Isla de Culebra, oh how I love thee so.
I know I must sound like a super annoying broken record, but Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands (okay fine, technically Puerto Rico) is by far one of our favorite spots in the Caribbean!
I’m sure you’re thinking… Huh? Puerto Rico is really your favorite?
And YES!!!, that would be accurate.
We love this unspoiled Caribbean gem so very much the first time we visited the island in early December, and possibly even more the second and third times around!
After spending almost three months island-hopping our way around USVI and BVI, and seeing a bit too much of the same crowded charter-boat-packed-anchorages and honestly not enough gorgeous beaches for all the hype these islands are given, we made the executive decision to sail Jereme’s parents back to Culebra for a chunk of their week-long stay.
And boy oh boy what a good decision that was!
Culebra is where it’s at.
You won’t find any mega charter boat businesses or fancy resorts, or anything that screams luxury Caribbean vacay. But what you will find is an island full of friendly locals, gorgeous hill-top vistas, top-notch reefs and snorkeling spots, and honestly some of the most pristine white sand meets turquoise water beaches around!
A hidden gem, I tell ya.
After our second and now third trips to Culebra (we’ve also visited Culebrita as well), here’s what we’ve found are some of the highlights…
Zoni Beach. Hands down one of the prettiest beaches ever. I’m talking it totally rivals the best pristine Bahamas beaches we’ve seen. Flamenco Beach gets most of the hype on Culebra (and it’s gorg too), but Zoni is amazing in the perfect, secluded, paradise kind of way. I seriously want to win the lottery and build a house on this beach. It’s that good.
Swimming with sea turtles at Tamarindo Beach. Okay, I’m not going to lie…at first glance this beach won’t win any beauty awards (it’s your typical rocky caribbean shoreline), but dive a little deeper (pun intended) and you’ll find a family of majestic sea turtles living right off the beach! These gorgeous creatures are some of the tamest around as they casually munch on seagrass in about ten to 20 feet of water. We’ve gone swimming with our sea turtle friends three times now (yup, we actually did this twice on our first visit to Culebra and made a VIDEO) and each and every time we’ve found them right where we left them.
PS – I am saving a ton of sea turtle photos for another post altogether, but ^^these^^ shots were some of the highlights.
Zaco’s Tacos. Seriously legit taco fare! And, even better, cheap (relative to the Caribbean that is). I ate four, yes FOUR, tasty tacos — Carnitas, Ahi Tuna, Fish, and Carne Asada. Can anyone say food coma? If you don’t believe me, it was so good Jereme even bought a t-shirt. Lol.
Renting a golf cart and touring the hilltop vistas. To get around and see the entire 15-mile island, we’ve rented carts from Carlos Jeep Rentals on two separate occasions. Meandering your way through the streets of town isn’t anything to get too excited about, but we really enjoyed going off the beaten path and finding a few amazing views to soak in. Our favorite was up the hill by Melone’s Beach where you can drool over some gorgeous properties and even more breathtaking vistas.
^^Looks like someone just cleared this lot for a home to be built. Someone sure is about to have one of the best views on the island.^^
Flamenco Beach. Even though Zoni Beach wins my heart, you can’t come to Culebra without seeing one of the world’s Top 10 beaches. I’m not sure who actually ranks these things, but Flamenco is definitely pretty awesome. We’ve enjoyed two lunch picnics on this Caribbean beach hotspot and certainly can’t complain. The wave breaking shoreline and beautiful views are pretty darn great!
Dinghy Dock Restaurant. The best dinghy dock around. As in a secure, easy spot to tie up your dink. Plus they have a great happy hour and just as tasty food! My favorite here is the Churasco steak with tostones (and the bean salad when it happens to be their “salad of the day” choice).
Groceries from Colmado Milka. Looks can be deceiving my friends. I’m not even joking when I say this is one of the best grocery stores we’ve found on all of our travels through the Caribbean (Bahamas included). It’s small and “rustic” to say the least, but they really do have everything…and at reasonable prices. Oh and I almost forgot you can freaking dinghy up to the back of the store! Major bonus points for that!
And that’s Culebra ya’ll! If you want to read more about this awesome island, you can find our first trip/post here.
>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean. …Learn more about us and our sailing + cruising adventures.