8 Things You Shouldn’t Miss on Culebra

Culebra is a picturesque little island that lies approximately 17 miles east of Puerto Rico. It’s an island municipality under the domain of Puerto Rico. At seven miles wide and three miles long, Culebra is the smallest of the inhabited Spanish Virgin Islands.

Although modest in size, Culebra has a welcoming small island charm, stunning beaches and amazing snorkeling. There are no large resorts on island, but there are a few cottages, guest houses and villas available for rent. Due to a good ferry schedule, many visitors come to Culebra just for a day visit. You can also take a short flight from PR, which may give you more time to play.

What should you do if you’re lucky enough to spend some time on this pretty island? Check out this list of  the 8 Things You Shouldn’t Miss on Culebra to start your planning!

1. Flamenco Beach

Flamenco Beach, Culebra - copyright Rum Therapy

Frequently listed as one of the top beaches in the world, Flamenco is even prettier than a postcard. A long swath of soft, white sand surrounded by stunning hues of blue…
See more photos of Flamenco Beach here

2. Tanks on Flamenco

Tank on Flamenco Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Although it’s a rather abnormal attraction to list, the old tanks on Flamenco Beach are interesting enough to seek out. On the far west side of the beach you will find one sitting in the beautiful water just off the shoreline. Painted over and over by the locals, the tank is a vivid reminder of the history of Culebra when it was used as a training site for the US Navy.
Read more about it here

3. Snorkeling

Snorkeling on Culebra - copyright Rum Therapy
You’ll find clear water and pristine snorkeling spots in several areas on Culebra. Best part? Most have beach access, so just slip on your flippers and mask and get going!
Discover some of the best snorkeling spots on Culebra here

4. Eating

You’ll find some of the same delicious treats on Culebra as on Puerto Rico, such as this Puerto Rican Pincho served from one of the food kiosks on Flamenco Beach, but there are other dining options to explore as well. Mamacita’s serves up dishes with a Mexican flare and you can find a few other delicious options here

5. Explore by Golf Cart

Golf Cart on Culebra - copyright Rum Therapy
Culebra is not a large island and you can certainly explore a lot of it in one day. Best way to get around? You can rent a jeep, but why not just rent a golf cart? Economical and easy to zip around it!
Here’s one of the rental agencies on Culebra

6. Zoni Beach

You may get so stunned by the beauty of Flamenco that you will forget to visit some of the other gorgeous beaches on Culebra. One of our favorites? Zoni Beach, on the islands northeast side – quieter than its famous neighbor, but still beautiful.

7. Culebrita
Just off the eastern shore of Culebra sits Isla Culebrita, a small uninhabited island that is a wildlife refuge. Only a few people visit Culebrita each day, so it’s likely that you’ll have plenty of space to explore the beaches, an old lighthouse, relax in tidal pools and snorkel. You’ll need to hire a water taxi or join an excursion to get to Culebrita.
Find out more about this pretty island here

8. Top off the day with a drink at The Dinghy Dock

Top off a perfect day on Culebra by stopping by The Dinghy Dock to check out the huge tarpon swimming right off the dock, chat with the locals and listen to the tales of sailors that frequent the bar and enjoy a refreshing drink – such as this cold and creamy Bushwacker.

 Have you been to Culebra? Tell us about it!

 Find Culebra on our Puerto Rico Map

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

A Day Trip to Vieques

A few days after our day trip to Culebra (read “A Day Trip to Culebra” here), we headed back to Fajardo to board the ferry to the other main Spanish Virgin Island – Vieques. Vieques lies about 8 miles east of Puerto Rico, and is an easy ferry ride from the mainland. Although there were a few raindrops on our ride over, we were greeted with a full day of warm sunshine upon our arrival.

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Wanting to explore as much of the island as we could in a day, we rented a Jeep from a small car rental agency just a few blocks away from the ferry.

So what did we do during our day on Vieques?

Vieques is known for its beautiful beaches, and our goal was to see as many on the south side as possible. We left Isabel Segunda and headed down island, entered the US Fish and Wildlife Reserve on the east side and took the road as far as we could. There are still some areas of Vieques off limits due to the cleanup of former military exercises (see a brief history here) and several of the beaches in this area were closed during our visit. It was a pretty, but bumpy ride through the Reserve and the area had an abundance of horses roaming around.

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We got a chance to peek at several beaches, including Pata Prieta, Red Beach (or Caracas Beach), Navio Beach, Media Luna and Sun Bay. Our favorites that day?

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Media Luna because it was shallow, sandy and calm…

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And Sun Bay. A beautiful long expanse of tan sand with calm clear water. Sun Bay also had a small restaurant/bar/gift shop and a bunch of wild horses meandering the area around the beach.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
After an hour or two in the surf and sun, we wandered into the small beachside town of Esparanza. The town was quiet and laid back – just the type of town we could see ourselves hanging around for a while. Thirsty, we stopped at a colorful place called Bananas for a beverage.

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Rum Punches were the Happy Hour special, so we ordered a couple.

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The drinks were delicious and the view across the street wasn’t bad either.

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We could have stuck around Bananas enjoying a few more cocktails and chatting with the locals and other visitors, but we were determined to find the black sand beach – and headed west. We took a hike down to the beach on a dry river bed and spent a couple of minutes enjoying the contrast of colors with the sand and the cliffs.

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The afternoon was flying by and we started back to Isabel Segunda to return the Jeep. We made a stop at Al’s Mar Azul (read more) to grab some dinner and a drink and enjoy a phenomenal sunset before heading back the the ferry for our ride back to the mainland.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
As wonderful as our day on Vieques was, we just couldn’t squeeze everything we wanted to see into just one day, including more beach time, time to roam around some of the towns to check out the local shops, restaurants and bars, learn more about the history of the island, enjoy more wild horse sightings and take an evening excursion through the Bioluminescent Bay. Another visit of several days or more will remain on “our list”!

Have you been to Vieques? Tell us about it!

 Find Vieques on our Puerto Rico Map

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

A Day Trip to Culebra

17 miles off the northeast coast of Puerto Rico sits Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. This quiet little island is a mere 12 square miles in size. Regardless of its relatively small stature, Culebra boasts several gorgeous beaches, one of which, Flamenco Beach, is frequently listed as one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean.

While spending some time in Puerto Rico, we wanted to experience a day trip to Culebra and arranged to take the ferry on a weekday morning to try and miss some of the local weekend traffic.

We arrived at the ferry terminal in Fajardo at 7:30 am. We’d heard that the ferry to Culebra can fill up quickly and that if we wanted to be sure to get on the early ferry, we needed to be there ahead of time – in fact our hotel recommended up to 2 hours early. So, we set the alarm, rushed out the door of our resort in Rio Grande, battled a bit of rush hour traffic and arrived at about 7:30 for the 9:00 ferry. Thankfully, we were the first ones in line for tickets.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
For $4.50, we each purchased a round trip ticket on a large and comfortable vessel with plenty of seating. We plugged in our iPod’s, settled in and enjoyed the smooth hour long transfer to Culebra. On the trip over, we were able to reserve a golf cart for the day and upon arrival were whisked to Carlos Jeep Rental to finish the transaction.

So what did we do during our day on Culebra?

We started out with a frozen mango – guava cone sold at a stand right off of the ferry dock.

Flamenco Beach copyright Rum Therapy
Headed to Flamenco Beach where we spent a good part of the day walking from one end to the other in the beautiful white sand,

floating in the warm water enjoying the sunshine and scenery,

then washing down some tasty Pinchos with a cold Medalla.
(Read and see more pics from our Flamenco Beach post here)

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Drove the golf cart to the other end of the island to see Zoni Beach, another spectacular stretch of sand on the islands east side.

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Strolled through town to check out the shops, restaurants and bars

Then capped off the day sipping Bushwackers at the Dinghy Dock while watching huge groupers swim by the dock…

What did we miss? Quite a lot actually. We could have used at least one more full day to enjoy some of the islands best snorkeling at Melones Beach and Carlos Rosario Beach, some time to hike and enjoy the beautiful vistas and more time sipping a cold beverage while chatting with the locals and other visitors at the Dinghy Dock. Then, we would like yet another day to take a water taxi over to Culebrita, a little uninhabited cay off across from Zoni Beach to hike to the abandoned lighthouse, check out the beautiful, deserted beaches and to snorkel with the islands resident turtles.

Ok, if we had our way, we’d have to stay at least a week to totally take in the beauty and charm of this laid back island where you can really kinda feel yourself entering island from the moment you step ashore.

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 Have you been to Culebra? Tell us about it!

 Find Culebra on our Puerto Rico Map

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Flamenco Beach, Culebra

Flamenco Beach, in a protected cove on Culebra’s north shore, is consistently ranked in top beach lists. During a recent stay in Puerto Rico, we decided to take a day trip to Culebra to spend some time on Flamenco and check another top 10 beach off of our list.

We were a little worried that because of all the hype, Flamenco would be packed, but the moment we spotted the path to the beach and the ultra blue water of Flamenco – we didn’t care!

Flamenco Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
As we got to the end of the path, the sheer beauty of Flamenco took our breath away. To the right was a very long, very wide arc of creamy, white sand. To the left the beach was not as wide, but it was fringed with lovely palm trees.

Flamenco Beach copyright Rum Therapy
Flamenco Beach copyright Rum Therapy
Walking one end of the beach to the other may take a while, but is well worth it. On the right side – the beach is very wide with very little shade.

Flamenco Beach copyright Rum Therapy
There were a few umbrellas and beach chairs to rent. Continuing to the right, at the very end of the beach you’ll find some very good snorkeling. 

Flamenco Beach copyright Rum Therapy
On the left side, the beach narrows and is fringed by some beautiful palm trees. There are some great sandy areas with shade on this side.

Flamenco Beach new copyright
Walk all the way to the end of the beach on the left and you’ll come across an old rusted tank – a reminder of a time when Culebra was used for military exercises by the US Navy.

After all that walking, you can quench your thirst with the local Puerto Rican beer, Medalla, and a yummy Pincho at one of the kiosks behind the beach.

With its calm, blue water, long expanse of soft sand and plenty of room to relax – it’s easy to see why Flamenco Beach is one of the top rated beaches in the world.  It’s one of the top on my list now too!


Find Flamenco Beach on our Puerto Rico Map

To see more posts on Culebra and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC