Friday, August 24, 2007

Puerto Rico: Culebra, Flamenco Beach, 2007


This has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Pictures don't do it justice. Flamenco Beach in Culebra is a huge arc featuring white sand and blue water, and the occasional sea turtle nest (see picture).

Culebra is a small island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. It and its sister island of Vieques are often called the Spanish Virgin Islands. Each one is considered a municipality of Puerto Rico, in addition to the other 76 municipalities on the main island. You can get there either on a small plane from San Juan or by ferry from the town of Fajardo. Part of Culebra, once a practice ground for the US Navy during World War II, is a wildlife preserve.

The island is known for its mosquitoes and doesn't have luxury accommodations, so many people decide to go there for the day taking the ferry from Fajardo. If you still want to stay there, you can get accommodations at the Flamenco Beach Villas on the less crowded end of the beach. There are less expensive accommodations in the main town of Dewey, though I heard complaints from one group that their air conditioning wasn't working.

Culebra tends to be crowded on weekends, so I've read, though I didn't encounter large crowds on the Sunday that I traveled there. Bathing on Flamenco Beach definitely is worth it, mosquitoes and all.

See my webpage on Puerto Rico at http://www.latinandcaribbeantravel.com/puertorico.html
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