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The current weather in Culebra

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Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Nicole (
Date:   06-20-05 12:43

Just wanted to tell you all about my experiences in PR.
The first day we flew into San Juan and rented a car from L&M and drove through the rain forest "El Yunque". It was amazing! We stayed at the Casa Cubuy Ecolodge. It was $90 for a room that wasn't fancy, but wow! was it relaxing. We had ceiling fans that kept us cool by circulating the mountain air and we were able to hear two waterfalls that lulled us to sleep that night.
In the morning we took a 20 min hike to see the waterfalls and took a dip in the cool fresh water in the pools there. The rainforest was so lush a beautiful, it was really worth going. Make sure you plan for dinner early in the day since there is not much to eat around there...we searched for a nice seafood or local restaurant but ended up eating pizza.
We stayed in El Yunque 1 night and drove to the Fajardo ferry the next day. It was $2 per person, 1 hour trip, and very bumpy ride...I loved it, but a girl sitting next to me nearly vomited! yikes!
We arrived at Culebra with a plan to camp at Flamenco. Upon arriving we were warned about mosquitos...and boy, were they vicious! Even at the far camp site that was "breezier", I was getting eaten alive. Also, I am allergic, so I was really uncomfortable. Definitely bring long sleeves and pants and something to cover your head with. I covered up as much as possible but still got bit on my head and hands.
Also, my boyfriend's $400 Sunto Observer watch got stolen within an hour of being there. Granted he left it in plain site on the picnic table while we went for a quick was a nightmare though dealing with a couple of guards that were accusing each other of taking it. Carlos, however, was great. He helped us find another place to stay and was so apologetic and cooperative.
We ended up staying at Club Seaborne. They claimed to be a 4 star resort, but they were kind of faking it. It was nice enough...we had our own villa with great AC and no mosquitos. The food was good, probably the best on the island...but nothing compared to Vieques' cuisine.
We took a private day trip to Culebrita which was our best Culebra experience. We had the whole island almost entirely to ourselves. We were dropped off at 12 and picked up at 5. The whole time we only saw 3 other people. There was a great hike up to a watch tower that we never found...we climbed up the other side in our flip flops, but the cactus sent us down in a hurry. There was a beautiful beach w/ lots of great coral and drift wood on the shore and a natural jacuzzi on the other side of the island.
I guess our purpose for going there was to snorkle, but the snorkeling was so uneventful that I nearly forgot about it. The coral was dead and there weren't many fish. Supposedly Culebrita was the best place for it, but Vieques was much better for snorkeling.
We left Culebra a day earlier than planned via a flight to Vieques with Flamenco air. We stayed at a humble but comfortable Sea Gate hotel. The owner was very nice. She ran a local animal shelter and had many dogs on the hotel grounds and kept beautiful gardens. We ate at Bananas where they were having thai food night then we walked back to the hotel and stopped in for ice cream at scoops. yum!!
We rented a car our second day which you need to do in Vieques and not neccessariliy in Culebra. Our little Suzuki sidekick from Martiza's car rental was $40/day and was not in the best shape...we quickly found out why. The best beaches are down bumpy sand roads and the cars take quite a beating getting there...that is if you drive like my boyfriend does.
The last 2 nights of our trip we stayed at Hix Island House. We absolutely loved it. Both my boyfriend and I are designers so we really appreciated the minimalist style and the form of the concrete buildings. They are also an ecolodge, so not AC and lots of bugs and lizzards at night, but they don't bother you from the comfort of the mosquito net hanging around your bed. There weren't any mosquitos since they are up in the hills....and the views were AMAZING. We had a private roof deck that had a view of the lush green island (much more green than Culebra) and the Carribean ocean.
The grounds were covered in flowering trees and fruit trees (the mangos were almost ripe) and there was even a yoga class there. The pool was also wonderful. We also got to talk to the architect John Hix who is a fascinating man and was very informative. His wife is also great, such a sweet woman. We also loved the managers and inn keepers. They told us about the best beaches and made reservations for us to the best restaurants.
The food in Vieques was amazing. We absolutely LOVED Cafe Media Luna. Monica the chef was a very gracious hostess and her dishes were probably the best food I have ever eaten (which is saying a lot from a spoiled New Yorker!). The flavors were complex yet so delicate. Delicious! Also, Uva was really good food too...they have a really nice and romantic outdoor sitting area.
The snorkeling on Vieques was great! We went to Blue Beach and swam out to an Island where we swam around the west coast of it. We ended up hanging out on the island for a little while and exploring the little cave/natural window there and looking at all of the coral and rock formations.
While snorkeling we saw a puffer fish, eel, a sting ray and tons of other beautiful fish. The coral was alive and well. It was a great experience. We spent nearly 3 hours floating around there.
Also the Bio Bay was incredible. We took a tour from the Blue Caribe where we kayaked with a group of about 30 people and went out into the middle of the bay in the darkness of a night with no moon. The water was so warm, it was like a bath. It was kind of scary to swim at night, but the going with a group made it feel more safe.
Overall, we thought Vieques was the best part of our trip. The beaches felt like they were our own private get-aways, the food was great, the snorkeling was the best, and we loved where we stayed. I miss it already.
Let me know if you have any questions. Hope this was helpful!

p.s. we flew Vieques Air Link back to Old San Juan $45/pp which was cheaper than flying into San Juan. We left our bags at the Sheraton and walked around town and tried to eat at the Blue Parrot or Dragonfly (supposed to be excellent) but we had to leave to catch a flight out of San Juan Intl before they open at 6. Then our flight was delayed so we could have eaten there after all. Call ahead of time to find out about your flights! We waited 3 hours!

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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Tricia (
Date:   06-21-05 19:01

Just to let everyone know that if you want to snorkel in Culebra go to the shark tanks at Flamenco Beach, Playa Soldado and Tamarindo. Also, if you hike one mile over the hill from Flamenco Beach there is fantastic snorkeling. Culebrita is not the place to go for that. Culebrita is beautiful and relaxing and if you hike to the Right as you walk onto the beach from the drop off point there are the baths. You can snorkel in them and it is like snorkeling in a fish tanks. Really neat!!!
Culebra is great because the beaches are rarely crowded and so many of them can be hiked into and you will be the only one there all day.


There is no such thing as a bad vacation. Some are just better than others.

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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Jay Schwerman (
Date:   06-22-05 14:05

We were in Culebra over New Years and didn't hear anything about the "shark tanks", can you tell me what those are?

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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Doug (
Date:   06-22-05 15:35

I think the reference is to the "Shark Pens". These are some partly eroded concrete jetties that are located way around to the right as you walk toward the water from Flamenco Beach's parking lot. Even further right than Coconuts. I've heard, but can't positively confirm, that the navy used them to keep sharks being used to test shark repelent. Now they are a curiosity worth a short snorkle. The most interesting thing I've seen there was a sqadron of squids. There is more to see on the outside of the reef around to the left at Flamenco, although in May, I saw signs hanging from the swim buoys that warned swimmers off.


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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Gary Eichelberger (64.9.52.---)
Date:   06-23-05 11:11

Allergy to mosquitos and Culebra is not a good mix. But the mosquitoes are not a secret either. Sorry your trip was less than stellar. I've visited both islands as well, Vieques 5 times, Culebra 13 times. I love them both.

If you make it back to Culebra, I suggest you do several things:

* make sure you try Zoni beach as well as Flamenco, some people prefer ZOni (self included) as it has far fewer people and beuatiful views.

* Ensure that you dine at least once at Juanita Bananas, which personally I found rivaled anyting on Vieques (Glad you liked Seabourne; it has been a bit spotty over the last few years for me). ON Vieques, Tropical babay and Uva's are very good; several other top places have clsoed recently though.

* If you snorkel on Culebrita, you gotta snorkel on the leeward side, where you docked; it far supasses the Isla Chiva reef you tried on Blue Beach, Vieques (although that is also very nice) SNorkeling on any lof Culebra's leeward beaches (Tamarindo, Soldado, or Carlso Rosario) affords many oportunities to view spectacular fish, excellent reef, and almost inevitably for me the past few years, a chance to swim up close and personal with hawksbill turtles and stingrays. Very awesome for me every time.

ON 3 of my five trips to Vieques, I have found the beaches there inundated with turtle grass, whereas I have never experienced that on Culebra - some of that is simply timing (storms) although Culebra is also sheltered by reef and cays, which helps. Blue Beach is great when clear. This year also discovered garcia Beach which is superior to Red beach. Green beach was a bit disappointing as well. Other than isla Chiva, ever found much good snorkeling on vieques. Need to rent a boat there and go to Blue Tang Reef, I am told.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: ron (
Date:   06-24-05 15:22

Thank you for the information. My wife and I have visited Culebra seven times now and have had so-so luck with snorkeling as far as seeing much marine life. We have snorkeled Rosario, Flamenco, up the reef past the shark pen, the other side of Resario when taking the trail to the left and many others. Could you please tell us where you have seen the turtles and rays? We know the island pretty well and just can't seem to find the best spots. We will be back in March again and really want to find the best. We would appreciate your info. I also must agree with you about Juanita Bananas, it is the best on the island. I am a chef and they have something wonderful that everyone should try when they are there. I can still taste the local calamari, local lobster and those truffles to die for!! Wow!!! They do a fantastic job. Well I almost forgot the atmosphere. Excellent. They also grow much of their own produce. We rent a house above Zoni every year and it is a beautiful place. Thank you for the information.

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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Gary Eichelberger (64.9.52.---)
Date:   06-29-05 11:20


Sorry to hear your luck in snorkeling has been less than stellar. A few times I have rented a water taxi to hit some spots which costs a bit, but is very good very time.

From land, I have had exceptional luck at Carlos Rosario but you need to go to the cut in the center of the "bowl" and proceed to the outside wall, heading north (right) up the peninsula is best. If you have the energy or a boat, go even further up the peninsula to "the wall," a sizeable garden of various reef types, not just coral heads, that runs the length of the peninsula only a few dozen yards from shore.

I have had exceptional experiences there as well as only slightly less good closer in to Carlos Rosario. This trip I also snorkeled melones for first time( it is difficult to avoid urchins there: Iam stil looking for the perfecrt entry spot). Saw rays and turtles at both places this year. BIG fish at Melones as well. can get very close to the snappers and parrot fish. Saw a barracuda as well.

On the side of Culebrita facing Zoni and Larga, the reef runs the northern half of the islet also very close to shore, and exceptional -- I mean, exceptional.

I have had hit or miss luck at tamarindo, which is the other side of the Carlos Rosario trail. Sometimes very good. Keep trying.

There are a few spots just on the far side of the Luis Pena Cay that are very good, best reached by water taxi or kayak. Capt Jack used to take us but not sure if jack is taxi-ing anymore. Try checking with Tanama, the glass bottom boat, whcih runs water taxi. It costs a little bit - I think the trip is $40-45 per person but VERY well worthwhile.

Glad you liked Juanita Bananas - jennifer daubon and her soon- to- be-husband Javier take their work very seriously and it shows. They aer on hiatus for the wedding until the season begins again late fall.

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Culebra vs. Vieques
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: denise (
Date:   07-18-05 23:44

I will be visiting PR 8/8 - 16 with my 2 kids (ages 15 & 17). We planned to spend the first 4 nights on Culebra and then return to the mainland to do the rainforest & Old San Juan. After reading through many of these postings I'm torn between staying on Culebra vs. Vieques. It looks like there is more to do on Vieques than Culebra - if it were just me I would be fine with a book and a beach, but keep in mind I've got 2 teens to occupy. They enjoy snorkeling and being in and around the water but what if it rains... is there anything to do on culebra? Would it be smart to spend 2 nights on each island to keep some variety and level of night life (biobay, ice cream runs, movies...)? I wish my kids would hit the sack at 9pm, but that's highly unlikely unless someones got the barcardi pumped into the drinking water.

I'm so excited for the trip and really want to plan an adventure... as this may be our last 'real' family vacation together before they start leaving for college. Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Zach (208.3.253.---)
Date:   04-14-08 18:16

I am planning on staying on culebra saturday, sunday and monday nights in mid-june. I'm totally up for beach, hiking, relaxing. I hear the food and nightlife is better on Vieques though - is it possible to do an affordable day-trip there from Culebra? (I'm fine with a long early-morning, late-night day in order to check it out but is this even an option?



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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Mort (
Date:   04-17-08 09:29

Zach, if you are worried about being bored on Culebra and wanting to escape after only two or three days, it might not be your best destination. I'm being sincere here, not meaning to sound snide.

The food on Culebra is not only adequate but surprisingly good, with quite a few options. There are several bars, and two of them are quite nice and sometimes even festive.

Culebra is not an easy island to get on and off for brief sojourns to other islands. Definitely not worth the effort. Otherwise, why go to Culebra to begin with?

If you want both beaches and nightlife, virtually every major island in the region has an abundance of both. Culebra is different. That's what people love about it.

If you fall in love with Culebra like so many have, you won't want to leave.


Denise, you know your kids. For instance, do they enjoy camping or do they whine all the time? Do they enjoy books, or only TV? Do they like being outdoors or do you have to force them to go outside? I think you'll be surprised at how much your kids will enjoy the change of lifestyle in Culebra. If you're wise, you'll rent a place without a TV (or unplug it at least). And bring some cards and games. And books. (Have the read Ender's Game?)

I have rarely heard anyone complain about boredom in Culebra. Not even teenagers.

It's very healthy for teens to get away from all the things they're used to in society, especially canned entertainment.

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Re: Culebra was good, Vieques was GREAT!
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Ty Watson (
Date:   04-17-08 09:43

Good call on Enders game...sometimes a bit slow for kiddo's but good for adults none the less.

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