Author: Diane (---.112.113.3.stc.mn.charter.com)
Date: 01-04-04 20:59
We were on Culebra Dec. 23-30th. Arriving from Minnesota in San Juan on the 22nd, we rented an Avis van and headed to the beautiful rain forest, El Yungue. We stayed overnight at the Fajardo Inn before flying to the island. Finding the Fajardo Inn (nice) is quite the quest, luckily it was before dark. Had dinner at Rosa’s, good place for local cuisine, yummy breakfast at the Golden Bagle, just down the road.
The flight to Culebra was enjoyable and beautiful. We rented a jeep from Jerry’s Jeep Rental. His hand drawn maps were an asset to our trip, not only covering roads, eating places, beaches, and thankfully covering safety issues and do’s and don’ts of the island. We so appreciated the information he afforded us, and we enjoyed his hospitality and great sense of humor.
I doubt we could have found a nicer place to stay, or a greater location. Vista Bella Apts. was a special treat. The owners are wonderful people. Situated on the hill, with nice evening breezes to keep away the bugs, (mosquitoes to us) a beautiful view of the village and bay, and convenient. From the balcony I enjoyed watching the planes fly in between the mountains and land. I enjoyed watching the everyday life, people coming and going, and listening to the wonderful music of the locals. We brought a puzzle for evening entertainment, and a paint set, which we didn’t even open. The girls, (19. 22 and 26) watched some good movies on their satellite tv. We were just tickled with Vista Bella.
I thought the reef was more beautiful than the GBR, and I saw more fish. Our favorite was Melones. We did venture out to Luis Pena, but the high winds kept us from snorkeling off the sw. tip, where we were informed was best. The island adventure was fun, and the local fisherman that took us was very nice. We did visit nearly all the beaches, they were all wonderful in their own ways, and for different reasons. Zoni was breathtaking, Carlos Rosaria was spectacular for fish, the waves at Flamenco were awesome. It did rain almost everyday at one time or another. It really didn’t dampen our vacation, we snorkeled in the rain one afternoon.
We did bring a bag of oranges and apples with us, and some foods. The stores were very well stocked, I was surprised. The store downtown, on the corner had tasty breakfast sausages made with brown sugar. Our favorite place to eat was Barbara Rosa’s. Everything we had was unbelievably delicious!! The presentation was gorgeous, the large platters were full of food, the prices were way lower than I would have expected for such gourmet meals. Ohhh to be able to eat outside again, candle light, under the trees.
The girls ordered a pizza downtown one night, it was very good. My husband kept the bakery busy, visiting sometimes twice a day. I noticed they made sandwiches, and had various foods and drink in their coolers. The little shop next door served yummy chicken, shrimp, or pork shish-kabobs. We had no problem filling our cooler daily with yummy things before heading to the beaches.
I wish we would have seen this earlier in our trip, instead of the last day. One of the gift shops, (I think Paradise Gifts) has a waterproof bag to put your camera in, for about $30. It looked super cool. Being so close to the reef and fish, with such fantastic visibility, I know we could have gotten great pictures, hmmm … a good reason to go back!
The lack of commercialism, the nice people, the peace and quiet, and ease of snorkeling from shore, is what attracted us to Culebra. It was all we expected and more. I’m glad my husband and girls could experience it while it was still unspoiled. Thanks for wonderful memories.
We flew back directly to San Juan.
I have planned most of my vacations from information I have received here on the internet. This website is phenomenal, as it has a wealth of information. Explore Puerto Rico by Harry S. Pariser was my reference book.