Beautiful and relatively undeveloped, Culebra island in Puerto Rico has tons of charms. Yet don’t expect luxury resorts as on Puerto Rico however a family can enjoy a comfortable, no-frills vacation here.
In the northwestern corner of the island lies Culebra’s most famous landmark: Flamenco Beach.
Flamenco is undeniably gorgeous, as a result it regularly appears on top-global-beaches lists. Its mile-long white crescent seems like it hugs a clear, calm bay. Only the concession and a small hotel interrupt the palm trees flanking the sand.
At Flamenco’s western end, two old tanks, relics of the military exercises, rest on the beach. Graffiti has turned these once-lethal hulks into surreal art installations, a colorful reminder of the island’s controversial past.
Cape Air offers four daily flights on smallplanes from San Juan, about 35 minutes one way, starting at $200 round-trip. A ferry from Fajardo, on the east coast of Puerto Rico, is $4.50 round-trip, with a taxi from San Juan to Fajardo costing about $80.
WHERE TO STAY
Club Seaborne is a clean, well-reviewed hotel with rooms and villas overlooking the bay, free daily breakfast plus kayaks and bicycles for guest use. Doubles from $169, 787-742-3169, clubseabourne.com.
Check out VRBO (vrbo.com) for a list of vacation rentals on Culebra.
WHERE TO EAT
Mamacita’s Restaurant and Bar, 66 Calle Castelar. Get a seat by the stream at twilight and watch tarpons swim in the water and bats hunt for mosquitoes. Entrees $15-$25. 787-742-0090, mamacitasguesthouse.com.
Dinghy Dock, Calle Fulladoza. A popular bar and restaurant on the dock where the water taxi comes and goes. Steaks, hamburgers and daily seafood specials, $12-$30. 787-742-0581
Zaco’s Tacos, 21 Calle Pedro Marquez. Tacos, burritos and more for less than $10. 787-742-0243, zacostacos.com.
WHAT TO DO
Culebra Snorkeling and Dive Center, Plaza del Mercado. Offers kayak rentals ($40/day) and because of the area, also paddle board rentals ($75/day), as well as tours and a retail shop that carries beach and snorkeling gear. 787-435-3662,culebrasnorkelingcenter.com.
Culebra Divers, Calle Pedro Marquez #4. The dive shop across from the ferry terminal offers snorkeling trips (from $60), scuba trips (from $85) and scuba classes. 787-742-0803,culebradivers.com.
- Known as the “Spanish Virgin Islands”, Culebra & Vieques are the most exotic places in the Caribbean. Both Culebra and Vieques share spectacular sunrises and sunsets; crystal clear water beaches and both are considered hidden natural treasures. These Islands however share a history of being used by the United…