• Laine Alan

Culebra - Marching To Its Own Drummer

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Photo - Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico

To call it a boutique island might be overstating it, but Culebra feels more like a tropical, leafy cul de sac than an island. It's cozy, friendly and unassuming. As we banked hard left over Flamenco Beach on our flight from San Juan, the town of Culebra lays out before you with the Ensenada Honda Bay directly ahead, flanked by lush hillsides right and left. Once we departed the airport, climbed into our rented Jeep, we drove into town, nearest to the ferry terminal. It's a dead end street, which may describe a lot about the island, but there are shops and small eateries to greet disembarking ferry passengers. There are a few "restaurants in town", but they are more about filling your belly than taste. Exiting the diminutive downtown, we located our condo, in the hills on the northside of the bay. With views for miles, it seemed to be the perfect place to discover Culebra.

Photo - Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico

Most people come to Culebra to get away from it all, and to visit the famed Flamenco Beach. It is a beautiful and expansive beach with golden sand, clear waters and medium to strong waves. At the north end of the beach is a rusting, graffiti laden tank, a relic of the US military presence here. It is part art, part sadness, and part joy. Rather than detract from your visit, it is a whimsical enhancement. There are amenities here, from food and drinks, to umbrella and chair rentals. There is an admission fee of $5.00 per vehicle and $2.00 per person. It is worth it.

Photo - Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico

Our favorite beach in Culebra was Zoni Beach, located on the northeast of the island. Secluded and dramatic, it is alluring. While there are no amenities to speak of, if you bring your own (food, drinks chairs), your day or afternoon will feel like it lasts forever. There is limited parking, but then again, there are never a lot of people here, as it is off the beaten path. it's about a 10-15 minute drive from town. and yes, it is golf cart accessible, if that is your mode of transportation.

Photo - Playa Manzanilla Beach

Your dining options in Culebra are few, scattered here and there. The most popular hangout, a bar and restaurant called Dinghy Dock. Just over the drawbridge in the heart of town, you can't miss it, as it seems everyone is here. Accessible through town or by dinghy, if you are moored in the bay, this waterfront bar and restaurant is the happening spot on the island. Good food, good drinks, and a good time is almost a guarantee here. There are other offerings, but the pandemic in conjunction with Hurricane Maria have closed a few of them, or they offer limited hours. Check out this link for additional restaurants in Culebra. There are several markets in Culebra to furnish your rental with, most have the requisite staple items, but selection will be limited. You may not always get what you want, but you'll find what you need.

Photo - Zoni Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico

IMO Culebra is a great day visit, with much to see, but if you are staying longer, it will be up to you and your imagination on how to spend your time. This is the place to get lost, your 404 not found. It is, by all means, a worthwhile visit, so go and enjoy.

Photo - Puddle Jumping from Culebra to San Juan, Puerto Rico

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