Culebra What is known for

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BEACHES

Flamenco Beach is by far Culebra's most popular beach. It was recently named one of the Best Beaches in America and Best Escape Beach by the Travel Channel. A magnificent mile or so of pure white-coral sand framed by Culebra's arid hills, it is protected as a marine wildlife reserve. Here you can escape from the crowds, jet skis and motorized vessels found off many of the major beaches on the main island of Puerto Rico. The beach is easily accessible, thus making it a must-stop for most visitors; it is also the only spot on the island that allows camping. There are very few campsites right on Flamenco Beach, so securing a reservation early is the only way to go. If you stop by Flamenco just for a day, you will find plenty of amenities, including kiosks that rent chairs, umbrellas, tents and other gear; others sell food and drinks.

BEARINGS

Why here? The leatherbacks come to Culebra for a reason: quiet, empty beaches, untouched Puerto Rico, no night lights. And Brava Beach is only a little more than half a mile long, which means it has more nests per square foot than larger beaches. When? Prime turtle-nesting season is from April to June. The public can participate in turtle watches Fridays, Saturdays and other occasional weekdays, depending on scheduling. Contact Carlos Diez at the Endangered Species Office of Puerto Rico's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources at cediez@yahoo.com or 787-724-8774 ext. 2237 or ext. 4039.

DIVING

Snorkeling: Access to good snorkeling reefs can be had from many of Culebra's beaches, including both Melones and Carlos Rosario beaches. There is also a beautiful reef off Mosquito Beach.