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Overview

Culebra lies east of Vieques, its larger sibling. Together with a sprinkling of smaller, uninhabited isles, they compose the Spanish Virgin Islands. St. Thomas and St. Croix are visible from Culebra, whose sole town – Dewey – is the very definition of sleepy. Forget the shirt and tie, Culebra is decidedly unpretentious: T-shirts and shorts will suffice. And don't expect ritzy boutique hotels. Dewey's hotel roster mostly comprises small, no-frills inns and modest villa rentals. Tiny it may be, but this laid-back isle boasts Puerto Rico's most beautiful beach – Playa Flamenco. This two-mile-long scimitar of frost-white sand is favored as a ...

Culebra lies east of Vieques, its larger sibling. Together with a sprinkling of smaller, uninhabited isles, they compose the Spanish Virgin Islands. St. Thomas and St. Croix are visible from Culebra, whose sole town – Dewey – is the very definition of sleepy. Forget the shirt and tie, Culebra is decidedly unpretentious: T-shirts and shorts will suffice. And don't expect ritzy boutique hotels. Dewey's hotel roster mostly comprises small, no-frills inns and modest villa rentals. Tiny it may be, but this laid-back isle boasts Puerto Rico's most beautiful beach – Playa Flamenco. This two-mile-long scimitar of frost-white sand is favored as a nesting site by marine turtles (it's also popular with day-trippers from San Juan, arriving by ferry from Fajardo). Two WWII-era Sherman tanks are reminders that the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps used the beach for target practice prior to 1975. At nearby Playa Carlos Rosario, snorkelers can simply walk in off the beach to explore a coral reef. To the north, the 1,500-acre Culebra National Wildlife Refuge protects nesting sites for boobies and other seabirds. Offshore, coral reefs delight even the most jaded snorkelers and scuba divers. And water-taxis will run you out to Cayo Luis Peña or Isla Culebrita, where you can find beaches as private as your innermost thoughts.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: 12 miles west of St. Thomas, 20 miles east of Puerto Rico
  • Language: Spanish and English
  • Currency: US Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring for the best weather; April-September to see nesting turtles.