Culebra Island

Seven miles long and three miles wide, Culebra Island is a small but scenic island that is quickly becoming a top destination for Caribbean tourists. For those who want isolation and a break from the world at large, a Culebra vacation might be perfect.

For the most part, there is little to do on Culebra Island except take in the sunsets, snorkel in the sea and walk along the scenic beaches. The majority of the island is a wildlife refuge despite the complete lack of fresh water. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing - the aridity of Culebra Puerto Rico has one huge benefit: the lack of run-off from rivers and streams means that the waters surrounding the island have better than normal visibility. This is why one of the main reasons to take a ferry to Culebra is for the great diving and snorkeling.

Playa Flamenco is the center of the island, the place you will see the majority of tourists. Even so, there are hardly any bars or nightlife here, just golden stretches of unspoiled reefs - considered one of the premier locations for water activities, you will find a number of outfitters ready to take you on the jaunt of your choice: scuba diving, surfing, swimming, deep sea fishing - Playa Flamenco is the highlight of any Culebra vacation.

You can also visit the wildlife refuge, which extends over 1400 acres of the island. Home to a number of endangered species, it's the seabirds and leatherback turtles that are the most popular. During the turtle's nesting season, Culebra Puerto Rico is infused with hundreds of scientists and volunteers looking to help get the species off the endangered list, and plenty of tourists take a ferry across the water to bear witness.

Getting to the island is fairly simple: a ferry to Culebra can be picked up at San Juan, though most run out of the city of Fajardo, about 40 miles southeast of the capital. A ferry to Culebra Island is fairly inexpensive, and it transports you to a place where time stands still - Culebra almost redefines what a relaxing Caribbean vacation can be like. And that's saying a lot.

Even if you don't want to Culebra Puerto Rico to be the focus of your vacation, it is a great day trip or overnight excursion. Snorkel the waters off Playa Flamenco, watch the last rays of the sun disappear behind the horizon or watch baby turtles make their initial voyage into the Caribbean Sea - wandering Culebra Island is a journey into the unspoiled lands that have been prized by visitors for decades.

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