ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Culebrita Island in Culebra, Puerto Rico

Updated on August 13, 2013
Culebrita Island in Culebra, Puerto Rico
Culebrita Island in Culebra, Puerto Rico | Source

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an awesome unincorporated territory of the United States. Officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This island is located in the Northeastern Caribbean, East of the Dominican Republic, and West of both Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Being born in Puerto Rico and after visiting each one of its 78 municipalities, since its dimensions are 100 miles long by 35 miles wide. I have found out that in each one, I could live in. I am not infinite, so my real choice has always been the island of Culebra. Let me tell you why...

Culebra Island

The first inhabitants on the island were Pre-Taino Indians (500 B.C.). In 1880 colonist from Vieques and Puerto Rico came to the island. Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the US at the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898. In 1901 the Culebra Naval Reservation was established. Culebra Island became the primary gunnery and bombing practice site of the US Navy since the outbreak of WWII, until 1975. The Navy gave over jurisdiction of the protected areas to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The municipality of Culebra Island is located to the East of Puerto Rico. Its dimensions are about 7,000 acres including the islets around it. One of the Islets or Cays is Culebrita Island and the others are:

  1. Cayo Norte
  2. Cayo Ballena
  3. Cayos Geniqui
  4. Arrecife Culebrita
  5. Cayo de Luis Peña
  6. Las Hermanas
  7. El Mono
  8. Cayo Loto,
  9. Cayo Lobito
  10. Cayo Botijuela
  11. Alcarraza
  12. Los Gemelos
  13. Piedra Steven

About Culebrita Island

Culebrita has a Y form that makes its geographical position visible by air. It is the largest Cay near Culebra Island; its dimensions are around 1 mile length. It is part of Culebra National Wildlife Refuge under the administration of the US Fish and Wild Service, and belongs to the Larger Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The map below will show you where in this planet this uninhabited island geographically was created and is settled.

A
Culebrita Island:
Culebrita

get directions

Culebrita Lighthouse
Culebrita Lighthouse | Source

Culebrita Lighthouse

Culebrita Island possesses the oldest lighthouse in the Caribbean, built on September 25, 1882 and completed on February 25, 1886.The Spanish Crown built it as a protection by the reclaiming of Culebra Island.

Culebrita Lighthouse was the oldest operating lighthouse in the Caribbean until 1975 when the US Navy and Coast Guard closed it replacing it with a solar powered light beacon. It used to be the most eastern light outside of Puerto Rico guiding navigation through the Virgin Passage and the Vieques Sound, connecting in the Puerto Rico Light System with the Cape San Juan Light.

This Lighthouse is the only structure found on the island; closed to visitors but may be viewed and photographed from a distance. It offers the majestic views over the island itself, the Culebra Island, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, and the US and British Virgin Islands in the distance.

The lighthouse is in danger of collapsing. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Marilyn caused vast damage. No work has been done to maintain the facility. Trying to help the lighthouse since 1994, the Culebra Foundation has tried to get local and federal help without success.

I am making a plead within this article to those that can help and are able to direct the attention to those that, in one way or the other, may give light back to the lighthouse, or at least help it keep standing since: The Culebrita Lighthouse is registered, on October 22, 1981, in the National Historical Monuments of the United States.

A Lesson in Sailing to Windward 01-Mar-2008, Vieques to Culebra, Puerto Rico
A Lesson in Sailing to Windward 01-Mar-2008, Vieques to Culebra, Puerto Rico | Source

How do you get to Culebrita?

After you get to Culebra Island, Culebrita Island is accessible by water taxi or kayak. The only structure established is the lighthouse. Since there are no facilities, you need to bring sufficient drinking water along with something to eat.

US officials have to be informed if you are sailing from the US Virgin or British Islands across to Culebrita and anchoring off the island.

Note the importance of following the policies and regulations established by refuge administration in order to protect the island from visitors.

Where to stay?

Culebrita Island has no hotels and no camping is permitted. You may stay on Culebra Island, Vieques, or on the Eastern part of Puerto Rico Island. This is really an adventurous experience; as for me, I choose camping at Culebra and/or staying inside a private boat or yacht. It is also neat to break sleep, admiring the night and receiving the sun as the waves sing a lullaby.

Culebra Flamenco Beach Apartments
Culebra Flamenco Beach Apartments | Source

What should you bring along?

Every place has its own dressing fashion, before heading to Culebrita it is recommended to:

  • use sunblock and bring it along
  • a shirt
  • a hat
  • and sneakers if you want to cruise the island.

Culebrita Beaches

Culebrita Island has six beaches.The Northern shores are used to be nested by the critically endangered Leather-back and Hawks-bill sea turtles. It is a unique experience for those that snorkel and dive, since they might carouse with the turtles, rays and schools of colorful fishes.

On the East side of Culebrita you will find the tide pools that trap small sea life and a warm bath for those that enjoy lounging with them.

  • Playa Tortugo or "Turtle Beach" to the North of Culebrita is the most famous.
  • Trash beach, the name comes by the effects of the debris that it gets by its windward position.
  • West beach, where the water taxi dock is.

Culebrita Lagoons

Culebrita has two shallow lagoons that are important habitats for some of the local wildlife. Both lagoons are bordered on the seaward side by a small mangrove fringe.:

  1. Laguna de Molino (Mill Lagoon) located in the Northwest of the Island covering around 5.5 acres of Culebrita.
  2. Eastern Tidal Flat located near the middle of Culebrita's West coast, covering almost 0.9 acres.

Culebrita Reef

The Culebrita Island is surrounded by astounding reefs.It is necessary to have the knowledge of the fragile attributive that this ecosystem has. Once it breaks, it will repair itself, but will require years to do so.

The Southern side of the island, between Culebrita and Culebra, is where snorkeling is enjoyed.

Culebrita Flora

The general flora is arid to dry species. It has been recorded 97 species.

Culebrita Fauna

It has been recorded:Laughing Gulls, Brown Pelicans, White Cheeked Pintail, Sea turtles, Lizards, Snakes, and others:

  • 32 birds
  • 4 reptiles
  • 2 mammals

Leather-back sea turtles nest from April through July. The mangrove areas of the Refuge form unique habitats vital for coastal wildlife.

Laughing Gulls
Laughing Gulls | Source

Why its attractions are breathtaking?

Let me mention why its attractions are breathtaking:

  • It is surrounded with the finest white sand
  • It is surrounded by amazing reefs
  • It has the best crystalline, turquoise water with visibility almost unlimited
  • Offers that ocean sight that many seek
  • Offers wildlife observation
  • Provides the desires of those that want to escape from civilization
  • Great get away for lovers
  • Offers the privilege of nature photography
  • Offers the privilege of shooting great sunrise and sunset photos
  • Opportunity for hiking
  • Opportunity for diving
  • Opportunity for snorkeling
  • Great for those that want a sunbath
  • Offers the privilege of watching and listening to sea birds

Conclusion

My words were only an introduction to this outstanding island. The real experience is when visitors become part of its breeze, wind, air, water, land.and the enjoyment of the natural life within Culebrita Island.

You are welcome to visit us here in Puerto Rico and travel to Culebrita Island.


Blessings to all!



© María Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill

Watch what surrounds Culebrita Island

© 2013 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      5 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I told you to get your backpack this morning! Thanks!!

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 

      5 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      A wonderful hub my dear. Let's go to Culebra!!! Voted up all the way!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)