Culebra Island, a Dive into Tranquility A little paradise of peace
With 23 offshore islands, Culebra could be considered a miniature archipelago; coral reefs at Culebra Island are some of the most spectacular of the Caribbean region. This island represents the travelers’ ideal place for vacation, if tranquility is indeed what it is needed. Culebra, also known as “Isla Chiquita”, or small island, and “Ultima Virgen”, or last virgin, is located 17 miles east of Puerto Rico and 15 miles west of St. Thomas. Just seven miles long and four miles wide, the capital Dewey, holds the majority of the population, about 2,000 year-round residents.
Since 1909 the majority of the island has been selected by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a nature preserve; this is very important as Culebra is one of only two nesting places for giant sea turtles in the entire United States. It is a wonderful site, where in danger of extinction species of birds, turtles, and lizards are safe, away from the devastation caused by human beings. The protected area is accessible by ferry from the east coast or by plane from San Juan.
Flamenco Beach is Culebra’s most popular beach; a mile of splendid pure white-coral sand framed by Culebra barren hills, also protected as a marine wildlife reserve. Flamenco Beach is a place to escape the crowd and chaos found on the main island of Puerto Rico; the beach is easily accessible, and it is the only place on the island that allows camping. As the campgrounds are limited, it is a good idea to secure a reservation ahead; at Flamenco Beach, visitors can find plenty of amenities, such as kiosks to rent chairs, umbrellas, tents, food, and drinks.
Prime turtle-nesting season goes from April to June; visitors can participate to turtle watches on Fridays, Saturdays, and other occasional weekdays, depending on scheduling. Culebra beaches, including Melones and Carlos Rosario, as well as Mosquito beach, offer access to great snorkeling reefs.