Puerto Rico // Vieques and Culebra //

Isla Culebrita

Don’t leave Culebra without spending some time on Isla Culebrita, the inviting cay off the east coast. Like Luis Peña, the 1.2-square-kilometre island is only accessible via water taxi or kayak. The main attraction here is the beach, but you can also hike up the 90-metre hill in the centre to the half-ruined Faro de Isla Culebrita. The Spanish lighthouse opened in 1886 and after a spell as a navy observation post, was closed in 1975.

The best beach on Culebra is actually on Culebrita: Playa Tortuga is a cove on the northern side of the island and one of the most picturesque arcs of milky white sand you’ll ever see, backed by the odd coconut palm and scrub. It’s often deserted and never crowded (though boats from Fajardo do come here, especially on weekends), and you’ll often spy stingrays and turtles playing in the water just offshore, the latter munching on seagrass beneath the surface. Nearby are the Jacuzzis, shallow pools of warm saltwater big enough to bathe in.

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