Culebra puerto rico: Things to Do in Culebra

Things to Do in Culebra

Diamond-dust sand and colorful marine life make Culebra one of Puerto Rico’s gems.

This peaceful tropical island, located 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo, holds countless natural areas and pristine beaches to explore and enjoy during your stay. Culebra is surrounded by more than 20 cays and vibrant underwater landscapes – a haven for those interested in getting closer to ocean life through snorkeling or diving. Mingle with locals, immerse yourself in nature, beach hop, and above all, disconnect from your busy life with the much-needed peace and tranquility that Culebra offers.

Read on for some of the top things to do in Culebra.

Located 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo, on the east side of Puerto Rico, the island of Culebra can be reached by small plane or boat. The whole island is about 10 square miles and is divided into six barrios (districts). Culebra is surrounded by more than 20 cays bustling with marine life, making it an absolute haven for underwater adventurers and casual beachgoers alike.

Flamenco beach in Culebra is one of Puerto Rico’s top beaches.

Visit World-Famous Flamenco Beach

Culebra is known for its outstanding beaches, including one that regularly appears on lists of the best beaches in the world: Flamenco beach. The soft white sand you’ll feel beneath your feet contrasts with the green rolling hills that make up Flamenco’s backdrop. Its placid waves magnify the different shades of blue you can observe throughout the day, ranging from crystal clear to soft turquoise and, at times, even emerald green. 

But Flamenco Beach isn’t the only beach to visit in Culebra. Tamarindo and Carlos Rosario beaches are both accessible through Flamenco beach, and more than worth their own beach day.

Explore the Best Beaches in Culebra

See Puerto Rico’s Top Beaches

The tanks of Flamenco beach are some of the most photo-worthy sights in Puerto Rico.

Snap a Selfie at the Beach Tanks

The rusted, graffiti-covered military tanks that stand in the surf of Flamenco beach are perhaps the only thing more famous than the white sand and turquoise water. A relic from Culebra’s time as a naval base, the tanks have become some of the most iconic and photographed spots in all of Puerto Rico. Don’t leave without grabbing a selfie!

Culebra is one of the top places in Puerto Rico to go snorkeling and scuba diving.

Go Snorkeling Alongside Rich Underwater Life

Abundant coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests make Culebra one of the best places to go snorkeling or scuba diving in Puerto Rico and all of the Caribbean. Many of Culebra’s beaches offer ample opportunities for snorkeling, including Flamenco beach. Its neighbors, Taramindo and Carlos Rosario beaches, are both part of Luis Peña Nature Reserve; head to the extreme right or left of the beach for the easiest access to the colorful underwater life. Bring your own snorkel gear and be ready to see remoras, bluetail fishes, angelfish, stingrays, and more.  

Sea turtles thrive in the seagrass surrounding Culebra and its smaller cays. A great place to spot sea turtles is Melones Beach, which is located just 1.2 km (less than a mile) from the ferry terminal and 2.3 km (1.4 miles) from Culebra’s airport.  

There are several snorkel and scuba diving tour companies that can take you to the best spots on the island, including Culebra Divers, Culebra Island Adventures, and East Island Excursions, based in Fajardo

Best Places to Snorkel in Puerto Rico

Much of the island of Culebra is a designated national wildlife refuge.

Explore the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge

More than 20% of Culebra – including long stretches of coastline and all of its outlying islands – is preserved by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, which was designated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909. Here you can explore diverse ecosystems ranging from beaches and dry forests to mangroves and seagrass beds. The refuge also serves as a habitat for endangered sea turtles, and is one of the largest seabird nesting grounds in the Caribbean, with more than 13 species and 50,000 birds that spend at least part of the year here.

Check out the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website for maps and more information.

Nothing says Caribbean getaway like enjoying a day out at sea.

Island Hop to Isla Culebrita and Other Cays

Culebra has several small, idyllic islands just off its shores—the most visited of which is Isla Culebrita. A part of Culebra’s National Wildlife Refuge, this uninhabited smaller island is only a water taxi ride away from Culebra. An old lighthouse is the only man-made structure on the island, so you can truly get away from it all on this small slice of paradise. The island has six small beaches, including Playa Tortuga, which is perfect for a leisurely beach day. This is another great place to snorkel with everything from turtles to manta rays.

To get there, you can board a water taxi (a short walk from the Culebra ferry terminal), or join a tour, charter a boat, or even kayak if you’re a strong paddler.

Learn about Culebra’s ecology and history at the Museum of History.

Learn About the History of Culebra

If you feel like you need a break from the sun, make your way downtown to a former Naval munition warehouse, a place that now holds an exhibit about the story of the island. Learn about the culture, ecology, and formation of Culebra and the endangered ecosystems and creatures taken care of on this small island. 

Some sections of the Museo Histórico de Culebra are dedicated to the military’s presence and control over Culebra. The presence of the Taínos on the island is also documented with ancient artifacts as evidence of their stay hundreds of years before the Spaniards’ arrival.

Discover other small museums in Puerto Rico 

LGBTQ Travel Guide: Culebra

The laidback pace and local charm of Culebra make the island a favorite of LGBTQ travelers. Discover restaurants, places to stay, and more information about queer travel to Culebra with our LGBTQ Travel Guide.

Read More about LGBTQ Travel in Culebra

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Culebra | Nearby Islands | Discover Puerto Rico

Flamenco beach in Culebra has been recognized as one of the best beaches in the world.

Acclaimed for its white-sand beaches and active reef, Culebra is one of the major islands in Puerto Rico’s archipelago.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, beach hop, or simply unwind, Culebra will give you the peace and tranquility you seek, in a truly pristine place.

It is located 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo, on the east side of Puerto Rico, and can be reached by a small plane or boat. The whole island is about 10 square miles and is divided into six barrios (districts). Culebra is surrounded by more than 20 cays bustling with marine life, making it an absolute haven for underwater adventurers and casual beachgoers alike.

Reaching Culebra can be done by air or sea. The fastest way is to catch a small plane departing from either SJU or Isla Grande airports (tickets range from $60–$90 per trip), and there is also a ferry that departs from the town of Ceiba (for $3-$5 and about 40 minutes from SJU airport).

Search the Culebra Directory

Find this iconic photo spot at Flamenco Beach in Culebra.

Nothing says Caribbean getaway like enjoying a day out at sea.

Get your own private pool and dock at Villa Tampico. 

Rent a Jeep and have a true island adventure. 

The crystal-clear waters of Flamenco Beach in Culebra are perfect for snorkeling.

Club Seabourne is one of the top places to stay in Culebra.  

Make new friends as you kayak your way through Culebra»s waters. 

Tamarindo beach in Culebra is one of the best places to enjoy snorkeling in Puerto Rico. 

Beaches

Flamenco beach is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the world; its soft white sand and gentle topaz waves are a stunning contrast to the rolling green hills of the island’s interior. This beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and simply relaxing or snapping photos. Until 1975, parts of Culebra were a Naval base, and an iconic tank at the western end of the beach is evidence of the island’s military history.

Surrounded by beautiful barrier reefs, Playa Carlos Rosario and Playa Tamarindo are among Puerto Rico’s best snorkeling areas. Tamarindo beach also shares its waters with the Luis Peña Channel Natural Reserve — known simply as Cayo Luis Peña — and is part of the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, which includes a string of beaches perfect for turtle watching.

Also part of Cayo Luis Peña is Isla Culebrita. This uninhabited island is a water-taxi away from Culebra’s east coast and has six small beaches, of which Playa Tortuga is the most famous. The only man-made structure is the Isla Culebrita Lighthouse — one of the oldest lighthouses in the Caribbean — but the abandoned tower blends with the island’s dense vegetation.

Things to do on Culebra

Dining

Stop by the Dinghy Dock and enjoy fresh-caught specialties such as swordfish, snapper, octopus, and shrimp. The bold flavors and authentic Caribbean cuisine are not to be missed!

Susie’s is another great choice, and their blend of Puerto Rican and Asian cuisine is an exquisite fusion of flavors. The restaurant’s aesthetic and outdoor dining will enhance your experience.

More places to eat

Where to Stay

Nestled on the hillsides of Culebra, Club Seabourne is a mini-resort that offers an intimate escape for those who enjoy simplicity. Your stay comes with access to a pool, private dock, watersports equipment rentals, and even laundry service. Other top property includes the Sea Breeze Hotel.

You can also enjoy living the island life by booking a stay at one of the island’s numerous guest houses, villas, and vacation rentals.

More places to stay

Located 20 miles off the coast of Fajardo, on the east side of Puerto Rico, the island of Culebra can be reached by small plane or boat. The whole island is about 10 square miles and is divided into six barrios (districts). Culebra is surrounded by more than 20 cays bustling with marine life, making it an absolute haven for underwater adventurers and casual beachgoers alike.

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Puerto Rico | Equator

Puerto Rico


The Freely Associated State of Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean Sea on the island of Puerto Rico from the Greater Antilles and a number of adjoining small islands.

Puerto Rico consists of the main island of Puerto Rico and many smaller islands and cays, including Mona, Vieques, Culebra, Deseceo and Caja de Muertos.

Weather in Puerto Rico

The climate of Puerto Rico is maritime tropical, mild with slight seasonal temperature fluctuations: in the southern part the temperature is slightly higher than in the north, and in the central mountainous it is always cooler than on the rest of the island. The average annual temperature is + 28 °C. The hurricane season lasts between June and November.

Government

Puerto Rico is a US dependency and has the status of an «unincorporated organized territory», which means that the territory is administered by the US (and not an integral part of it).

The head of state is the President of the United States. The head of government is the governor. The cabinet is appointed by the governor after consultation with the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico.

Language

Official language: Spanish, English

Spanish is the main language in public institutions, although English is a compulsory subject. Although a relatively small proportion of the islanders consider English their primary language, the majority of the population in the larger cities speaks both languages, or at least understands English and uses it in certain situations.

Religion

About 85% of the population are Catholics, about 10% are Protestants, but for the majority of believers, Christianity is combined with spiritualism, voodoo and Indian folklore and religious traditions.

Currency

International name: USD

The US dollar is often referred to as the «peso» on Puerto Rican price tags. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and specialized exchange offices.

Credit cards have virtually unlimited uses. There are many cash machines (ATMs) in all major cities. In the province, the use of credit cards is somewhat limited.

Travel checks can be cashed at almost any bank office.

Tips

A service charge of 10-15% is added to most bills at upscale hotels and restaurants, so tipping is not required. However, in most mid-level establishments, tips are not included in the bills, in which case you can leave them to the attendants within 10% (directly in the hands when calculating), in bars and street restaurants you can limit yourself to 5%. Porters, attendants and taxi drivers expect a $0.50 tip.

Office hours

Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8.30-09.00 to 14.30-15.30 (working hours may vary).

Shopping

All accounts at casino hotels are subject to an additional 11% tax, non-gaming hotels are subject to a 9% tax, and smaller hotels are subject to a 7% tax. The sales tax is 1.5% and on the purchase of jewelry it is 5%. There are no stores with a refund of sales tax (tax free) in the country.

Shops are usually open from Monday to Wednesday from 09.00 to 19.00, from Thursday to Friday — from 09.00 to 21.00. On Saturdays, most shops are open from 11.00 to 17.00-18.00.

Bargaining is possible in the markets and in private shops; prices in large shops are usually fixed.

Medical

The island’s natural hazards include hepatitis B (in the northern part of the Caribbean), tropical fever, bilharzia (schistosomiasis), rabies (vaccination recommended), and occasional stomach ailments. In some cases, immunization against typhoid, diphtheria, tuberculosis and poliomyelitis is recommended.

Security

The poor areas of most large cities are markedly criminalized and pose a certain danger to foreign tourists. There is a risk of fraud and theft.

Tap water is usually chlorinated and relatively safe, but bottled water is recommended.

Emergency telephones

  • Unified rescue service — 911.
  • Police — 787/343-2020
  • Ambulance — 787/343-2222.
  • Fire Department — 787/343-2330
  • Coast Guard — 787/729-6770.

The best sandy beaches in Puerto Rico

  • There are three beaches directly on the main island of Puerto Rico. This is Playa de Puerto Rico (near the port). Golden sand for him was brought from the Sahara. A little to the west is the no less beautiful Playa de los Amadores beach, also with imported sand of a pleasant shade. It has been awarded a special European quality label for beaches. Both beaches are sheltered from the waves by stone boulders, which makes their water warmer. The third beach — Playa del Cura is covered with gray sand extracted from the ocean floor.
  • Beach on the island of Vieques, which is several kilometers away from the main island. Pirate Mountain rises above the island.

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