Sunday, September 16, 2007

Trip to Culebra Island, Puerto Rico

It may not be Morocco, but the trip to Puerto Rico wasn't far behind in brilliance. No passport needed, cheap, and isolated Caribbean beaches aren't too far.

Old San Juan felt like a European city. It's got an amazing old-world feel, with cobblestone streets, fortresses and enchanting buildings. Forget a few days; you need a week to see this city.

In the spirit of a true vacation, I spent most of my time on Culebra, an island off PR, swimming and snorkelling on some of Caribbean's best undiscovered beaches.

As my friend lazed around the hotel and read her book, one day I biked out to Flamenco, Culebra's most noted beach, and Carlos Rosario, a remote beach offering PR's best snorkelling. Enjoy a photo essay of that trip.

View from Culebra's ferry dock (Is it PR or Vieques?)

Culebra's ferry dock

A rude vendor at the ferry dock

Hippie dude Dick in old VW van with a gaggle of rental bikes to choose from

Culebra's tiny airport popped up on the way to Flamenco. Small aircraft fly in from San Juan airport, and don't leave until the 8 seats are filled.

The deserted airport had enough space for my bike. Visitors avoid Culebra between Aug and Oct fearing a hurricane.

Biking to Flamenco beach is a bit of an effort...

.. but worth it. Added gas into pedaling as the turqoise waters of Flamenco beach came to view.

An unstaffed information booth at the beach. With no tourism, Culebrans vacation in Sept.

Don't forget sunscreen!

Flamenco's calm waters are stunningly beautiful and yet to be discovered

Coconuts litter the beach

A tank on the beach.. self-explanatory

The green hill adds great effect to Flamenco

Sooty Terns breed on the island

The blue sky, turqoise waters and an isolated beach.. can't ask for more..

Heading from Flamenco to Carlos Rosario (CR) beach to snorkel

The trek to CR is arduous, on a hill with a small, slippery path and thorny bushes. Carry a Swiss Knife and antibiotic ointment. No road approaches CR.

I snorkelled around CR beach for 3 hours. Some of the best corals and fish in PR can be found there (it is a designated wildlife refuge). Snorkelling in Belize remains tops though.

Watch your step on CR beach...prickly objects are everywhere.


Anonymous Downunder said...

Great pics matey, you gave me daydreams for 5 mins!!

12:46 AM  
Blogger Id it is said...

Amazing! A 'real' vacationer's paradise (one not replete with the commercial glitz)!
Vieques - I have a friend you took an early retirement and went back to her 'little shanty' in Vieques and sent us back some soul-settling pictures from there. Isn't that where the US had that controversial army/air base (which perhaps explains the tank- on -the beach picture)

'Sasialit'...I don't know about it, but I will certainly google it now and find out more about it. Is it something you'd recommend?

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ditto, downunder. the photos and captions are great - transported me into your vacation for those 5 mins. great pics.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous venus said...

nice beach, I like this one especially because, it's not crowded,!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

Hello Everybody there are a really nice picture but if vacations sounds great you can imagine if you life here my name is Kate and im orinal from this beautifull paradise CULEBRA

1:47 PM  
Blogger Khakra said...

whoa.. easy katherine, relax

3:03 PM  
Blogger Mari C said...

Hi Khakra,

I just came back from a week in Culebra. I was amazing. I used to live there as a teen for about two yrs. My mother still lives there. So after many years in the us. I visited with my mother for a wk and see the Island again. It's changed a whole lot for the better. I found it beautifull. I never go in the water in Va Beach where I reside but I had to get in the water in culebra it's too inviting, clean and crystaline. Still being in awe of the place I looked it up and came across your website. And I am gratefull for the pics you posted as I lost me camera on my trip there. And also gratefull for your comments of the island.
Seems you travel a lot, keep traveling, posting and most of all keep writing. you're doing a great job. And don't worry about the marrage thing yet. Enjoy you life!
When that time comes the Creator will have someone that has all that in common with you and share your likes with.

Thanks a lot!
Mari C.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Javacurls said...

Years ago I visited Culebra and it was just beautiful. Just my kind of beach... one without tons of people. It was definitely a memorable trip. So glad you enjoyed the island & old San Juan.

1:12 AM  
Blogger ryan said...

great. i ever been there and if you wanna know my journey on culebra please visit my site

12:07 PM  
Blogger seo pool said...

Sand, surf, island mixed drinks and awesome laid back vibe. Come remain at the Lazy Hostel and benefit as much as possible from your trek to Vieques Puerto Rico. Here are possibilities for the shoreline, shoreline bum, vieques guesthouse, inn, lethargic jacks, surf and vieques.

12:21 AM  

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