We trekked along a trail to the other side of the island. It is like searching for Easter eggs: you walk through the dense vegetation and suddenly there is a beach. You walk some more, and look, one more beautiful beach, this time with corals a few meters away. Every once in a while you will find some other backpacker discovering the island the same way.
The best beach to go snorkelling is Carlos Rosario beach. Just keep hiking till you find a huge board facing the sea that says "Carlos Rosario". They have a map of the beach that shows the exact location of the coral reefs that are only swimming distance away. Its also a great place to lie down and enjoy the scenery.
Culebra’s main claim to fame is Playa Flamenco (Flamenco Beach), which is hyped as being Puerto Rico’s top beach and one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and the world. It was without question the top beach in Puerto Rico that I visited, and it compares favorably to many other top Caribbean beaches I have visited. But, as nice as it is (and it is pretty damn nice), it doesn’t hold a candle to some of the beaches in Brazil, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia. Of course, those places are somewhat more difficult and costly for many people to reach, and, all things considered, Playa Flamenco is an outstanding beach. The beach is an hour or so walk or an eight-minute, $2 ride, from Culebra’s only settlement, Dewey.
We walked on the white sands of the beach, appreciating the green water and eyeing the corals that were within swimming distance. Soon we came across a couple of rusty battle-tanks on the beach. Apparently, these were the targets that were to be destroyed when the Navy conducted its exercises. Certain parts of the island are still cordoned off with fences. We shared the whole beach with less than 5 other people. A quick breakfast later, we were swimming in the sea.
The corals that are withing swimming distance on Flamenco beach are too impressive. I would recommend taking a boat and seeing some of the better ones.
Dewey, named after Admiral Dewey of, what else, the US Navy. We went there to have lunch. Dewey is nothing more than a collection of houses with some bars. The docks are a short walking distance away. The place is dead in the afternoons and sees some action at night. We walked around Dewey, talking to some of the local people. The locals are the product of a varied racial mix. The story starts from the Taino Indians, who later married some of the Spanish conquistadors, who later mingled with the African slaves from Sierra Leone, Sudan, Senegal, etc. The 1800s saw an influx of the French escaping from Louisiana, and Irish escaping from the potato famine. Finally, the Chinese also arrived during the road construction boom in the 1900s. All said and done, the population of Culebra is around 1500, and crime is almost unknown. You could leave your bag at any place and simply walk around to enjoy the scenery.
The sapphire Gin clear waters are everpresent. For every corner an expansive veiw opens up and temps my body. From a plane alot of bodies of water look blue. But as a bird comes down to the earth surface the waters darken. In the Carribean they remain dreamy at all levels of sight. Something buried inside my psyche pushes me towards, maybe the life I had lead living seaside, forces myself to be submerged to be satisfied. Its like the weird urge that overcomes when standing at a buildings edge, theres nothing suicidal about your interest in what would happen if you jumped, but there is this little notin in the back of your head that is telling you to do it. Your reasoning gets in the way. When I see waters like this my reasoning has no time to get in the way and stop my leg muscles from pushing me foward and putting my body in that gin and tonic.
Driving out on the sole road that directs to Playa Zoni the bay will zig zag near and far from the edge. Veer right at the airport after leaving Dewey. In the shallow waters there comes vistas through mangrove patches. We parked the moped and sat bayside while large Iguanas scurried in fright into the dark entanglement these trees performed. Just one of many solitude ridden moments one will feel on the road out.
Accessability is the issue here. Headed south out of Dewey on a thin strip of see-ment, cross over the bridge and keep driving. The road will fade away into fragments and soon turn to dirt with scattered large rocks that render a moped useless. Dis-embark and ferry the bike turning the handle ever so slightly so your not pushing but the moped is pulling you along like a undiciplined pit-bull on a leash. Keep forward even though the surroundings are getting less and less roadside structures. The road will end and after parking you will be rewarded with Culebras absolute best snorkeling spot. And I swear...Yukijohn was the only people there. Secluded.
Playa Zoni is a stretch away from the more popular Flamenco Beach. There are no publicos making it out here. You must either hitch a ride or do as we did and buzz there on a moped. The roads are choppy and broken and when the rain falls the last part of the voyage could get muddy. In a Local questioning we found out that this is the place the "loc dogs" go. The expansive empty beach outlines the eastern edge of Culebra. Considered "a great diving spot" one must bring snorkeling gear and submerge. Theres another world going on down there that is much more crowded than above water. The horizoon is dotted with other tropical masses sitting hump-backed out of the water.
For 40 dollars a day split by 2 it's well worth the price if you are rewarded picturesque vistas like this that one will not get with Publico access only. There is so much more to Culebra than the road between Dewey and Flamenco Beach. Explore a bit you lazy blob.
People remind you along with all the travel books that this is the 2nd best beach in the world. Suppossedly Travel and Leisure claims this along with other mags. I want to know where is the first best. Why does this place have to settle for losing? This semi-title forces the people to come in droves. The Publicos only make it here, its there to and fro from the ferry. So your best bet is to come early in the morning or in the latter part of the afternoon before and after the ferry crowd, at this time you will find the sands literally empty.
I love how this is not taken from standing inside a building looking at the water. That is what I look for in a beach, buildingless, I want greenery to buffer the beach. This creates a more further away feeling that I yearn for on a beach. I don't need ice cream cones, ferris wheels and funnel cake. I need water, velvety sand and palm trees.
A fifteen or so minute walk from Playa Flamenco, Playa Carlos Rosario is often billed as Puerto Rico’s finest snorkeling site. If that is the case, it doesn’t say much for snorkeling in Puerto Rican waters. The coral is in fairly decent shape, but the area seems to have been largely fished out. The best snorkeling is actually a quarter mile or so north of the beach where there is a fairly substantial drop-off and along the cliffs south of the beach.
Parts of Culebra and most of the offshore islets are part of the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge. During the breeding season, these protected areas play host to more than 50,000 breeding pairs of seabirds, including Red-billed Tropicbird, Masked and Red-footed Boobies, and Bridled and Sooty Terns. Unfortunately, my visit was outside the breeding season, so I had to settle for Magnificent Frigatebird, Bananaquit, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Green-throated Carib, and other year-round and winter resident species.
Culebra has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This small, funny island has some of the most untouched beaches in the western hemisphere. Most are free of charge and provide umbrellas (for a small fee). Take a shared taxi to one of Culebra's numerous beaches and do so some snorkling or simply enjoy a few beers while relaxing on these beautiful beaches!
I took a scooter from the Culebra airport to Flamingo beach, then throuh the town and on to Zoni. One ofthe best days I have ever had in terms of exploring. You can see so much! A bike would have been way to hard.
My favorite is Zoni. It takes a little while to get to, but is sooooo worth it once you have arrived. There were about 4 or 5 people on this long beach and no one within 400 yards of us. Once in the water, the floor is soft sand that melts around your feet. The islands are awesome to look at and St. Thomas off in the distance reminds you that you are in another world.
We took the Ferry from Fajardo. Easy 1 hour trip. We walked to the airport (about 20 minutes at most) and paid around $35 for the day....Nice lady at scooter shop gave us a lift back to the ferry dock.
All and all must if you are looking for things to do in PR