The hustle and bustle of San Juan nightlife may leave visitors craving a day trip to enjoy some time away from the city. If you’re on a quest to find a peaceful escape with pristine white sand beaches then look no farther than Culebra Island. The secluded paradise off Puerto Rico’s east shore is home to the most beautiful coast in the Caribbean.
Culebra Island is an Instagram worthy slice of the Spanish Virgin Islands. Situated between Puerto Rico and Saint Thomas, it remains one of the few untouched beaches left to explore. In fact, the island's nickname is Última Virgen, meaning the last virgin.
Sink your toes into the sand, catch the surf, and plan your getaway to Culebra Island with this pocket travel guide courtesy of your friends at the Condado Ocean Club Hotel!
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Source: Caribbean Flights[/caption]
Getting There By Sea or Air
Making the journey from San Juan to Culebra is just a short hop by plane or ferry. But, there are a few things to know before you venture off.
Culebra Island by Plane
Getting to Culebra Island by plane is the fastest, most popular route. Departing from Ceiba International Airport, a tiny hub with equally tiny planes will have you feeling like a true island explorer. Flights from Ceiba to Culebra are $40.00 USD each way and only 10 minutes long! Direct flights from San Juan are available as well with a fly time of 30 minutes. Whichever airport you choose, you'll be sipping cocktails on the beach in no time at all!
Be sure to arrive at least half an hour before your flight and to book early as tickets sell out fast during the busy season. The best places to book flights for Culebra are Air Flamenco or Vieques Air Link. Go with the earliest flight whenever possible to beat the crowds. Culebra Island by Ferry
At just $4.50 USD for a round-trip ticket, the ferry is definitely the more budget-savvy option. Unfortunately, money saved on tickets may be accounted for in long wait times, lack of parking, and availability. Ferries only depart at 9:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m so if you miss your morning trip, you'll be in for a long wait!
All the same, choosing the ferry can be a fun way to take in the island’s views. Rides depart from Fajardo, just an hour and a half drive from San Juan. Get there early enough to catch the sunrise -- and your ride.
Staying in Style
The best part about Culebra Island is what you won't find there. Chain restaurants, casinos, high rise hotels, and rush hour traffic are all missing from this remote shore. The peaceful atmosphere on the island may be disrupted during your search for accommodations. Culebra hotels are somewhat scarce and you won't find any major chains on the island. Your best bet is to stay at a hostel, go the AirBnB route, or camp alongside Flamenco Beach.
To skip the hassle, plan a day trip! Staying in San Juan and catching a quick flight back is the best way to maximize your time without worrying about booking additional lodging.
Combing Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico
Now that you've made it to Culebra, it's time to relax at the world-famous Flamenco Beach. One of the most unique beaches in the world, this diamond dust shore has so much more than sunbathing to offer. Vintage U.S. Army tanks dating back to World War II line the coast, a testament to Puerto Rico's rich living history. Graffiti now adorns the relics of war creating one of the best pop art pieces in the island. The story behind this strange sight is as enchanting as the unconventional art pieces.
After four long years of outcry from the island locals, the peaceful protests of the early 1970s were finally answered. When the tanks left behind were too large to move, the island community decided to decorate them with bright splashes of color. This bold statement of peace and humanity, ringing triumphantly over past conflict, is a sight to behold. New designs are added every few years as the tanks get a fresh coat of paint and visitors to get to enjoy a rotating beachside installation.
Flamenco Beach is also a great spot for camping and stargazing. If roughing it isn't your idea of a holiday, Culebra villas are a luxurious "glamping" option to take in nature from the comfort of a
Snorkeling and scuba diving off the coast of Flamenco can be a thrilling experience for more daring travelers. The island is home to world-class diving reefs and impressive cliffs for unforgettable hikes.
Nearby beaches include Turtle Beach for prime wildlife viewing; Cayo Lobo where guests can enjoy the ultimate tour experience that even includes diving with sharks; and Zoni Beach for guided hikes or solo adventures. Save some time to check out Culebra's Museum of History, as well as the Culebrita Island lighthouse.
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Source: Discover Puerto Rico[/caption]
Where to Eat, Drink, and Relax
When it's time for some relaxation after your relaxation time, head over to the tiny town of Dewey for local cuisine and amazing cocktails. This little island village has a population of only 1,800 residents. As the main town of the island, visitors will find boutiques, gift shops, restaurants and bars to keep even the most discerning foodie satisfied. The peaceful streets are perfect for taking a self-guided walking tour of Culebra's rich culture and history.
Book your luxurious island retreat today and start packing for an incredible journey!