islands. Over 20% of it is maintained by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1909 by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The refuge offers visitors the opportunity to explore a variety of ecosystems, including beaches, dry forests, mangroves, and seagrass beds. It also serves as a sanctuary for endangered sea turtles and is home to over 13 species and 50,000 birds, making it one of the largest seabird nesting areas in the Caribbean. To learn more about the refuge's location and features, check out the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website for maps and additional information. Lastly, nothing beats spending a day at sea when it comes to experiencing the Caribbean.
Why Not Island Hop?
Culebra is home to several small, peaceful islands that are just a short distance away from the mainland. The most popular is Isla Culebrita, part of the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge. This uninhabited island can be accessed by a water taxi, and the only human-made structure on the island is an old lighthouse. You can genuinely escape on this serene piece of paradise. The island boasts six small beaches, including Playa Tortuga, which is perfect for a relaxing day at the beach. It is also an excellent spot for snorkelling, with various marine life like turtles and manta rays.
You can get there by boarding a water taxi, which is just a short walk from the Culebra ferry terminal. Alternatively, you can join a tour, charter a boat, or even kayak if you are a strong paddler. To learn more about Culebra's ecology and history, visit the Museum of History.
Study The Culebra History
If you're looking for a break from the sun, head down to the former Naval munitions warehouse in downtown Culebra. This spot now houses an exhibit about the island's history, culture, ecology, and formation, as well as the endangered ecosystems and creatures protected on this small island.
You can explore sections of the Museo Histórico de Culebra that are dedicated to the military's presence and control over the island, as well as the Taínos' presence on the island, which is documented through ancient artefacts that provide evidence of their stay hundreds of years before the arrival of the Spaniards.