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Zoni Beach, neasting place of sea turtles - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com
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18.317048, -65.281506

Puerto Rico - Culebra

Culebra is a popular weekend tourist destination for Mainland Puerto Ricans, Americans and residents of Vieques. Because of the 'arid' nature of the island there is no run-off from rivers or streams resulting in very clear waters around the archipelago.

Culebra has many beautiful beaches including 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.

Other beaches are only accessible by private car or boats. Of the smaller islands, only Culebrita and Luis Peña permit visitors and can be accessible via water taxis from Culebra. Hiking and nature photography are encouraged on the small islands. However, activities which would disturb the nature reserves are prohibited, e.g. Camping, Littering and Motor Vehicles. Camping, however, is allowed on Playa Flamenco throughout the year. Reservations are recommended. Culebra is also a popular destination for scuba divers because of the many reefs throughout the archipelago and the crystal clear waters.

Culebra is an archipelago consisting of the main island and twenty-three smaller islands that lie off its coast. All of the fresh water is brought from Puerto Rico via Vieques. These small islands are all classified as nature reserves and several nature reserves also exist on the main island.

User Reviews

User profile for Brion H
Brion H.
1/1/2012
"Amazing beaches! Friendly people. Great food and atmosphere! Easy to get around ($3 per person to Flamenco Beach from ferry drop-off). Best part of our Puerto Rico trip!"

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Photos

Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com The crystal blue waters of Flamenco Bay on the island of Culebra - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Zoni Beach, neasting place of sea turtles - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com

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Videos

Airplane video tour of Culebra - Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Taking the ferry from Culebra to Fajardo in Puerto Rico. Shot by Palmetto Guesthouse using FLIP camera - Courtesy of www.youtube.com

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Activities

Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Luis Pena's Cay Nature Reserve

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Flamenco Beach (Playa Flamenco)

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Historic Sites Culebra Cemetery

Carlos Rosario Beach (Playa Carlos Rosario) - Image coming soon! Nature/Parks/Beaches Carlos Rosario Beach (Playa Carlos Rosario)

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Historic Sites Flamenco Beach Army Tanks

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Shopping Culebra Divers

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Mount Resaca

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Melones Beach (Playa Melones)

Culebrita Lighthouse - Image coming soon! Historic Sites Culebrita Lighthouse

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Zoni Beach (Private)

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Zoni Beach (Playa Zoni)

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Travel Information  Travel Information

Fly into San Juan, Puerto Rico (on the mainland), and catch a short flight, or take the ferry over to Culebra.

find flights to Culebra [CPX]Find flights into CPX

More Information

History: Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive at the island in 1493. The island was populated by Taíno Indians prior to this and was used by pirates as a refuge for more than 3 centuries.

In 1875, a black Englishman named Stevens was made the first governor of Culebra by the government of Vieques. He was given the task of protecting the island and the fishermen who used the nearby waters from pirates. He was assassinated later that same year. Culebra was then settled by Cayetano Escudero Sanz on October 27, 1880. This first settlement was called San Ildefonso, to honor the Bishop of Toledo, San Ildefonso de la Culebra. Two years later, on September 25, 1882 construction of the Culebrita Lighthouse began and it was completed on February 25, 1886. It was the oldest operating lighthouse in the Caribbean until 1975, when the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard finally closed the facility.

In 1902, Culebra was integrated as a part of Vieques. One year later, on June 26, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Culebra Naval Reservation. A bird refuge was established on February 27, 1909. In 1939, the U.S. Navy began to use the Culebra Archipelago as a gunnery and bombing practice site. This was done in preparation for the United States' involvement in World War II. In 1971 the people of Culebra began protests, known as the Navy-Culebra protests, for the removal of the U.S. Navy from Culebra. Four years later, in 1975, the use of Culebra as a gunnery range ceased and all operations were moved to Vieques.

Culebra was declared an independent island municipality in 1917. The first democratically elected government was put into place in 1960. Prior to this, the government of Puerto Rico appointed delegates to administer the island.

English-Speaking?: YES

Weather: Vieques has a warm, relatively dry, tropical to sub-tropical climate. Temperatures vary little throughout the year, with average daily maxima ranging from 82 F (28 C) in January to 87 F (31 C) in July. Average daily minima are about 10 F (6 C) lower. Rainfall averages around 45 to 55 inches (1150 to 1400 mm) per year, with the months of May and September–November being the wettest. The west of the island receives significantly more rainfall than the east. Prevailing winds are easterly. Vieques is prone to tropical storms and at risk from hurricanes from June to November. In 1989 Hurricane Hugo caused considerable damage to the island.

Currency: US Dollar

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Dining  Restaurants and Dining

Juanita Bananas - Image coming soon! Juanita Bananas

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com The Spot

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Susie's Restaurant

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com El Batey

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Panaderia Tropical

Dinghy Dock restaurant - Dewey - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Dinghy Dock

Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Mamacitas Restaurant and Bar

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Heather's Pizza

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Zaco's Tacos

Barbara Rosa - Image coming soon! Barbara Rosa

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Pandeli Bakery

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Accommodations  Hotel and Accommodations

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Posada La Hamaca

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Villa Boheme

Tamarindo Estates - Image coming soon! Tamarindo Estates

Green Villas Seashell - Image coming soon! Green Villas Seashell

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Culebra Moon Villas

Courtesy of www.tnetnoc.com Club Seabourne

Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Culebra Beach Villas

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Hotel Kokomo

Harbour View Villa - Image coming soon! Harbour View Villa

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com The Hilltop House

small efficiencies in the back - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Casita Tropical

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News Articles

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Random User Comments

Dave D. wrote about Dominica:

"Dominica was another stop on our Caribbean cruise. Here's an excerpt from my blog post about our day in Dominica:

The bus departed from the pier at 10:30am and we were en route to our first stop up in the mountains for a hike to a waterfall. As we drove through town, it looked really poor - more than the other places we've visited. During our history lesson of Dominica we learned that the island is 99% volcanic rock and 1% limestone, that there are 17 dormant volcanoes and 365 rivers - one river for every day of the year, and during leap years they find another river, was the joke.

The bus stopped after the 45-minute drive through the mountains, and we were at the entry point of the rain forest for the walk to Spanny's Waterfall. A few people stopped to use the facilities but the rest of the group began their walk through the rain forest - great tour guide, just leaving us to navigate on our own. The walk was roughly 20-minutes and was a pretty substantial hike through the mud. We saw a lot of interesting and colourful plants along the way, but surprisingly no bugs. The waterfall was absolutely beautiful. Could have spent a lot more time there.

Back on the bus, we made our way down the mountain and to Mero Beach, which is a black sand beach. The drive down the mountain was a little easier to handle than the drive up. Baron sure did like to grind the gears, and take the turns pretty fast. The beach was pretty interesting, seeing that I've never been to a black sand beach before. The water looked really murky, but was surprisingly clear - the black sand makes the water clarity deceiving. Because we were with the tour group, we didn't have to pay for the chairs/umbrella, and we were given a free drink at the bar.

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Top Reviewers (All)
UsernameReviews
Brion H. 62 
Vera H. 12 
Diane D. 10 
Kay J. 10 
Angelica Louise A. 4 

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