Spend the Day at Flamenco Beach on Culebra

Update Oct, 2018- Post Maria- The Beach and camping area is fully open! The showers and Bathrooms have been repaired, people are setting up tents! New- I hear they want to start asking for $2 per person “donation”/admission to the beach. .

Flameco Beach on Culebra Island

If you are a sun worshiper, a beach lover or snorkel fanatic, I don’t think a trip to Puerto Rico would be complete without a trip to Culebra. It can be done as a day trip or stay for longer (there are a few hundred hotel rooms and vacation rentals available).

Culebra is an island 20 miles off the north-east coast of Puerto Rico. This small island (seven-by-four-miles) is a favorite of tourists and locals alike, not only for the things on the island , but also for the things you will not find here. Culebra has no luxury resorts, casinos, elegant restaurants, theaters, or night life to speak of. It also has no crowds, crime or traffic. What it does have is just a laid back island feel and great beaches and snorkeling.

I have been to Culebra as a day trip a few times. I went to snorkel, and visit Flamenco beach. Flamenco is the most popular beach on Culebra, but the beach is usually never too crowded (except Holy Week and summer weekends). Flamenco beach is the gem of this small island. It is one of those “picture postcard” beaches – it is very pretty, with super white sand, beautiful views, and crystal clear water. It did not win this year, but this beach usually gets the prestigious Blue Flag beach. You can expect clean water and facilities. There are bathrooms (sometimes cleanliness is questionable) and a few small changing rooms, and the showers are available in the afternoon (usually from about 3:30pm). The gate at the beach is (should be) open from 6am until 6pm. When we go, we try to get a spot closer to the tree line, so that in the afternoon there will be some shade. You can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas at the beach for $10 each- the guy is located just outside the beach gates (you will see his truck). Note- there are paths you can use before/after hours to enter the beach, they are located outside the gate.

Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island

Flamenco beach is a 1½ mile long crescent on the north side of Culebra. It is a protected cove, so there are usually hardly any waves, and I think the snorkeling is easy (it can get rougher in the Winter, monitor water and wave conditions- don’t go in if there are too many waves). I have found really great snorkeling right off the beach. Loads of different types of fishes. This is where I took my niece and nephew (7 & 10 years old) to try their first snorkeling adventure, and they loved it. I think the best snorkeling is out along the outer edge of the reef, so you are in over your head. We bring boogie boards so the kids can “hang out” holding onto the board when they get tired. Wear a T-shirt while snorkeling to avoid getting a sunburned back.

You can walk through the gate in the back of the parking lot along a long trail , you will end up on another beach that also has great snorkeling (Carlos Rosario beach). However there are no facilities there.

There are food and drinks available for sale at Flamenco Beach (in the parking lot area) during the day. There are picnic tables under the shade of some pine trees, so you can enjoy your meal in the shade, or you can bring your lunch back to the beach with you. You can also bring your own food and drinks in a cooler, but glass is not permitted. This is the only beach (that we’ve been to) where they actually check your coolers before letting you onto the beach.

An interesting thing, as you walk along this beach, is the remains of old tanks left over from military practice. One of them is all painted up, while another is just rusting in place. It reminds you that even in “paradise”, the real world is not far removed.

If you want to snorkel, you can rent snorkel equipment at Culebra Divers (dive shop)or Culebra Bike Shop, which are both right across the street from the ferry dock, Culebra Snorkeling ad Dive Center in town’s Mercado area, or KPR Adveture Shop by the airport. You can also get guided snorkel trips from both the dive shop and KPR. A number of the car rental places and even the taxi drivers sometimes rent snorkel equipment (I know Jerry’s Jeeps does).

Getting around the island is easy – there are loads of reasonably priced taxis. There will be tons of taxis at the ferry dock, and the airport, to take you right to Flamenco beach ($3 per person each way). The taxis will start coming back to Flamenco beach to take you back to the Ferry dock starting at 3:30pm. If you already have your ticket, you don’t have to leave until a little after 4pm (since it is only a short drive). If you are more of an adventurer and want to explore on your own, you can rent cars and scooters (make reservations ahead of time). Parking at Flamenco Beach is $5. Walking is always on option, but it is not really feasible. It would be a long hot walk!

Camping is allowed at Flamenco Beach. You will need to bring your own equipment. Tents and other gear are available for rental on the island (I hear someone at the beach rents equipment, but I don’t know for sure). You will need to register and pay for a permit – you will find the office at the entrance of the campground. You will be assigned an area to pitch your tent. Permits cost $30/night . There is no electricity, and campfires are not permitted, but there are BBQ pits if you bring charcoal. I hear it gets crowded on the weekends, and you need to bring bug repellent.

It is easy to get to and from Culebra by either taking the passenger ferry from Ceiba, or by plane. The Fast Ferry from Ceiba takes about 45 mins (the slower ferry can take up to 1.5 hrs) each way, and costs $2.25 each way. But the lines are really long for the ferry, so you need to get there very early. If you want to take a plane, they are available from the Ceiba airport, Isla Grande in San Juan, or Luis Munoz Marin airport. It is a short flight in a small plane. You need to make a reservation for a flight before going. Once you get to the airport, you will be on island time – your flight may or may not leave on time. Patience is a virtue.

For info on the plane ride from Ceiba airport, see our Ceiba airport article

For info on the ferry from Ceiba, see our Ceiba Ferry article

Jerry’s Jeeps Rental 787.742.0587

Carlos Jeep Rental 787.742.3514

KPR Adventure Store 787.742-0523

Culebra Dive shop 787.742.0803

Flamenco Beach Campground Info 787.742.0700

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...

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Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 9 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

Always check current schedule. I think today it is a 6:30am in stead of 6am. And a 2:30 instead of the 3. I don't know why it changes so often. there will be enough, you will have to take 2 vans probably. But always enough taxis. So, here is the weird thing that I am not sure has been fixed...they now have a fee to use Flamenco beach, but the people don't open the gates until 8 or 9. So just enter via a path before the gates....the driver should know. I am not sure if anyone will hassle you later for the fee if you want to use the bathrooms etc. Decide which time you want and buy the round trip ticket. The 1pm is the fast ferry- so you takes about 50 mins. The 3pm is the slow ferry- takes like 1.25-1.5 hrs. The Fast Ferry usually leaves on time and works well, the slow ferry...not so much. But it will give you 2 more hours of beautiful beach time.

Comment by Gwenn on 19 Jun 2019

This is awesome information for me. I will be having my family reunion in July and we've been discussing Culebra. There's a lot of information that you have to consider. I honestly thought that when the Ferry dropped you off at the Culebra Ferry that the beach would be there. It's going to be about 20 of us so I hope there are taxis that will accomodate us. I'm looking to take the 6am Ferry from Ceiba and depart from Culebra at 1pm to avoid all traffic. I was also thinking about pushing the departure to 3pm. If you have any other tips, please let me know. Thank you!

Comment by RUTH IRVIN on 18 Jun 2019

The gate should be open from 6am to 6pm. I have been told that they were doing some bomb cleanup today (2/6), so that delayed opening. But other days...should be open. But one can always get onto the beach by going on the paths through the bushes before the gate.

Comment by Gwenn on 06 Feb 2019

Hi, I've used this site to plan a lot about Culebra and have found it extremely useful! Thank you! Now I'd like to contribute something back in hopes it can be informative. I took the 6am ferry on a Wednesday from Ceiba and a taxi bus near the Ferry Terminal in Culebra to Flamenco Beach. We arrived to Flamenco at 7am and were told by people blocking the entrance that no one could enter until 9am. The taxi driver seemed shocked and so did many vendors who arrived while we sat outside the gates to the beach and watched. Over 20 of us are now waiting outside the gates until 9am. The lady at the gate is saying the beach is always closed until 9am. I'm not sure if this is true but just a warning to future travelers.

Comment by John Dlabal on 06 Feb 2019

I visited Culebra for the first time June 2017 and fell in Love...........what a gorgeous beach! As a travel agent, I am now recommending clients that are beach lovers and want to get away from it all to make this their paradise..

Comment by Evelyn Turton on 30 Aug 2017

Starting Nov 1 2015 a new transportation company Regent Chauffeurs will start providing service between old sju/condado/isla Verde to Fajardo ferry port twice a day for a fee of $14.00 p\p each way. Lap infants will be free and one check in luggage plus one carry on and one personal item such as laptop small back pack will also be free. For info call 787-692-8606.

Comment by jaime rosario on 27 Sep 2015

Great article, Met a couple from michigan at the Avis car rental who have snorkled all over the world & rated culebra as fourth place for photographing, marine life.

Comment by luis cruz-zurita on 04 Jan 2015

You guys are AMAZING. The government should pay you for this service. I'm a local from the Metro area and sometimes need directions for things up in the mountains or info on prices/reservations/opening hours etc., and this site is my go-to tool. Most government websites are fragmented, outdated, confusing…. Not only do you write articles for hidden gems, but also, you try and update the information from time to time. I love that you have already done most of the stuff and the information reflects it. It's so easy to understand. Also, I just saw you guys are trying to incorporate articles in Spanish. Props! Seriously, keep up the good work. I recently took a tourist from France all around the island and, for some things, I could have never done it without your articles. PS: I have a suggestion. Add a guestbook or a comments section in the "About Us" part, a forum for people that just want to thank you for all the clear directions and well-written articles :) .

Comment by Eps on 16 May 2014

Greetings - Just wanted to say, very nice post on Flamenco Beach. People who visit immediately know why it consistently ranks in the top ten beaches in the world. Best, Mark

Comment by Culebra Blog on 25 Sep 2007

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