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“Culebra- what you need to know” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Culebra

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Culebra
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Puerto Rico
Normandy Park, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Culebra- what you need to know”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2010

My husband and I just spent 10 days on Culebra. It was exactly what we were looking for, but I can see how it might not be for everyone. If you enjoy beautiful beaches and a laid back environment, then it's the place for you. We have been to Hawaii, Mexico, Cook Island, Fiji and other Carribean destinations; Culebra has the most beautiful beaches and best snorkeling by far. We didn't think that the prices were that outrageous. You are on vacation, what do you expect? You need to remember that you are on an island, so it costs money to get supplies there and food will cost a bit more. In our opinion, it was worth every penny. Here is what we did and some advice. Some of this info would have come in handy for us.
Lodging- We stayed at Casa Ensenada. It was perfect for us. We stayed in the Paqueno room, which is the smallest. It has a small kitchenette. The only drawback is it's hard to see out of the windows, so you can't really look outside. They do supply beach towels and a cooler for you, which was really convienent. The manager is very nice. You can get clean towels everyday if needed and they will change your sheets when requested. There is an outdoor BBQ for you to use and a free kyak. If we stayed there again, we would get the Studio so we had a little more space. It is within walking distance of the airport and takes about 10 minutes to get to if you don't want to wait for the bus. It is basically in Dewey, so you don't need to drive into town, you can walk everywhere. The nights are beautiful and it's totally safe to walk around.
Car rental- you don't need a jeep to get around. There is really no off roading to be done. We rented a golf cart from Carlos Jeep Rental by the airport and it was perfect. It got us where we needed to go and was fun to drive. It's also a lot eaiser to park on the skinny streets. Once you land, you can just walk over to the rental place and get your cart or jeep if you prefer.
Equipment rental- We rented our snorkel gear from Culebra Bike Rentals next to the Dinghy Dock. We also rented beach chairs for $5 per day, totally worth it! They are backpack chairs, so if you hike anywhere they are easy to take along. You can also rent umbrellas and obvisously bikes.
Restaraunts- There is no night life, but that's not our thing so it was fine with us. Mamacita's does have a DJ on Friday nights and a drum circle on Sat nights, I highly reccomend it! We thought Mamacita's had the best food and were never disappointed with our meal. The homeade desserts where fantastic! They also have good breakfasts as well. We had dinner at El Batey one night, they have the most amazing cheeseburgers and curley fries, out of this world! We heard that Susies and Barbara Rosa's had good food, but we never made it. The pizza at Heather's was also great! In the morning we would go to El Eden and get fresh sandwiches made to take to the beach for lunch. They are also a liquor store so we could buy beer. You can only buy alcohol at a liquor store. El Eden is one and there is another right before you get to El Eden on the right hand side. There may have been one other, but I can't remember.
Beaches- We would load up our cooler with food and drinks and head to the beach for the day. No glass is allowed at Flamenco, they will check your cooler. You can buy food/drinks at Flamenco, but that is the only beach you can. The Empanada's are really good if you get a fresh one. The hike to Carlos Rosario is totally worth it. You can find the trail head in the parking lot of Flamenco, it takes about 20 mins. The snorkeling is AMAZING and it's a nice beach to spend the day at. Zoni beach is also a nice beach to spend the day. Yes, you can take your golf cart all the way to the bottom. You may see people parked at the top of the hill or it may look like you can't make it; trust me, you can. Snorkeling at Melones beach is also great, it's very similiar to Carlos Rosario. We took a water taxi to Culebrita for the day. Tortuga Beach is BEAUTIFUL, I think it's almost nicer then Flamenco. We took the Macujam water taxi for $45 per person. They will pick you up at the ferry dock and pick you up from the island at anytime you want. They also provide cold drinks and a snack on the way back. You will want to bring a cooler with food and drinks if you spend the day. We didn't find good snorkeling off the beach, but I think you can hike to other small beaches that do have good snorkeling. We heard the view from the lighthouse is very pretty. We just enjoyed the sand and beautiful beach. You probably won't be the only one on the beach, sailboats do come in and anchor off the beach, but it doesn't get crowded by any means. We didn't have any problems with sand fleas or bugs there or on any of the beaches of Culebra. Maybe it's the time of year. We always felt safe leaving our stuff on the beach while we snorkeled or walked around. There is barely any crime on the island.
We had a couple rainy days, so there were some beaches we didn't make it to. We had a wonderful time and would highly recommend Culebra to anyone. But, if you are looking for night life, shopping and a lot of activity, don't bother.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
menkel
2 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Culebra in Puerto Rico: Good budget vacation”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2010

I've just returned from my third trip to Culebra, my girlfriend and I were there in March, and we stayed at Villa Boheme in Dewey.

First, let me say that Culebra is not for everyone. It's not like the big resort islands, no cruise ships, etc., which is--in my opinion--in its favor. Still, the island has, in my father's words, a sort of shabby feel to it. Along with the sun, the heat, the beaches, and everything else you come to the Carribean for, you also have to deal with lots of litter and air pollution downtown, thanks to the congested streets and belching Puerto Rican SUVs that are ubiquitous down there.

Let's emphasize the positive first...Flamenco beach is all its cracked up to be, a fabulous gorgeous stretch of white sand that lives up to the postcards. The place is laidback for sure..lots of old hippies hanging around, smoking, drinking, and sunning themselves into an early grave. It's got a sort of border feel to it, it's got character. But it also feels sort of menacing sometimes, hard to put your finger on. You probably want to avoid the bars near the airport.

I've got some background in marine biology, so the reefs are particularly interesting to me. The best snorkling is Melano beach, and the left side of Luis Pena island, which you can get to by kayak. Carlos Rosaria is said to be the best snorkling on the island, but take it from me, the coral there is dead. Majestic old structures for sure, but its a coral graveyard.

Villa Boheme is in town, not a bad place to stay. We got room one, which came with it's own kitchen, which is really a must because it's hard to get good food in the restaurants. The pizza place is popular, but to my taste, the crust is underdone, and they use way too much cheese. Yuck. We had a fabulous last night dinner at Club Seabourne, which is like a colonial outpost from the last century.

So, if you can deal with the trash, which really bugged me, and the ramshackle development, which is pretty awful..Culebra will grow on you. We had a nice stay..overall, good memories. Again, the good snorkling was really good..and the gourmet food at Club Seabourne is worth the trip. And Villa Boheme is convenient, tucked away from the mainstreet..probably the best place to stay in Dewey.

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Reston, VA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Beautiful beaches, friendly people”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2009

Just returned from 5 days in Culebra. The beaches are awesome, with crystal clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving, and sand good for being lazy. Flamenco Beach is one of the most beautiful we have seen, with Zoni Beach a close second. Sand bugs at Zoni chased us away, but Flamenco Beach was bug free. Take mosquito repellent for evenings. Rent a jeep there (you can't take rental cars on the ferry from Fajardo to Culebra) to explore the island. Stay clear of scooters, roads are dangerous to navigate with them. Food is expensive, but a trip to the grocery store will save some money. Go in Fajardo if you are able to carry extra stuff on the ferry. We stayed at the Casa Ensenada Waterfront Guest house, which I would NOT recommend. Shabby and expensive for what it is. Eat at Dingy Dock for breakfast; Mamacitas for dinner.
Wake up to the many roosters that run the island, relax and have fun!

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Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Disappointed with Culebra,PR”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2009

I recently back to visit Puerto Rico with some friends. The concierge at the Hotel recommended we visit Culebra island and we did. The beaches are beautiful but the people are rude. While waiting for our ferry back to the mainland the Port officials made all the tourists stand outside in the hot sun to wait for the ferry while the " residents" were allowed into the terminal building to sit and wait for the ferry. Alot of the people on line were very upset including me. I have never been treated so horribly as a tourist and I do travel alot. I will never go back there again and will be telling my friends to do likewise. They should change their attitude about tourists being that we are probably their main source of income. Never again.
Blanca H.

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Dallas, TX
1 review
“Beautiful Beaches!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2009

Culebra has some of he most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Flamenco is absolutely breathtaking, as is Carlos Rosario beach. Both are musts for a wonderful Caribbean trip! Super clear water, pristine beaches, and snorkeling without the crowds or commercialism!

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