Culebra, Puerto Rico
Culebra is a popular weekend tourist destination. Culebra, Puerto
Rico (Snake Island) an island located approximately 18 miles (28 km) east of the Puerto Rico
mainland. The island is also known as Isla Chiquita (Little Island) and Última Virgen (Last Virgin). Locals to the island are called Culebrenses and there are
about three thousands residing in Culebra, Puerto Rico.
Originally called Isla Pasaje and Isla de San Ildefonso, Culebra is an
archipelago consisting of the main island and 23 smaller islands that lie around its coast. The largest
of these cays is Culebrita to the east.
The islands in the archipelago are arid, meaning they have no rivers or streams. All of the
fresh water is brought from Puerto Rico via Vieques.
Culebra is approximately 7 by 5 miles (11 by 8 km). The coast is marked by cliffs, sandy coral
beaches and mangrove forests. Inland, the tallest point on the island is Mount Resaca, with an elevation of 650 feet (198 m).
Ensenada Honda is the largest harbor on the island and is considered to be the most hurricane
secure harbor in the Caribbean.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Culebra Archipelago became the
primary gunnery and bombing practice site for the U.S. Navy and continued to be used for these purposes until 1975
when the people of Culebra protested for the removal of the U.S. Navy from the island.
The quiet, unspoiled island has little to offer in nightlife, except for a quiet, safe walk in
the moonlight at the beach or the occasional sound of guitar music from one of her few night spots. The
temperature in Culebra, Puerto Rico is in the 70 to 90 degree range year round.
Culebra Island has more tourists than Vieques Island and is more expensive. The first on your 'TO DO' list is the
Culebra beaches, which are amongst the finest in the world. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, sailing and camping are
The most popular beach is Flamenco Beach (Playa Flamenco), which can be reached by shuttle buses
from the ferry. The beach extends for a mile of white coral sand and is framed beautifully by arid
tree-covered hills. The beach is also protected by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources as a
Marine Wildlife Reserve.
Flamenco Beach is ranked #2 in the world, I have never seem a more
beautiful beach, white sands, clear crystal blue waters.. it is breathtaking! Flamenco Beach even has a small
restaurant and a few food kiosks, if you forgot your lunch or beverage but it's always a good idea to bring water
The snorkeling and scuba diving around Culebra are an impressive enchantment with hard and soft
corals in the shallows and magnificent reefs surrounding the island. The depths rarely exceed one hundred feet. For
the really good snorkeling the west and south side of Culebra is where it’s at.
Carlos Rosario Beach is one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. It is part
of the Cayo Luis Pena Natural Reserve and is known as an excellent snorkeling spot because of its clear and
calm waters. A barrier reef protects this beach, which is also shaded by mangrove trees.
But if true seclusion is what you are seeking, the remote beach of Playa Resaca
should be selected. The trek is a little cumbersome, but the beautiful scenery and wildlife are definitely worth
the effort. The hike to the beach is probably the most difficult of hikes on Culebra.
Some people surf here but swimming is NOT recommended. Resaca beach
is not protected by any reefs and the water can be very rough and dangerous undertows are always present. It is one
of the beaches monitored by the Fish and Wildlife Service for the turtle program and should be contacted if
you plan to go down to the beach.
Culebra National Wildlife Refuge is known for it’s wonderful birding, and many
renowned ornithologists have done research in the Refuge. Culebra also serves as nesting areas for
leatherback and hawksbill sea turtle species. Culebra's mangroves form a unique protective barrier
and habitat for the island and is vital for coastal wildlife.
Visitors to the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge should first check on current access regulations and any
special permitting required at the Culebra Refuge office located at Lower Camp on the far side of the bay. Pay attention to signage, stay out of prohibited areas,
and stay on existing roads and trails.
Camping is available at Flamenco Beach on the north shore. Culebra Campgrounds are
government-run and for reservations contact: Autoridad de Conservación y Desarrollo de Culebra, Attn: Playa
Flamenco, Apartado 217, Culebra, PR 00775. No campfires are permitted in the Refuge.
The sun can be brutal especially in summer times. It is highly recommended you bring sun
protection for your skin. After a relaxing day on the beach, stroll through town and visit Culebra's gift shops,
where local artisans display their wares!
There are basically two ways of travelling to Culebra. You can either take an
airplane or take the passenger boat available twice a day. Flying to Culebra is usually the most hassle free
option, and in 35 minutes you can get from San Juan to Culebra.
Taking the boat from Fajardo is less expensive but if you
are flying in from abroad and want to take the passenger boat to Culebra to check-in that same
day, you would need to land into San Juan not later than 12 Noon.
This would normally allow sufficient time to get your luggage and then the taxi to the Fajardo ferry dock.
Where to Stay
The twelve rental apartments at Tamarindo Estates are situated in the exclusive Tamarindo Beach neighborhood, away from the
typical noises of town and its environs. At Tamarindo you will more likely hear the sounds of birds and
Mamacitas Guesthouse, restaurant, bar and gift shop located on the Island of Culebra in the
Caribbean. If you're looking for a great place to eat, stay, or just meet others, Mamacitas is a must for your
list of places to visit. Our warm, friendly staff is ready to welcome you to a year round warm, friendly place
with lots of great people.
Harbour View Villas - Our Villas boast the most magnificent views! We overlook the
Harbour of the town of Culebra and the striking Vieques Sound. We are within walking distance to both the town
and beautiful Melones Beach and its reef.
Many other rental houses and condos are available within the island at Puerto Rico Vacations Rentals.
Other Points of Interest
Las Vacas Beach
Punta Soldado Beach
Festivals and Events
Windsurfing Competition - February
Fishing Tournament - March
Patron Festivities - June
Craft Festivities - November
Map Puerto Rico provides most of
Culebra, Puerto Rico information as accurate as possible
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