Most of Puerto Rico is a blend of modern US life with the easy pace of the Caribbean. But there are a few smaller islands to the east that are more rustic and where the pace is even slower. Culebra and Vieques are always mentioned as a highlight of Puerto Rico. My original intent for Culebra was to reserve a decent room (ideally with a shared kitchen) and rent a Jeep to explore the island. However, I arrived at the dock in Culebra with 200 other tourists without any reservations. Fortunately, everybody who has anything to rent, sell or offer meets the big ferry. Within 5 minutes I had the answers to all my questions that I was unable to resolved in the prior 2 weeks. I skipped the $150 Jeep in favor of the $3 shuttle. I ended up in the “penthouse” of the Hotel Kokomo; 1-bedroom with a full kitchen, nice bathroom and disgusting sofa (see photo of our view below).
Of course, beautiful Flamingo Beach (Playa Flamenco) is the main reason people come to Culebra, and it’s reputation did not disappoint. The weather was cloudy so we didn’t get the full effect of the turquoise water, but the sand was brilliant white and soft like baby powder under my feet. Culebra also offers excellent snorkeling. Amazingly, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of snorkeling with sea turtles. Even more amazingly, I was able to share it with my two sons. We snorkeled with them for a full 25 minutes.
While the beach is amazing, one of the drawback about going during hurricane season is that the water is less turquoise, but the beaches are far less crowded. Of course my reason for going at this time of year was that the kids were out of school.