Culebra, Puerto Rico, is a remote, sleepy island with long stretches of pristine, uncrowded white-sand beach. Located about 45 mi/72 km east of San Juan, Culebra is a great escape from the development and faster pace of the main island.
Along with the island of Vieques, Culebra has the best diving and snorkeling in Puerto Rico.
Part of the island and the surrounding 23 islets make up a national wildlife refuge. Used by the U.S. military for bombing practice until 1975, these coral-reef-fringed islands are home to mangrove forests, dozens of species of seabirds and four species of sea turtles (it's one of only two known U.S. nesting sites for giant sea turtles).
Culebra is accessible by a public ferry from the east coast town of Fajardo, which makes the trip in about 90 minutes. Phone 787-494-0934 for a schedule.
Daytime excursions may be made to Culebrita (old lighthouse, rare flora and fauna) and Cayo de Luis Pena. Accommodations on Culebra range from basic cabins to comfortable villas.
For more information about the island, contact the Culebra Tourism Office. Phone 787-742-1033.
Culebra sustained severe damage during Hurricane Maria in September 2017. The ferry and daytrips have resumed, and the beaches are as beautiful as ever, but accommodations for longer stays may be limited.
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