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A Trip to the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

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Have you ever heard of the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico? While many people know of the main Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, little know that there are actually two other small islands right off the coast called Vieques and Culebra.


This small island paradise hosts one of the best rated beaches in the world, and is the perfect day trip from the main island of Puerto Rico.


In this guide we're going to share the best things to do in Culebra, how to get there, and how to prepare for your trip there. Let's jump right in!

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Where is the Island of Culebra?

Culebra is a small island that is part of Puerto Rico, an island that belongs to the US, but is located in the Caribbean Sea. It is situated just 17 miles east off the coast of the main island.

where is the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

Culebra is a tiny island of the east coast of Puerto Rico.


How to Get to the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

In order to get to the island of Culebra, you will first need to make it to the main island of Puerto Rico. Once you are in Puerto Rico, you can either fly to Culebra, take the ferry, or arrange a boat excursion Here are the details for doing each of these.


Flying into the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

There are several flights daily going to the island of Culebra, and there are three airport on the main island that service this flight.


Flights to the Island of Culebra

San Juan International Airport (SJU) has one flight daily going in and coming back from Culebra Airport, operated by  Silver Airways. San Juan Domestic Airport (SIG) has flights several times throughout the day with Air Flamenco. These flights are just 35 minutes, but the shortest one is actually from Ceiba, the same place that you can take the ferry from, with Air Flamenco, and it is just 12 minutes. 


Flights from San Juan cost around $90/person, while flights from Ceiba cost $50/person.


Flight times and prices change every day, and do sell out, so we do suggest booking in advance if this is the option you want to take. Flight time is between 25-30 minutes, and the views are the highlight of going this route.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates to fly to Culebra.

Search for a flight to Culebra:

Flight Package to the Island of Culebra

While we prefer doing things on our own, some people prefer to have everything planned for them. With the package below you can have everything included- round trip flights to Culebra from San Juan, transfers to and from your hotel, a transfer to Flamenco beach, and beach chairs.

Taking the Ferry to the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

If you're looking for a more economically friendly option, then the ferry will be the way to go. Ferries claim online to be 45 minutes, but in reality take an hour, or sometimes up to an hour and half. The ride is slow but scenic, and comfortable.


You will also need to make sure to get tickets in advance, as they do sell out a few days in advance. The good thing though, is that only a certain percentage of the tickets are actually sold online, and the rest are there to be sold at the ticket office an hour before the ferry time. If you decide to do it this way, you'll want to ensure you get there early, especially if it is the weekend.


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Tickets for the ferry are just $2.25/ person, and leave from Ceiba. If you want to purchase your tickets in advance you can buy them by clicking here. Also keep in mind there are small charges if you decide to bring coolers, tents, or some other bigger items. The ferries hold cars, but they are only for locals, so you won't be able to bring your rental if you have one.

ferry to the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

Taking the ferry is the most economical way to get to the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Taking an Excursion to the Island of Culebra

If you want to visit the island of Culebra, snorkel, and have a fun day out on a boat, then an excursion may just be for you! There are plenty of options, but here is one that we recommend:

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Entry Requirements for Puerto Rico

When traveling somewhere new, there are different requirements at times, even if it is within your country! Here we're going to outline the different things you need to know for entering Puerto Rico.


Visa Requirements for Puerto Rico

The same visa requirements go for Puerto Rico that go for the US. If you are from the states, you can simply bring your license, as there's no need for a passport. If you aren't from the US and need a visa to enter the US, then make sure you do so before arriving to Puerto Rico.


Covid Entry Requirements for Puerto Rico

Unlike the rest of the USPuerto Rico has been quite stricter with their Covid requirements. The good news is though, that you no longer need to prove you are vaccinated or have a negative Covid test to enter the island.


They do have a few other protocols due to Covid, which we'll go over later in the article. (If you would like to skip to that part you can simply click here).


Local Adjustments for Culebra

Whenever traveling there are things that you may forget about, which may be different from where you are coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind while traveling to the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.


What Language is Spoken in Culebra?

The official language in Puerto Rico and the islands that belong to it is Spanish. The Spanish is Puerto Rico can be very difficult to understand as they speak extremely fast, and tend to slur their words together.


If you do speak Spanish, it will surely help and be appreciated by the locals. If you don't speak the language, then not to worry- most locals do speak English as well.


Currency Used in Culebra

The currency used on the island of Culebra is the same as Puerto Rico and the rest of the US, which is the USD. Credit card is able to be used almost anywhere, but we do suggest having some cash for the taxis or for tipping.


Outlets in Culebra

Vieques uses the same outlets as Puerto Rico and the rest of the US, which are plug types A and B. The standard voltage in Puerto Rico is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.


Can You Drink Water on Culebra?

The tap water on the island of Culebra is usually the same that comes from the main island of Puerto Rico, and is completely safe to drink. We did however have different reviews of the water from locals, so it's better to ask each establishment.


We suggest bringing a refillable and insulated water bottle to put your tap or bottles water, as it gets very hot on this Caribbean island.


Tipping Culture in Culebra

The tipping culture on the island of Culebra is pretty much the same as the rest of the US. It is standard for 15-20% for tipping in restaurants. Some restaurants do include gratuity, so make sure to check on your bill to ensure you're not tipping twice, or are tipping enough.

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Things to Do on the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

Culebra is small, but it definitely has quite a few reasons for visiting. Here are our favorite things to do on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.


Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

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Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico Pin
Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico Pin

Relax at Flamenco Beach

This was rated as one of the top ten beaches of the world! A stunning Caribbean gem, Flamenco beach is definitely the number one thing to do on the island of Culebra.


The long sandy white beach has beautiful greenery jutting out in the back, turquoise waters, and amenities such as beach bars, chairs, and umbrellas for rent.


Flamenco Beach, island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach is rated as one of the best beaches in the world.

Note: When I visited there was quite a bit of seaweed. While I do think there are definitely more beautiful beaches in the world, this one is still for sure one to have on your bucket list, and one of the top beaches in Puerto Rico.


It's no secret that Puerto Rico has some pretty great beaches. Being an island, you can only imagine how many beaches there are! While there are an incredible amount of beautiful spots to hit. We've decided to make a list of our top ten beaches in Puerto Rico.These aren't just

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Explore the Colorful Military Tank

If you're looking for colorful spots in Puerto Rico, then this is a great one to check out. Located right on Flamenco beach is an old US military tank that is rusted and covered with colorful graffiti. If you like photography, then this is definitely a place work stopping by!


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Check Out the Turtle Nesting at Zoni Beach

If you want to a bit more off-the-beaten-path, then head over to the other side of the island to Zoni Beach. If you happen to visit the island of Culebra in the summer, you may just be able to witness the turtle nesting!


Take a Boat Trip to Culebrita 

Want to explore some of the other gems that the area has to offer? Culebrita is a tiny island off the coast of Culebra that you can visit by boat. With some of the most stunning waters in Puerto Rico, this is definitely something we recommend if you're planning on staying in Culebra for more than a day.


Sailing around the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

Sailing around is a great way to explore the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.

Go Snorkeling

There is some beautiful marine life that the Caribbean has to offer, so it's no surprise that the island of Culebra is a great place to snorkel. You can bring your own gear to one of the small coves, or you can also book a tour to get to the best spots. Below is our suggestion for a snorkeling tour in Culebra, Puerto Rico


Here are a few excursions with snorkeling in Culebra that you can choose from:

Go Kayaking

Another great option for exploring the shoreline of Culebra is to go on a kayaking trip! It really allows you to enjoy the waters in a whole new way, and to get a bit of activity in you during amongst those lazy beach days.


We actually found the perfect activity for those that want to include transportation, kayaking, and even snorkeling all in one! Check out the activity below for an all-in-one experience.


Getting Around the Island of Culebra: How Do You Move Around Culebra?

If you want to do a few of the best things to do in Culebra, then you'll definitely want to find a mode of transportation. Despite the island not seeming so big, walking all of it would take quite a while. Here are the different options for getting around the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.


Rent a Golf Cart

Our absolute favorite way to get around the island of Culebra is by golf cart. There are just a couple of companies on the island, and the one we used in Vieques actually also had a spot in Culebra. 


We used UTV rental, which is just a short walk from the port. Golf carts are for 4 people, and you'll need a license and a deposit to put down. There are a few different options, and the only one available at the time for us was the most expensive- which was $110 for the day.


The cheapest cart that is available in advance can be reserved online for just $50. So we definitely suggest booking via their website early, especially since on weekends they sometimes sell out before the morning ferry arrives.


Rent a Car

If you'd like to get around faster and have AC, then you can also rent a jeep or SUV for the day. Two companies that offer daily rental are Jerry's Jeep Company, and Carlos Jeep Company, and prices start at $95/day.

Take a Taxi

Ubers are not available on the island of Culebra, so if you don't rent something, then you'll unfortunately be stuck relying on taxis.


While taxis on the mainland run by meter generally, the taxis on the island of Culebra are a flat rate. We're not talking $10 rides, we're talking flat per person rates. You can imagine that paying $30-$40 for your group to go to the beach can be quite frustrating, which is why we don't necessarily recommend it. However, if you simply want to go to just one beach and not move around more, then this would be the cheapest option.


If you do want a taxi you can simply call one (don't worry- if you're from the US your phone will work as if you were in the states).


Food & Drinks on the Island of Culebra

Being that we were only on the island of Culebra for a day, we didn't get a chance to try a ton of restaurants. However, we did have Mexican food at Zaco's Tacos. It was a great vibe, and they also serve St. Thomas's famous Buschwackers!


Another recommended spot we got by a local is Susie's. We really wanted to go there, but it is only open from dinner starting at 6:30 pm. If you're planning on spending a night then we definitely recommend making a reservation here, as we hear it's fantastic!

Zaco's Taco's. where to eat in Culebra

Zaco's Tacos is a great Mexican Restaurant in the town of Culebra.

When it comes to local food, the cuisine in Puerto Rico is very rich, and calorie dense. Here are a few of the dishes that we recommend trying:


Mofongo

This is the national dish of Puerto Rico, and you absolutely cannot visit these islands without trying it. Mashed plantains with garlic are topped with grilled meat or seafood to make up this Puerto Rican specialty.


Tostones Rellenos

Tostones (fried plantains) are super popular around the Caribbean and Central America. The plate Tostones Rellenos though, are typical to just Puerto Rico.


These are also fried plantains, but tostones rellenos are stuffed.. Puerto Ricans take the plantains and press them into the form of small cups, and then stuff them with either meat or shrimp. They're the perfect snack to start your meal off with or to accompany your beer.

local food in Puerto Rico

Tostones Rellenos are the tiny cup looking snacks.

Pastelillos

Looking for a quick snack to bring to the beach with you? Pastelillos are sort of like mini empanadas that you can easily find at beach bars throughout Puerto Rico, only costing about $1-$2 a piece.


Momposteo

This hearty mix of rice, beans, and spices is another staple in the Puerto Rican cuisine. We tried it while on the island of Vieques, and absolutely loved it.


Piña Colada

Did you know that the official drink in Puerto Rico is the Piña Colada? Make sure to head to one of the beach bars and try these delicious frozen drinks.


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Where to Stay on the Island of Culebra

While most people visit the island of Culebra on a day trip, you can definitely stay a night to experience all that it has to offer. There aren't a ton of accommodation options, but you can check the different ones across the island by clicking the map below:

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Is the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico Safe?

There are a lot of mixed reviews for when it comes to safety in Puerto Rico, especially from the Raggaeton songs about "La Perla" outside San Juan. We're happy to say that none of the dangerous areas are located on the island of Culebra, and it is an extremely safe and pleasant island to travel as a tourist.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

Now that you know how to get around, how to get to the island, and the best things to do in Culebra, Puerto Rico, we have a few other things to share with you to help make your travels go smoothly.


The Best Time to Visit the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean, so our favorite time is definitely to visit in the winter months, when temperatures are a little more mild. Try to avoid visiting these islands from August to October, as this is hurricane season, and Puerto Rico is pretty susceptible to intense storms.


For visiting the island of Culebra in general, we suggest going during the week when it is not so busy. The island is very quiet when it comes to nightlife. We suggest sticking to having your weekend parties in San Juan or other areas of Puerto Rico, and recommend going to the island of Culebra anytime from Sunday to Thursday.


Weather & Packing for a Trip to the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

The island of Culebra is super hot year round, and the Caribbean sun is very strong. Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and aloe vera. A towel, swimsuits, and flip-flops are all you'll need for staying on the island. However, it is important to note that the ferry requires everyone to be fully dressed. 

weather on the island of Culebra

The Island of Culebra is very tropical and hot year round.

You can't simply wear a sheer cover up, a bathing suit as a top, or a towel around you. They are quite strict about this, and we even saw them turning people away before entering the vessel.


Masks are required for the ferry ride, and they won't even let you go to the ticket counter unless you have one. Make sure to have one on you before you enter the gate so you don't have security freaking out on you like they did to us. Finally, you may want to bring bug spray, as some of the beaches had little sand fleas.


Packing List for the Island of Culebra

  • Sunscreen (the sun is super strong)
  • Aloe
  • Bug Spray
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Towel
  • Bathing Suit
  • Cover Up for the ferry (not sheer)
  • Zippered Bag or Backpack - take a look at these backpacks for travelers!
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • Waterproof Phone Pouch (we use the Cafago Waterproof Phone Pouch)
  • Dry Bag (for the kayak excursions)
  • Mask for the ferry 
  • Driver's License if you want to rent a golf cart or cart

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Now that you have all there is to know, you are ready for a fun trip to this Caribbean Island! With the relaxing tropical vibes of the Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico, we think one full day is perfect here.


Are you planning on visiting other parts of Puerto Rico? We have plenty of other travel guides for great things to do all around the main island!


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