Culebra and Culebrita

Culebra

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After a few days in Vieques, we sail 9 miles north to Culebra, Snake Island. Once a refuge for pirates the archipelago comprising one big island and 23 smaller ones is now part of Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgin Islands.

We anchor on the west side of Culebra and walk across a little hill to Flamenco beach ranked #2 in the top 10 most exotic beaches in the world (I don’t know who ranked it; the beach is nice but nothing too special and there are way too many people making it not so exotic for our taste).

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As we walk towards the west end of the beach which looks more secluded, we encounter the most peculiar object. A rusty old tank all covered with graffiti. Beautiful!

Maya writing her name on the tank

Maya writing her name on the tank

Looks like the U.S. Navy was here too! The entire archipelago was used as a gunnery and bombing practice site since the beginning of the Second World War until 1971 when the people of Culebra begun protesting the Navy’s bombing activities and in 1975 all operations were moved to Vieques. This explains the bombs in the water around Vieques and the tank on the beach in Culebra. But, if the bombs in the water are not yet a popular snorkeling destination, the tank on the beach is a local attraction, a work of art to my view.

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Culebrita

East of Culebra lies a tiny island populated by hermit crabs and wild goats, Culebrita, Little Snake Island, where we spend a few more days swimming, snorkeling, and hiking in the hills.

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hermit crab

hermit crab

 

On its north side is the most beautiful  lagoon we have seen in Puerto Rico, with fine white sandy beach and palm trees, and if you walk or kayak to the east corner you will discover a few small natural pools formed among black volcanic rocks.

Maya and Mira at the pools

Maya and Mira at the pools

The only way to visit this place is by boat and, except on weekends when locals and tourists invade it, the anchorage is so peaceful and serene.

Goats in Culebrita

Goats in Culebrita

An abandoned lonely lighthouse stands on top of Culebrita, a pleasant walk away from the beach.

Nick, Pete, and Vick walking to the lighthouse

Nick, Pete, and Vick walking to the lighthouse

Built between 1882 and 1886, it was the oldest operating lighthouse in the Caribbean until 1975, when it was finally closed down.

Culebrita Lighthouse

Culebrita Lighthouse

Spiral steps rusting away, red bricks crumbling down, paint peeling off, today it is a beautiful old ruin still standing on its hill watching the sea and the boats sailing back and forth.

View fro the lighthouse

View fro the lighthouse

          Good by old lighthouse.

          Good by Fata Morgana.

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About lifenomadik

We are a family aboard a boat in search of freedom and adventure.
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2 Responses to Culebra and Culebrita

  1. Eugene Rodek says:

    great blog and images as usual. BTW, that is a Sherman M4 tank. It was produced during WWII and helped liberate Europe.

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