Suite Hotel on Beautiful Island Famed for White-Sand Beaches
The tiny, little-known island of Culebra is located about 17 miles east of mainland Puerto Rico, and it's home to some of the world’s premier beaches. First among them is Playa Flamenco, a mile-long stretch of white coral sand framed by tree-covered hills and dotted with sunken tanks left over from US Marine Corps exercises that took place here in 1975. You can see the ocean from the Sea Breeze Hotel, which occupies 10 acres of land just minutes from Playa Flamenco and the island’s other magnificent beaches.
Culebra is best reached by flying into San Juan (SJU) and scheduling a short flight out to the island. See the hotel’s travel page for additional information.
Kayaks, sailboats, and snorkeling gear are available for rent at the hotel, and knowledgeable guides provide lessons and tours. The onsite restaurant, the Lobster House, serves a mix of Caribbean and American dishes. At The Lobster House, appetizers such as fried green plantains filled with churrasco steak, king crab, or shrimp precede entrees such as pan-seared grouper and whole fried red snapper. Each of Sea Breeze’s junior suites features a granite-topped private bath with two sinks and a bidet. Furnished private balconies offer views of the hills or the bay.
Culebra, Puerto Rico: Tranquil Island Teeming with Wildlife
Culebra is an arid island, meaning it has no major rivers or streams. The lack of runoff from inland waterways results in remarkably clear coastal waters. That clarity, plus an intricate network of coral reefs, makes for world-class scuba diving. The island’s dozen beaches are interspersed with soaring cliffs and mangrove forests along Culebra’s winding shoreline.
Further inland—where much of the land is composed of volcanic rock—you’ll find several nature reserves. Among them is one of the United States' oldest bird sanctuaries, established in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The reserve is home to brown boobies, laughing gulls, and sooty, bridled, and noddy terns. It’s estimated that 50,000 seabirds return to the area each year.
Culebra has an area of only 11 square miles and a population totaling fewer than 2,000. Most residents live in small, traditional towns. But the population can swell on weekends, when Puerto Ricans from the mainland hop on ferries and head for the beach.