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The current weather in Culebra

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Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Pam (
Date:   04-14-07 12:03

Hi! We returned from our first trip to Culebra last week (first week of April) -- it was wonderful! I was a 'lurker' around this forum before we left -- I want to thank everyone who participates here and answers questions from people like me. Your input is so helpful. I thought I'd try to give something back by posting some information from our trip (along with a question or two) for folks who are also considering a trip to Culebra.

We traveled to/from Culebra via San Juan, taking Vieques Air Link from Isla Grande airport. Our flights both ways on VAL were late -- not a surprise given our experience with small airlines that fly between islands in the Caribbean. But while we were waiting for our flights, we noticed that Air Flamenco flights were running on time. (Is that typical for AF?) It was a little windy on the day we arrived -- the landing at Culebra airport was pretty exciting and a whole lot of fun! Better than an amusement park ride! :)

We stayed at a place we rented through Jim Galasso at Culebra Island Realty. The house was perfect for us -- comfortable with cool breezes at night, and a big deck looking out on Pela Bay. We rented a vehicle from Jerry's Jeeps. Jerry was great to work with -- he gave us a warm welcome, a handy map and loads of information about where to go around the island. We shopped at Milkas and El Eden for groceries and beverages.

Our favorite island activities were kayaking, beaches and snorkeling (of course!). We kayaked in Pela Bay, which was a fantastic experience! The bay gets shallow which keeps motor boats out, so with our kayaks it was just us and the wildlife. As we floated around the magroves, fish were jumping and birds were diving around us. I could happily spend all day just watching pelicans come and go. There were other birds diving with the pelicans, some were all brown and some were smaller, white with black on their heads. (Does anyone know what these other birds are?)

Flamenco and Zoni beaches are beautiful but the surf was rough when we were there, especially at Flamenco. We took the path from the Flamenco parking lot to go to Carlos Rosario. (What's up with the path? During the week the start of it was widened considerably by a bulldozer.) We stopped at the first beach off the path where I did some mighty good snokeling. It wasn't until our third time there that I realized this beach was Tamarindo Grande (beginner's mistake! I didn't see the sign). On our last day I finally made it to Carlos Rosario for some snorkeling. Comparing the two, I found TG to be a more satisfying snorkeling experience -- from what I saw, the quantity and variety of fish and coral were better. (Opinions from others?)

We had good meals at Mamacita's and Barbara Rosa's. At first I thought the signs at Mamacita's saying "don't feed the iguanas" were a joke until we were there at lunchtime. Nightlife for us was looking at the stars from our deck. There were way more stars in the sky than we can see from here in the northeast. I must brush up on the constellations before our next visit!

Culebra is truly a special place and we can't wait to visit again next year!

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Re: a Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Doug (
Date:   04-14-07 13:17


Thanks for the report. I've not seen many from folks who stayed at Pela Bay.

I'm not sure if there is any rhyme or reason to VAL's lateness or AF's punctuality. The trend I've noted is that all flights to and from Culebra seem to be more punctual now than they were in '95, when I first came to Culebra. The tough part is their practice of flying on demand, meaning if the plane isn't sufficiently full they don't fly.

"some were all brown and some were smaller, white with black on their heads. (Does anyone know what these other birds are?)"

The brown ones are probably brown boobys and the white ones are terns. There are 4 or 5 different kinds of terns found on Culebra and its cayos; yours sound like a least tern or a possibly a sooty tern.


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Re: Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Michael (
Date:   04-14-07 13:25

Pam - thank you for sharing!

Enjoy Culebra!


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Re: Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Kathleen Zuelsdorff (
Date:   04-19-07 19:49

We (my husband and I) just returned from Culebra on 4/17 and also did lots of snorkeling at many of the different beaches. Our two favorites were Tamarindo and Melones. My daughter had been to Culebra twice within the past 5 years and raved about Carlos Rosario, so we did check it out (twice), but I thought that both the coral and the variety of fish were better at Tamarindo.

Based on some anecdotes that I heard Pat (Tanama boat and Culebra Dive Shop) relate, warm water temperatures two summers ago, bleached out much of the coral in the general Culebra area. Perhaps Carlos Rosario was hit a little harder than Tamarindo.

When starting at the sign just off the path, going out to the left or to the right (toward the rocky point separating Tam from Carlos Rosario) the coral was very good. The purple and green sea fans going out to the left are marvelous. You can float over and among them as they're rocked by the waves and feel like you're part of the reef. While at Tamarindo over a couple of days we saw an octopus, a hawksbill sea turtle, some squid, a southern sting ray, and dozens of great reef fish.

From my perusings of the forum for several months before our trip, Melones is definitely underrated for snorkeling. Going out toward the right, the coral gets really good just past the "rocks" and the shelf and patch reef harbor lots of great fish, including a reclusive porcupine fish that hid out in the same spot all week. I also got a great look at another hawksbill turtle here- it was somewhat curious about me and swam parallel to me for a short time in fairly shallow water.

I am jealous that you were able to kayak. We contacted Jim (Ocean Safari) to kayak out to Luis Pena several times, but the weather was always a little too windy. We'll have to save that for next time, we can't wait to return!

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Re: Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Pam (
Date:   04-21-07 14:16

I agree about the colorful sea fans at Tamarindo Grande -- they are marvelous! There are so many and it is mesmerizing to watch them sway with the current, and to be gently rocked by the same current. Along with the all the reef fish (which I am trying hard to remember so I can identify them in a book I just bought), I saw southern sting rays twice. One was "hiding" in the sand, and another time one was swimming along the bottom. I had hoped to see a turtle but no luck. I will be on the lookout for 'em next year, and definitely squid/octopus too -- how cool!

I wish we had had time to go to Melones... it will be high on my list for next year!

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Re: Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: wendy (
Date:   04-21-07 21:58

we just got back and saw a "school??" of squid at zoni two days in a row. zoni beach is underrated for snorkeling if you can check it out when the current isn't too rough. the squid were truly a highlight of snorkeling this visit. ~~Wendy

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Re: Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Pam (
Date:   04-22-07 11:46

Lucky you!!! Zoni was much too rough for snorkeling when I was there.

If I may take this thread in another direction for a moment (and not to discourage at all more cool snorkeling stories!)... I'd like to ask about fresh water on the island. At the place we stayed, fresh water was collected in a cistern and we were instructed to be very frugal with our use of water: not flushing the toilet after every use, not running the water continuously when showering and washing dishes. Also, there wasn't hot water, except for a switch next to the shower which we could turn on for hot water but didn't really have much effect on the temperature.

This isn't a complaint, these restrictions were not a problem for us. I'm just curious if this is typical for homes/accommodations around the island?

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Re: Culebra trip report (kind of long)
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Debbie (
Date:   04-22-07 15:42

While conserving water on Culebra (and everywhere in my opinion) is always a good thing to do, the houses on the east end of the island are served only by cistern water. Cisterns are filled naturally by rain water. I believe one can also pay to have their cistern filled by truck now. In the town, there is city water and most houses in and around town and out until around the area called Las Delicias are on city water. However, the water comes to Culebra via pipe from Vieques via pipe from the big island. Water pressure in town is often reduced and/or shut off completely, which means even people in town have to rely on cistern water sometimes.

Happy Diving!

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