Culebra is a small Caribbean island, mostly covered in nature preserve that lies about 20 miles east of Puerto Rico. Culebra is part of the self governed commonwealth associated with the USA.
Flamenco Beach is quite outstanding, and unlike the other beaches in Vieques and Culebra, popular enough to attract a real crowd. The beach is in a calm cove and stretches into a circle of nearly a mile in length, and a few rusted-out U.S. Army tanks silently watch over the beach. The water is clear, shallow, and calm, and the waves are small. Reefs exist on each side of the beach and are very easy to access directly off the beach if you have snorkeling equipment with you, and other snorkeling beaches can be accessible by taking the (safe) path through the old army minefield. The reefs are not world class but they are interesting enough for amateur snorkelers. Facilities at the beach are few. Showers run sporadically and there are flush toilets, but no lights other than in the bathroom. Fresh water is freely available. Bring a cooler with plenty of snacks and drinks, plus towels or beach chairs if you can. Campers should be warned that it gets surprisingly windy and chilly at night. Bug spray is recommended. Bring a tent and sleeping bags, and, if you have one, bring a hammock to string between two trees for a night under the stars.
Rent a small motorboat ($150-$200/day) and visit the nearby islets such as Culebrita with even more private beaches.
Camp on Flamenco Beach and just relax. Call (787) 742-0700 for more information on Camping
There are several small restaurants on the island as well as small hotels which have restaurants. Reservations are recommended if you plan on going to a hotel restaurant.
Mamacitas Hotel and Restaurant, (besides offering accommodation) has a restaurant and a tropical bar on the canal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all great menus, although a little bit pricier than other local fare.
Dinghy Dock, has a wonderful atmosphere and a good ment with a regular crowd of ex-pats. It's name is literal as people dock their dinghys and hop up for a table. If you head down when the chef gets in at about four thirty, you can help him feed the Tarpon fish that swim around the dock waiting for table scraps.
Susie's makes delicious fish and meat dishes in a casual environment, as well as some great interpretations of local street food for appetizers. Popular with older expats and locals.
Colmada Milka, a reasonably priced grocery store with recognizable American brands and native foods. Open daily but only in the morning on Sundays.
Superette Mayra is a small jam-packed grocery store that has it all, including sundries such as cooking pots, supplies for diabetics, reading glasses, cheap coffee machines, beach toys, plastic flower pots, sewing needles. Closed Sundays and during siesta time 1-3 pm.
El Eden, up the road from Colmada Milka. A sandwich and liquor shop, this restaurant comes particularly recommended, and provides a taste of America if island food grows tiring. Also has a bar and gift shop. Open daily.
Several food vendors hawk their wares daily at the entrance to Flamenco Beach. The grilled meat-on-a-stick is both delicious and cheap. Lots of bottled water and other cold drinks from vendors with ice chests.
Mamacita's bar and restaurant, , in the heart of the town is popular but quite pricey. El Eden's laid back decor may fool you but make no mistake, this is a 5 star restaurant worthy of NYC. The lobster risotto is to die for! They serve dinner only 3 nights per week (Thursday,Friday, Saturday) but you absolutely must experience it. From the gnocchi's with pesto, fresh eggplant lasagna and swordfish dinner to the prime rib, there is something for everyone. They have a great brunch on Sundays and delicious sandwich's made with fresh bread every day (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)this place should not be missed.They do accept reservations and it is advisable during the busy season.787-742-0509 The Chinese restaurant in town sells some liquor, but the proprietor speaks no English and only some Spanish, so good luck there.
The term "resort" is a bit misleading as the average facility will be 2-3 stars at best. This is a small island after all! Some of the older hotels are barely a one star. Service is typical laid back (i.e., slow) island style. There are also plenty of houses and villas for rent on the island. Camping is permitted for up to four months at a time on the beautiful government-run Flamenco Beach, just a few miles outside of the main town.
Harbour View Villas, , is located overlooking Bahia de Sardinas and the town of Dewey. It consists of 3 individual cottages and 3 Suites. The Villas are on one level and the Suites another level. They all look out to the ocean. You can walk to Melones beach and the town of Dewey from the Villas, in 5-10 minutes.
Mamacita's Guesthouse , (787) 742-0090, 64 Castelar Street, Culebra island, Waterfront guesthouse with a Caribbean style bar and restaurant offers 10 rooms with balconys. The perfect place to enjoy your vacation, right in the heart of culebra.
MangoTree Culebra , (845) 797-5000, Near town, Culebra island, Private Apartment, sleeps 4 with kitchen and private balcony. Conveniently located, no need for a car. See the web site for pictures http://www.mangotreeculebra.com
Club Seabourne , one of the nicer hotels on the island, is located on the way to Soldier's Point. The accommodations here mainly consist of several small but well-furnished cabanas that overlook the hotel's moderately-sized pool. The very friendly staff offers complimentary breakfast, as well as lunch baskets, bike, snorkel and kayak rentals for small fees. In addition, they have a good bar and a pleasant but overpriced restaurant. Reserve, because the rooms here go quickly.
Tamarindo Estates, is a set of old, but comfortable apartments that sleep 2-3 people, and come with small kitchenettes and balconies. The hotel offers a pool, small grill for barbecues, and their own rocky private beach, which is great for some easy snorkeling and relaxation. It is conveniently located between Flamenco Beach and Dewey, at the end of the road to Tamarindo Beach.
You can reach Culebra via daily ferry from Fajardo or on week days from Vieques. Average price is about $2.50 for a ferry ride and it takes about one to one and a half hours from Fajardo. However, reaching Fajardo from San Juan by taxi costs $80-100. There is also a new high speed ferry option from San Juan on Thursdays through Sundays, which costs about $45 a head. Crowds can be thick for both ferries, so get there early, especially on weekend mornings. You can also reach Culebra via daily airplane service from San Juan, Fajardo, Vieques or nearby Saint Thomas. These are small 4-8 passenger planes. The plane ride may cost $25-$80 and take about 20 to 45 minutes.
For a budget traveler, you may also want to consider taking one of the local buses to Fajardo. Prices may be negotiated if you speak Spanish, and $10-$20 per person should cover the two hour ride. The buses are vans that depart sporadically, do not have air conditioning, and primarily serve locals. Tourists may have difficulty persuading taxi drivers that you want to go to the bus station.
There are several native-run taxi services on the island, ferrying tourists around town, to the airport, and to Flamenco Beach. They charge a very reasonable $2 per person. There are several businesses on the island that rent scooters or cars at the airport.
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