Author: David Whitten (---.amg-group.com)
Date: 03-03-09 17:15
We visited Culebra 2/15 thru 2/20. We stayed at Trade Winds which we rented from Jim at Culebra Island Realty. The house sits above Zoni and is an easy walk down to and back from the beach. Jim was great to rent from and the house was wonderful. The water is cistern and a bit musty, so we drank bottled. And a bit of rum now and then.
We used Air Flamenco to go to and fro. That went well but they do charge for baggage weight over 25 lbs per person. The flights were enjoyable and in our estimation, well worth the cost.
We got a jeep from Carlos. This too was easy. The only thought on this was that we had a party of four and it would have been nice to have had a 4 door vehicle. The roads are currently a mess with the laying of pipe.
We spent the majority of our time on Zoni, Carlos Rosario, and Melones as we wanted to snorkle. Zoni is a wonderful and uncrowded beach. Be sure to wander to the left and see the palm frond people and rock cairns. Very cool. The beach is beautiful and was almost deserted during the week. There is modestly decent snorkeling off to the right.
Carlos Rosario has interesting coral and a wonderful selection of fish. The beach is sandy and easy to use. Simply kick off from the beach and follow the coral to the right. There is a natural channel to follow out. It is good to make sure you come back in the same way. The beach is a bit of a walk but even the four of us, all in our 60s, had no trouble. Park at the Flamenco beach and pick up the path through the gate in the back left of the parking lot.
Melones is mostly rock with only small sandy spots to set up. The fish are a bit different than C. R. and well worth the lack of great beach. There is some shade, which is good, and you can drive right up to the beach.
We found the water to be pretty cool. We generally came in after 20-30 minutes to warm up. Wearing a shirt helps. Two of us had dive skins and that helped also.
Be advised that, sadly, petty theft has found its way to Culebra. We lost a cell phone and sun glasses due to this on Carlos Rosario, which we thought would be safe due to its remoteness. Also, when driving in one evening for dinner we saw a young man with a automatic pistol stuck in his belt. We had no problems other than the theft on the beach, but my recommendation would be to be aware.
We ate at Mamacita's several times, Barbara Rosa's once, and the Seabourne place once. All were fine and good choices. We wanted to do El Eden but the schedule didn't work out as they were closed some during the week. We did shop there for sandwiches and they looked to have a decent selection of wine. The sandwiches were very good.
We went from Culebra to Vieques. We did the biobay thing, which I found to be fun but not up to hype. We stayed at Bravo Beach Hotel, which was excellent. Vieques has some interesting beaches but we found Culebra more enjoyable and all in all more accessible.
If we go back, which would be great, we would probably get food from the markets and cook some nights as the trip from Zoni in/out of town is a bit of a hassle and caused us to leave the beaches earlier than we might have otherwise.
Minor thoughts: we had no trouble with bugs while on the sand. The evening brings out the usual but even that was not too bad. Everyone we met was wonderful and helpful. The sun is very strong and worth being careful with. The local beer is nothing to rave about.
I would most assuredly return. We had a great time.