Culebra: tips and information to enjoy this Puerto Rican island.
If you travel to Puerto Rico, do not forget to visit Vieques and Culebra Islands. These are located to the southeast side of the big island of Puerto Rico, and as the main island, they offer awesome views of the Caribean. In this post, I’ll share with you some tips to visit Culebra, an island municipality belonging to the archipelago of Puerto Rico known for its white sand beaches, the presence of hawksbill turtle nests, reefs, history and a lot of nightlife.
1. How to get to Culebra?:
From Puerto Rico, the port where you can leave to reach the island of Culebra is in Ceiba. Previously you could also depart from Fajardo, but this port is closed as it was damaged by the hurricane Maria in 2017 (until further notice). Therefore, in Ceiba, you can buy tickets to get to both Vieques and Culebra. This can also be done on the internet (which I highly recommend) on the following page: PORFERRY.COM
There you can check details of schedules, travel time and prices ($2.25dl adults, $ 1dl children and people over 60 years ONE WAY)
2. How to move around the island?:
Once you get to Culebra, you have the option of calling transportation to pick you up and take you to the place where you wish to stay. For this, Jayleen Transportation is an option and you can call 787-514-9205 to reserve your place.
Another option is to rent a Jeep or a golf cart to get around the island. Carlos Jeep Rental is one island’s landlord and can call 787-742-3514 to ask about the prices. Generally, for a golf cart day is $80 dl plus $ 200 dl of security deposit.
*The only disadvantage of renting a Jeep or a golf cart is that you must be 25 years old to rent one*
3. Where to stay:
Camping in Culebra:
If you have a traveling soul and love camping, you can do that at Flamenco Beach. During high season (summer and Easter) I recommend calling the camping office in Flamenco Beach to set aside your place: 787-742-0700. Otherwise, just get to Flamenco Beach, pay $30 dl per tent (and $2 dl per person for entry), install and you´re ready to go! The place has showers, public restrooms and food stalls where you can buy Creole food, pizzas, drinks, etc. You can also bring your own food (avoid carrying glass containers because these are not allowed on the beach) and make a BBQ. You will only need to bring your own gas stove.
Villas in Culebra:
On the other hand, if you prefer a bed’s comfort, I recommend you search on the internet for accommodation. There you can find plenty of options that are just a few meters from Flamenco Beach as the Culebra’s Beach Villas, to beautiful AirBnB’s and more remote villas like Costa Bonita Beachfront Villas.
4. Where to eat and drink
If your plan is to go with friends, I recommend bringing food from the island of Puerto Rico to make a BBQ or to have some snacks (it’s cheaper). However, you can also buy food and drinks at Culebra’s stores (El Colmado can be an option)
In general, downtown Culebra has a wide variety of restaurants so looking for one will be an easy task. Only consider the following:
- Flamenco Beach: It’s the only beach that has food stalls.
- El Batey: One of the few places that offer food at night. You can find burgers, cheese fingers, salads, etc.
5. Enjoying the nighlife:
Culebra’s nightlife is one of the few things that characterize the island. Therefore, in the downtown area, you’ll find many nightclubs (locally called as chinchorros) where you can dance, play pool, have a few drinks and enjoy the music (both live and DJ).
My recommendations are the following:
- La Lobina: My personal favorite, you can play pool, dance and… do karaoke singing.
- El Batey: Probably, one of the most versatile places on the island, it offers food (even at 1 am) live salsa music, billiard tables, board games, and a screen for movies. What else can you ask for?
- Dinghy Dock: Seafood and American restaurant during the day and chinchorro at night, this place offers a bohemian ambiance. If you go on Saturday, you can´t miss the live music.
- Mamacitas Bar: A place I couldn’t visit but that was recommended to me by a local during my flight to Puerto Rico (and that’s why it’s included). So, if you visit this place, please tell me your experience so I can go on my next visit.
6. Beaches you can visit:
The most famous and recommended of all the beaches is the Flamenco Beach. In it, you’ll enjoy crystal clear waters with a low tide, sanitary services, food & drinks, showers and camping area. The entrance fee is $ 2 dl per person and you can go out and enter as many times as you want (they give you a wristband). Also it has a parking area.
On this beach you can also see part of the history of this Puerto Rican island. If you walk a little further to the left (facing the sea) you will see a 20th century war tank (or two). This’s because the island was occupied by the United States Navy in 1939 to bomb practice. It was until 1975 when the Culebrenses expelled the Navy from their island and enjoyed full freedom on their beaches. In spite of everything, these tanks are still preserved to remember part of the past.
Other beaches that are equally beautiful are Tamarindo Beach, Zoni Beach and Melones Beach.
- In Tamarindo beach the tide is very low and you can practice snorkeling. This beach, instead of sand, has black pebbles that make a nice contrast with the sea.
- Zoni Beach: A little more further than the others, this is a quiet beach but with water currents that can take you far from the shore, so you have to be very careful. The water is crystal clear and the sand is white (although with some rocks). This beach does not have toilets or food services, so I recommend you to be prepared.
Of course Culebra has many more beaches than these (here others). If you are adventurous, you can tour the island and find one beach that’s far away from tourists and locals. Just enjoy your surroundings and have fun!