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Culebra's Paradise: Flamenco Beach


Culebra's Paradise: Flamenco Beach

Flamenco Beach

Photo © Zain Deane


Heaven on Earth? Paradise? Nirvana? Flamenco Beach has drawn such comparisons from millions of open-mouthed visitors who come upon this place and think they've reached bliss. It's hard to argue with them.

How to Get There:

From San Juan and the east coast city of Fajardo, you can take a ferry or a short plane to Culebra. The San Juan ferry is a high-speed affair, while the Fajardo ferry is the cheap local transport. But your best option by far is the short flight to the island. From the airport, which is just outside of Dewey (Culebra's only town) you can rent a car or get a taxi. If you're arriving by sea, or if you're staying in Dewey, there are shuttles daily to and from the beach.

What Makes Flamenco Beach Special:

There are many things that make this beach spectacular. It's visually stunning, a perfect horseshoe framed by green hills with a finger of land stretching out into the ocean. This natural barrier ensures the calmest waters. At least four shades of blue from beach to ocean, the water is inviting to the point of a siren call. Add to that a large beach with almost no manmade object in sight, and you start to understand why people fall in love with the place.

Don't Miss the Tanks:

You can easily come to Flamenco Beach, spend all day here, and leave without seeing its fascinating landmarks. Rather than miss out, walk north along the beach and you'll soon come to a vivid relic of the now-defunct military presence on this island. A rusted tank, partly submerged in the water, sits on the sand. Colorful designs and symols have been painted on it, but it remains a completely (and intentionally) incongruous sight in this idyllic place. There is a second tank, not as colorfully painted and hidden behind the brush. To get to it, you'll have to walk along the sandy path through the campgrounds.

Carlos Rosario:

There's a trail that takes you on a short hike from Flamenco Beach to Carlos Rosario Beach. This begs the obvious question: why would anyone leave the best beach on Culebra to walk to another one? And there are two answers. One, Flamenco Beach is no secret; while it might not draw the summer hordes that Condado and Isla Verde are prone to, it does get crowded. And second, Carlos Rosario happens to offer what many consider to be the best snorkeling in Culebra.

For Campers:

Flamenco Beach is the Rolls Royce of camping grounds in Puerto Rico. There are numerous campgrounds sectioned off but adjacent to one another in a secluded area that runs parallel to the beach. Campers have excellent facilities, and they're steps from the water. It's no surprise that some people spend months at a time here.
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