Isla culebra ferry: Ceiba Culebra — Puerto Rico Ferry anchored by Hornblower
San Juan to Culebra (4 Best Ways to Go, By a Local)
Culebra is Puerto Rico’s dream destination for beach lovers, but getting from San Juan to Culebra can be confusing even for experienced travelers.
This small island of Culebra is located to the east side of Puerto Rico, and it’s home to some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, with crystal clear waters, white sand, coral reefs, and sea turtles!
I’m a Puerto Rico local that’s been to the two municipal islands in Puerto Rico. To help you do the same, I’ve put together a complete guide to getting to Culebra from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- 4 Ways to Get From San Juan to Culebra (& Back)
- From San Juan to Culebra By Car & Ferry
- From San Juan to Culebra By Airplane
- From San Juan to Culebra By Private Shuttle & Ferry
- From San Juan to Culebra By Car & Catamaran
- 3 Tips For Getting Between San Juan and Culebra
- Rent a Car in Culebra
- Pack Snacks and Amenities
- Book Your Ferry Tickets Online
- FAQs About Getting from San Juan to Culebra
- How do I get from San Juan to Culebra?
- How long is the ferry from San Juan to Culebra?
- Can I fly from San Juan to Culebra?
- Map of How to Get Between San Juan and Culebra
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4 Ways to Get From San Juan to Culebra (& Back)
You will find multiple options to get to Culebra from Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. One of these is by taking flights from San Juan directly to the Ceiba Airport or the Culebra airport. The other methods involve driving or taking a private shuttle from San Juan to the Ceiba terminal, from where visitors can take a ferry into the island. Let’s look at each method in detail.
From San Juan to Culebra By Car & Ferry
🚍 Best for: Saving money and flexibility
💵 Cost: $$
👉 Where to Book: Discover Cars, Puerto Rico Ferry
Sit comfortably on the Culebra ferry
Renting a car in San Juan and later taking the ferry in the Ceiba ferry terminal is often the cheapest way to get to Culebra. As of March 2022, people that aren’t residents of Culebra can’t take their cars with the cargo ferry to the small island, so you’ll have to leave your rental car in the terminal and rent another one in Culebra to get around. The drive from San Juan takes about an hour depending on the traffic.
Pros of a Car & Ferry:
- Freedom to explore before reaching the ferry terminal
- Comfort and privacy
Cons of a Car & Ferry:
- Having to rent two cars
- Driving in a foreign country
- Depending on the ferry schedule
📚 Related Reading: What to Do in Puerto Rico
From San Juan to Culebra By Airplane
🚍 Best for: Saving time and comfort
💵 Cost: $$$$
👉 Where to Book: Air Flamenco, Cape Air, Silver Airways, Expedia
(photo: RaksyBH / Shutterstock)
If your budget isn’t a problem, then taking an airplane is the easiest way to travel to Culebra. Airlines like Air Flamenco, JetBlue, Silver Airways, and Cape Air offer daily flights that depart from the San Juan International Airport and the Isla Grande Airport to the Ceiba Airport or the Culebra Airport. Since tickets can be pricey, you can save money by taking a flight to Culebra and returning through the ferry.
Pros of an Airplane:
- Using only one transportation method
- Saves time
- Avoids technical problems with the ferry
Cons of an Airplane:
- Flexibility limited by a scheduled flight
From San Juan to Culebra By Private Shuttle & Ferry
🚍 Best for: Comfort and safety
💵 Cost: $$$
👉 Where to Book: Viator, Puerto Rico Ferry, Luquillo Taxi, Go Puerto Rico Shuttle
(photo: RaksyBH / Shutterstock)
If you’re worried about driving in Puerto Rico, then making the trip between San Juan and Culebra on a private shuttle bus is your best option. You will find multiple shuttle companies that make the route to the Ceiba terminal from different pickup points, including the San Juan Airport and the main hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Pros of a Private Shuttle & Ferry:
- Reach the ferry terminal safely
- Flexibility with pick up time and locations
- Cheap transportation method if shared with multiple passengers
Cons of a Private Shuttle & Ferry:
- Can’t make stops on the way to Ceiba
- Pricey if only one person pays
From San Juan to Culebra By Car & Catamaran
🚍 Best for: Taking a day trip
💵 Cost: $$$
👉 Where to Book: Discover Cars, Viator, East Island Excursions
If instead of spending a few days in Culebra you just want to take a quick Culebra day trip, a Catamaran is your best option. Catamarans are definitely on the high side of the budget if you want to visit Culebra island, but they’re convenient and take you directly to the best of Culebra’s beaches and its smaller islands. Most Catamarans headed to Culebra depart from Puerto Marina in Fajardo.
Pros of a Car & Catamaran:
- Quick and simple way to visit Culebra’s highlights
- Shared group experience
- Tour and equipment for snorkeling included
Cons of a Car & Catamaran:
- Lack of flexibility to explore
3 Tips For Getting Between San Juan and Culebra
Rent a Car in Culebra
If you choose to take the water route instead of flying into Culebra from the San Juan Airport, you’ll be arriving at Culebra Pueblo, also known as Dewey town. While there are some nearby beaches, and you can take a taxi to Flamenco Beach, if you want to go beach hopping around Culebra, then you’re better off renting a car.
Pack Snacks and Amenities
Aside from Flamenco Beach, most beaches in Culebra lack facilities and food kiosks. Whatever method you choose to visit, make sure to pack everything necessary for a day trip. Check my list of what you need to pack for your Puerto Rico vacation so you don’t leave anything behind.
Book Your Ferry Tickets Online
While using the ferry to move from mainland Puerto Rico to the municipal islands is the cheapest transportation method, it’s also the one with the highest demand, and the tickets at the Ceiba terminal ticket office can easily run out. Make sure to book your tickets in advance through Puerto Rico Ferry.
👉 Pro Tip: If you want to visit Vieques too, book a ticket directly from Culebra to Vieques. Traffic between the two islands is less heavy than traffic from the Puerto Rican mainland to any of the two municipal islands. See my post on Culebra vs Vieques if deciding between the two.
FAQs About Getting from San Juan to Culebra
How do I get from San Juan to Culebra?
There are multiple ways to travel between San Juan and Culebra, including taking a flight from one of San Juan’s airports or driving to the ferry terminal in Ceiba and there take a ferry to Culebra. Visitors that don’t want to drive, can rent a private shuttle from San Juan to Culebra.
How long is the ferry from San Juan to Culebra?
There is not a direct ferry from San Juan to Culebra. The ferry to Culebra departs from Ceiba and the trip to Culebra takes from 30 to 45 minutes.
Can I fly from San Juan to Culebra?
Visitors can fly from San Juan International Airport or the Isla Grande Airport to the Benjamin Rivera Noriega Airport in Culebra, Puerto Rico, using multiple airlines including Air Flamenco, and Cape Air.
Map of How to Get Between San Juan and Culebra
Now you know all about how to get from San Juan to Culebra and you can enjoy this beach paradise in the Caribbean!
Once you return to the mainland, these are the other popular places to see in Puerto Rico.
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Ferry Culebra Day Trip from San Juan | Flamenco Beach
Experience Culebra Island
The Culebra Ferry Day Trip is the Best Alternative to Experience a Full Day in Culebra Island from San Juan!
Explore the true secrets of Puerto Rico! Culebra Island is a snorkeler’s paradise. The clearest waters, white sand beaches, and a great variety of sea life. Snorkeling in Culebra has no comparison!
Forget about the hard planning to get to Culebra Island, we make it simple for you. We offer the only Full Day Trip to Culebra Island with Round Trip Transportation from San Juan and Land Transfers in Culebra.
Experience a great Beach Hopping Tour with Snorkeling at Beautiful Tamarindo Beach & visiting World-Famous Flamenco Beach. Our Culebra Full Day Trip will be the highlight of your vacation.
Day Trip Highlights
Spend a full day at the world-famous Culebra Island.
1-hour Guided Snorkeling Experience at Tamarindo Beach.
Chance to Swim with turtles and vibrant marine wildlife.
All Transfers Included.
Enjoy the world-famous Flamenco Beach.
Experience the best of Puerto Rico!
Book Your Day Trip Now!
We encourage customers to book at least 3-4 weeks far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.
Last-minute booking requests can be hard to fulfill.
Ferry Full Day Package
Snorkeling + Flamenco Beach
Monday to Saturday!
Round Trip Ground Transportation from San Juan to Ceiba Ferry Terminal, 6:45 am Departure from San Juan.
Breakfast Snacks & Beverages During Morning Transfer
Ferry Round Trip from Ceiba to Culebra Island
Monday — Friday: 9:30 am Ferry Departure & 5:30 pm Return
Saturday: 10:00 am Ferry departure & 4:00 pm Return
Land Transfers in Culebra
Premium Quality Snorkeling Gear
1-hour Guided Snorkeling at Tamarindo Beach
Visit World-Famous Flamenco Beach
Lunch options at Flamenco Beach (Lunch not included)
Requires a minimum of 6 guests.
Please Note: This ferry trip takes a minimum of 6 people to operate. If the tour does not reach this minimum by the date of your trip, then it can be rescheduled or canceled! Refund provided.
From San Juan: $165 pp.
Saturday Ferry departure is at 10:00 am,
and return at 4:00 pm
Ceiba Package does not include Ground Transportation to Ferry Terminal & Morning Breakfast Snacks.
Book Now! — From San Juan $165 pp.
Book Now! — From Ceiba $135 pp.
Day Trip Details
1. PICK-UP AT HOTEL, DEPARTURE FROM SAN JUAN
Our agent will contact you and notify your Hotel pick-up time one-day prior to the trip.
Travel time from San Juan to Ceiba Ferry Terminal is 1-hr. and 10 minutes
We include snacks and beverages during the transfer. to Ceiba Ferry Terminal.
2. FERRY RIDE TO CULEBRA ISLAND
The Ferry travel time to Culebra Island from Ceiba is around 45-60 minutes approximately, depending on the sea weather conditions.
Monday-Friday: Ferry departs at 9:30 am & returns at 5:30 pm
Saturday: Ferry departs at 10:00 am & returns at 4:00 pm
3. SNORKELING IN PARADISE
Tamarindo Beach is located on the west coast of Culebra. Upon arrival, our guide will give you complete pre-ride instructions.
Enjoy the breathtaking views along the way: inside and outside of the water!
You will experience a 1-hour Guided Snorkeling Tour at Tamarindo beach. Chance to swim with sea turtles, sting rays, and vibrant marine life.
4. EXPERIENCE FLAMENCO BEACH!
Flamenco Beach. Ranked as the second most beautiful beach in the world, no one should ever leave Culebra without visiting Flamenco!
You will be free to enjoy this unique place, beach chairs provided. Have lunch at one of the local food kiosks at the beach. Later, we will take you back to the ferry terminal. There, you will take the trip back to Ceiba Ferry Terminal, while enjoying the views of Puerto Rico’s eastern coast at sunset.
5. FERRY RIDE BACK TO CEIBA
After a full day on Culebra Island, we will take a ferry ride back to Ceiba.
6. TRANSFER BACK TO SAN JUAN
1-hr and 10-minute ride back to San Juan, we will arrive in San Juan around 8:00 pm on Monday-Fridays and at 6:45 pm on Saturdays.
Planning & Restrictions
WHAT TO BRING
One comfortable bag or backpack
Sun Protection (i.e. biodegradable sunblock, hat, sunglasses, long sleeve shirt, rashguard, etc.)
Set of dry clothes
Snacks & drinks, alcoholic beverages allowed.
Your medicines, if you have a particular condition only
Cash for restaurants, souvenirs, tips, etc.
Camera (waterproof or protected)
DO NOT BRING
MINIMUM PARTICIPATION RESTRICTIONS
The Ferry Culebra Day Trip requires a minimum of 6 guests. We will call you to discuss your options if the minimum is not met.
HEALTH & AGE RESTRICTIONS
Not recommended guests with:
Ferry & Schedule Notice
We do not provide private maritime transportation to Culebra. The tickets included in our $165 Culebra Ferry Package are for the public ferry. The Puerto Rico Maritime Transportation Authority (PRMTA) operates this ferry. We are not affiliated with the PRMTA. Therefore, we are not responsible nor can control the ferry schedule in any way.
Our company promotes a 5:30pm departure from Culebra, in the event we receive tickets for a later departure you will be notified in advance and/or on-site. Your group will be offered the option to confirm an excursion with a later departure, reschedule to another day, reschedule to another excursion, or cancellation with a full refund. Culebra residents and workers have priority boarding.
For this reason, we must be at the Ceiba Ferry Terminal at check-in time. Otherwise, you may miss the ferry. In that case, you will not be able to get to Culebra on time for the tour. Finally, the excursion start time is subject to the arrival time of the ferry to Culebra.
I VENTURES does not sell ferry tickets.
Ceiba Ferry Location
Culebra, Puerto Rico — travel guide Planet of Hotels
Culebra is a Puerto Rican island in the Caribbean, which belongs to the Spanish Virgin Islands. There are no large hotels, golf courses, casinos, traffic jams, fast food establishments and crowds of noisy tourists. In return, Culebra has some of the best beaches in the world, beautiful coral reefs, secluded bays, natural beauty, hiking and biking trails, and cozy cafés.
Culebra is the main island of the eponymous archipelago in the Caribbean, which also includes 23 small islands. There is not a single source of fresh water throughout this territory.
Culebra’s coastline is made up of cliffs, sandy beaches and mangrove forests. The highest point is Mount Resaka (198 meters).
The largest harbor on the island is Ensenada Honda. It is one of the most protected from hurricanes in all the Caribbean.
Playa Flamenco. The most popular and largest beach of the island, marked with the Blue Flag. It has been repeatedly included in the ranking of the best beaches in the world according to Forbes magazine and TripAdvisor. During the day, the color of the water can change from pale turquoise to emerald green. Playa Flamenco is pure white sand against the backdrop of a tropical forest covering low hills. Here you can watch catamarans, snorkel, swim and sunbathe.
Culebra. The only settlement on the island. It is here that the airport, car rentals, churches, numerous shops and restaurants are located. Tourism infrastructure is actively developing here.
Culebra Island Towns
It is believed that the first European to set foot on the coast of Culebra was Christopher Columbus in November 1493. At this time, the island was inhabited by Caribbean indigenous peoples.
Until the end of the 19th century, there was no permanent European settlement here. This piece of land was used as a haven for pirates, as well as a haven for fishermen and sailors.
In 1880, the first Spanish settlement appeared here. Two years later, the construction of the lighthouse began, which worked until 1975 years old.
In 1902, Culebra became part of Puerto Rico. In 1939, the US Navy began using this and nearby islands as a training ground in preparation for World War II. Only in 1975 did the US military leave the area.
Now Culebra is actively developing its tourism potential, attracting more and more tourists every year.
Things to do as a tourist on Culebra Island
Take a photo in front of the abandoned tanks on Playa Flamenco. They have remained here since the time when the US Navy base was located on the island. This is one of the most popular photo locations.
Learn all about the island at the Museum of History. Here are archeological artifacts, old photographs and other exhibits related to the Spanish Virgin Islands.
Go to the neighboring islet of Culebrita, which is part of the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge. This uninhabited land can only be reached by water taxi. There are six small beaches here, the most popular and most visited is Tortuga. The only building on Culebrite is an old lighthouse.
Try a traditional Virgin Islands cocktail — bushwacker. It resembles a pina colada and consists of dark rum, coffee and chocolate liqueurs, coconut and cow’s milk with the addition of ice.
The best time to visit Culebra Island
The island has a tropical climate with an average temperature of +27ºС, which practically does not change throughout the year. The dry season runs from November to May and the rainy season runs from June to November.
Other areas of Puerto Rico
Porta del Sol
Map of Culebra Island
Popular cities in other countries 9003
Volgograd 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000
There are about a thousand local residents there, tourists go there to dive, snorkel, do nothing. There, as well as to Vieques, there is a ferry from Fajardo (all year round) and from San Juan (half a year), and airplanes fly. By the way, there is also a cargo ferry, where you can move with a car. The Russian guys who were standing next to us did just that and were very pleased. Although we were already happy, we did not need a car. And between Culebra and Vieques once a week, on Wednesdays, there is a ferry, otherwise you have to go Vieques-Fajardo-Culebra, and this is three hours and a rebellious stomach. That’s exactly how we got there.
The only campground where you can live in tents is Flamenco beach. Minibuses go there from / to the ferry, all the time. There is no drinking water there, for it and the excellent and cheap Medalla beer you have to go to the ferry stop, to the shops. And to eat and pina colada is sold right on the beach. There is a shower (outdoor) and a toilet (closed), $20 per day. There were very few people with tents, the campground is designed for 750 places, and we saw only about six tents. But there are a lot of people on the beach — they come from all the surrounding hotels. Culebra is Spanish for snake, but there are no snakes, and those that were before are non-venomous.
Culebra is a very special paradise.
I have never seen such clear water and a beautiful shore. And what a sky there at night but at night! Story. And next to the fairy tale, an announcement hung modestly that here from 19 .. to 1970 the American military studied bombing. And that they seem to have picked up the bombs behind them, but if you see something similar to one of these 20 strange cylinders, run away and call the sappers immediately.
We lived in the farthest part of the campground — «E», which is also the best. The people from the hotels did not reach our part of the beach, and there were very few people on the shore.
At 10 meters from our tent, the military zone began, behind barbed wire. And we also had two tanks, one on the path at the entrance, and one right on the beach. Palm trees, sand, water, fish jump out of the water — and suddenly from around the corner — a tank. A very surreal picture.
Everything is surreal there — there are no forests on the island, therefore there is no rain. Therefore, drinking water is supplied there in pipes under the ocean. There, on the bicharn, there was an announcement that volunteers could come there, observe the migration of turtles, and record information. We didn’t go — there was no car. Locals say turtles cry when they lay their eggs because they never see their baby turtles.
There was a tarpinian kindergarten near our shore. Tarpins are such huge silver fish, relatives of dolphins. They drove thousands, maybe millions of fry into a large circle in shallow water and did not let them scatter, guarded.
At first I was terribly afraid of tarpins, I swim in my mask, and suddenly I notice that a huge fish is circling around me, then another and another. I thought sharks and with a wild squeal rushed to the shore. It turned out that I swam too close to the kindergarten and the «educators» scared me so much. I was once again explained that there are no predators in Puerto Rico, man is the most dangerous. If you come very close to the fry in the water, the tarpins do everything to divert attention from them to themselves. They jump out of the water, several individuals at once, pretend that they are going to ram, and turn around at the last second. It looked drop dead when they periodically began to jump out of the water with the entire educational staff. There were up to 10 fish in the air at the same time, some flew up to a height of a meter.