Here at the Palmetto Guesthouse, on a weekly basis we get emails requesting information on Culebra’s beaches. Typical inquiries include:
- Where are Culebra’s best beaches located?
- What is the access like?
- How’s the snorkeling?
To try and help our potential visitors, below is a list of Culebra Island’s most visited beaches and some general information on each.
The gem of the island and consistently ranked among the top ten beaches in the world. Flamenco is probably the most accessible beach on Culebra. All of the publicos (for $3.00 per/person each way) go there during the day, if you have a rental car it’s an easy drive, or you can even walk 1.7 miles from the Palmetto Guesthouse to find yourself on this amazing stretch of Caribbean sand.
During the winter, Flamenco (like all of the north facing beaches) is exposed to north swell. All of that snow and awful weather you see reported on T.V. sends ocean waves and choppy seas our way. Normally that results in some great breezes as well!
Flamenco has some snorkeling spots down on the left hand side by the tank and over on the eastern side, by the mullecito (little dock), but by and large there are better snokel spots to be had on island.
Carlos Rosario Beach
One of the better snorkeling locals is Carlos Rosario Beach. It is one place that you definitely want to visit while you are on Culebra. Located via a twenty minute walk from Flamenco Beach, Carlos Rosario, is one of the best locations for snorkeling on Culebra.
The trail leaves from the left hand side (as you enter) of the Flamenco parking lot. At the bottom of the path (after traipsing up & over the hill-about 20 minutes), you will see a beach area on your left. This is not yet Carlos Rosario. Keep going straight ahead until the path ends & the water is straight ahead. Then, turn right and walk down the beach about 200 yards to find some nice sea grape trees for shade and a nice bit of snorkeling reef waiting for you.
Zoni beach is another popular stretch of golden white sand on Culebra that does not require any hiking. To reach Zoni, however, you will be required to have some type of transport; a bike, a car, or a scooter as the publicos do not like to venture out there.
Zoni beach is exactly 5 miles from the Palmetto Guesthouse and is as far east as you can go on Culebra. When you arrive, head down to the right side of the beach (facing the ocean) a bit. Here you will again find sea grape trees offering shade and a great swimming spot directly in front of this area. Too, en route to Zoni, as you reach the final high point prior to heading down a steep slope to the beach/parking area, you have a terrific view of Cayo Norte, Culebrita (with lighthouse) and even St. Thomas in the distance.
The turnoff for Tamarindo beach is located about 1/2 mile before you reach the Flamenco parking area. If you are coming from town, keep your eyes out for the first tree in the middle of the road followed immediately on the left by a large yellow house and a left hand turn. Take that turn and drive on down. If you park by the Tamarindo sign (just before you start going up the incline passed the beach) there is good shade to either side.
Snorkeling at Tamarindo can be quite good if you head off to the far left or right hand sides. Tamarindo is a great beach, however, since it has an abundance of seagrass, there is a very good good chance you might spot a sea turtle or two.
Melones is easily accessible by car, foot, or bike and is located just on the other side of town from the post office and the health clinic. If you are heading towards the ferry dock take the right immediately after the post office and follow the paved road direct all the way to Melones.
This beach is not like Flamenco with a mile stretch of white sand. However, what it lacks in grains of sand it more than makes up for with its quality snorkeling. Melones is also a fabulous place catch a sunset.
Brava beach requires a little more work to reach than the other beaches.
Heading out towards Zoni Beach, you pass the cemetery, climb a hill, see the Culebra museum on your left & take an immediate left hand turn. Follow the road all the way to the end & then begin your hike. Brava is about a 30 minute walk, but is certainly worth it! This crescent shaped beach can be rough, but provides a stunning view of a, many times, beach with only YOU on it!
Resaca Beach is similar to Brava, in that it is quite secluded and also requires a hike to reach it. Prior to arriving at the trail head, you would follow the road on the far side (towards Zoni) of the airport, past the Public Works Building and continuing on up, up, and up. The paved road turns to concrete and narrows and once you reach the circular turn around spot at the top you should look for the small turtle sign indicating the path.
Resaca requires a bit of effort as the trail can include scrambling over rocks and ducking under trees. There normally are pink survey markers tied in various spots to ensure that you are taking the proper path. Sneakers are recommended for this trek, but the reward upon reaching this stunning beach is great!
Lastly, Soldado Beach is a relaxing little spot, which has shade and good beginner snorkeling opportunities. Driving across the bridge in town you would take a left and keep going. When the paved road ends you can either park at the top and walk down (about 15 min.) or carry on on the dirt road if you have a high clearance vehicle in good shape. At the bottom you will park on the right side and can find a spot in the sun or under the tree and look out towards Vieques as you pass the day.
If you need further information about Culebra Island’s amazing beaches, please do not hesitate to contact us through the Palmetto Guesthouse contact page.