Author: Nancy S (---.twcny.res.rr.com)
Date: 02-15-09 10:43
I’d like to thank everyone who answered questions and helped with trip planning. We were on Culebra from Feb. 4-11. We flew in from Isla Grande on Air Flamenco, which was fun. It’s a great way to arrive – seeing the island from the air. We stayed at the Palmetto Guesthouse, which I highly recommend. As everyone else has reported, Terry and Mark are incredibly helpful and have created a great atmosphere. The evening we arrived Terry was kind enough to drive us to the grocery store so we could get some supplies for a trip to Culebrita the next day. Terry also lined up Willy to take us to Culebrita and I recommend his services. He was willing to take just the two of us and pick us up at a time we selected. We walked way down to the right on Tortuga Beach and played around and snorkeled in a big pool. We also snorkeled off the south coast where Willy dropped us off. I walked up to the lighthouse – well worth the hike (my hubby stayed on the beach). Just be sure to pay attention to where the trail ends. I got a bit disoriented finding the trail back down. We rented a jeep from Jerry for two days (was supposed to be three, but he had two cars inoperable from driver accidents). As everyone has said, Jerry is great and was extremely helpful. Not a fancy vehicle, but suited our needs fine and he took the time to give us a lot of really helpful information about the island. Unfortunately, the water was rough while we were there so we didn’t get to do as much snorkeling as we had hoped. We went to Carlos Rosario twice and the water was too rough. That was very disappointing. We did snorkel off the beach to the left when you take the trail to C.R. It was okay. The water at Tamarindo was murky (as reported by other snorkelers) so we didn’t even try (although it was calmer there). Our best snorkeling was at Melones. We went twice and it was great. We went a good distance towards Tamarindo. The second time we were out for 2 hours. We saw an eagle ray, which was really cool. We also saw a couple of turtles and loved following the schools of blue tangs. We also snorkeled at Punto Soldado. It was calm there and okay, but not as good as Melones. The day we went to Flamenco Beach the water was very rough. I went in for a quick swim, but it wasn’t safe to snorkel. We loved Barbara Rosa’s and ate there twice. Prices are very reasonable and the food was great. And what a creative entrepreneurial model! We also ate at the Dingy Dock and Mamacitas. Dingy Dock seemed a bit overpriced for the meal we had. We enjoyed Mamacitas. We picked up breakfast items or sandwiches at Pan Deli each day and also at the bakery near the airport. The grocery stores had everything else we needed and we went to El Eden (a neat place) for wine to take to Barbara’s (good selection). We took the ferry back to Fajardo (no problem getting tickets when arriving an hour before 1:00 departure on Monday). And we ran into Terry and Mark at the ferry dock in Fajardo (returning from Terry's race)! One of the things I liked the best about Culebra (this was our first visit) was how you almost immediately feel at home and a part of the community. Everyone is friendly and helpful and the natives, ex-pats, and tourists seem to co-exist well. I don’t know if you would feel this as much if you weren’t staying someplace like Palmetto, which is right in the barrio within walking distance of town.
We stayed for two nights at Carole’s Rainforest Villas in El Yunque before we left for home. I highly recommend Carole’s place. We stayed in the one-bedroom villa and loved it. Incredible setting, really funky (in a good way) villa with a great King-sized platform bed, and a wonderful outdoor kitchen. I wish we could have stayed longer.
Thanks again for this helpful forum.
Nancy - Ithaca, New York