Palmetto Guesthouse is set on the rustically, beautiful island of Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands and part of the Territory of Puerto Rico. Culebra Island is approximately four by seven miles long and just a 30-minute flight from San Juan or a 1.5-hour ferry ride from Fajardo. Much of the island is a designated National Wildlife Refuge and has about 2500 full time residents.
Palmetto Guesthouse is a Caribbean style home in a Culebra neighborhood. We have 6-7 bedrooms and 2 kitchens. Each compact, bright room at the Palmetto Guesthouse has air conditioning, a fan, a mini-fridge and private bathroom with a shower and hot water. We also supply coolers for room and beach use, and have a supply of ice for a nominal fee. You can enjoy a complimentary light breakfast of pastries and freshly brewed local coffee on the sunny deck or courtyard. The guest house also has a book exchange area with videos, DVDs and board games. This small homely property offers free high-speed Wifi throughout and a free airport and harbor shuttle, on arrival or departure.
Culebra is an island of contrasts, immaculate white sand beaches and pot holed town streets, classy restaurants and small roadside “kiosks”, beautiful white egrets and friendly homeless satos (dogs). These contrasts remind us that Culebra is not a designed community rather a small island, where visitors are welcome. It is uncomercialized, there are no golf courses, high rise hotels and no chain stores or restaurants. We do, however, have some well run restaurants that serve fresh tasty meals and family run stores that offer friendly service. You only need to pack a small bag because you just need 2 pairs of flip-flops, one for going out and one for the beach and a pair of walking/hiking shoes, beach attire, comfy cotton clothes and of course sunscreen, a hat and some sunglasses. Whether you want to relax in a hammock, go hiking, bicycling, or snorkeling, or just enjoy some of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean, the Palmetto Guest House, ideally nestled between town (Pueblo) and Flamenco Beach and only 2 minutes walk from our airport, it is a relaxing home base for a tranquil holiday in Culebra.
Culebra – an Oasis of Calm, Tranquillity and Enchanted Waters
Nestled among the waters of the Caribbean, delicately sandwiched between Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands sits Culebra- a virtually untouched paradise both onshore and off. Whatever your reasons for embarking on a trip to this idyllic paradise, one thing is for certain, you will not be disappointed! The unspoiled landscape is abundant with lush vegetation and the breath taking sea views never fail to amaze. Bill Barich in his recent book, The Sporting Life, describes the island and surrounding waters as like “waking up to a world you’ve never seen before”.
Discovering the Enchanting Waters
If you’re keen to explore the wonders that the crystal, clear waters have to offer there are plenty of opportunities, ranging from popular dive sites to boat trips around the island. One such dive site is the Anchor Reef, an old navy anchorage which is submerged in about 50 feet of water. The snorkeling and scuba diving sites at Culebra are of outstanding natural beauty, with magnificent reefs lining almost the entire coast line. Tropical fish are a common sight as are a wide variety of hard and soft corals. According to the Culebra tourism information, the depths of the reefs rarely exceeds 100 feet, therefore snorkeling among
Kayaking is another favored water sport on the island and is a popular mode of transport to beach hop from cove to cove. Exploring hidden caves and sandy coves often cut off from land by the sea adds to the sense of freedom and endless possibilities that this island delivers. Kayaks and snorkeling equipment can be easily hired or trips organized from a variety of beaches across the island along with a selection of other water sports equipment.
Boat Trips and Venturing Further Afield
For those wishing to explore a little further from the coast, arranging a taxi boat tour around the island is easily done with a variety of local companies offering this service. One possible destination might be a small island which lies just off the Eastern coat of Culebra called Isla Culebrita. This is small, but perfectly formed, uninhabited island is home to some unusual residents- sea turtles. Only one meter in length the island has been declared a nature reserve in order to protect the natural beach habitat as a breeding ground for the sea turtles. For the more adventurous among you, a trip further afield maybe in order. Culebra is only one of a collection of magnificent islands dotted throughout the Caribbean. One of the best ways to fully appreciate the splendor of the Caribbean is to take a cruise around other
Exploring the Island
As you’d expect from a tropical paradise, Culebra has some truly amazing beaches, one of which, Flamenco Beach was ranked number two in a top ten most exotic beaches of the world. However, this is not all that this tropical paradise has to offer. The island is steeped in history, with sources claiming the first European to set foot on the island Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. The island is also home to countless tales of pirates seeking refuge here to bury their treasure. So if it’s a pirate story and a treasure trail you’re after, Culebra is the place!
The Weather, the Beaches, the Destination
Whatever it is you are looking for in an exotic destination, Culebra really has it all. Whether you’re a beach bum or fancy yourself as an intrepid explorer sailing across the ocean, this unassuming piece of paradise nestled in the Caribbean is without a doubt, the place of dreams. Written by Susie Fredericks.