FAQ’s

Air Conditioning
All guest rooms have in-room air conditioning.

Airlines

UPDATED May 10, 2011: The fastest, most convenient way to get to Culebra is to fly. You can fly from International SJU or the smaller regional airport in San Juan, called Isla Grande. It is about a 15 minute taxi ride from the main international airport and should cost about $20 + $1/bag.

Air Flamenco Schedule Information & Online Booking

Vieques Air Link Schedule Information

There are also several other companies offering charter service as well; Culebra Air (787-427-4808) or M & N (877-622-5566). Chartering a plane with them ranges from $350 (each way) for a 3 seater to $850 (each way) for an 8 passenger flight.

Bars & Clubs

Culebra is a very low-key island. Bar hopping & clubs are best left to San Juan. However, Culebra does have a few restaurants/bars where one can find Medalla (the local Puerto Rican beer) & margaritas! Nightlife generally consists of a few casual drinks, stargazing, & usually (in-season) on Saturday nights the local percussion jam session. There are also occasionally other live-music opportunities.

Bathrooms
All guestrooms have a private, in-room bathroom. Each bathroom has a shower, sink, & (new!) toilet. Small guest soaps are provided in the bathrooms & emergency toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, lotion) are available upon request.

Beaches
You can access Flamenco Beach, Carlos Rosario, Tamarindo, and Melones, which are all within a 2-mile radius of the Palmetto. Flamenco, the most famous beach, is a little over a mile and a half from us. You can walk, bike, drive, or take a bus from just around the corner for $3.00/per person.

Bed Sizes
The Palmetto Guesthouse has 4 bed sizes.
Twin: single person (39″ x 75″ / 99 x 191cm)
Full-sized: two persons or a couple, also called double (54″ x 75″ / 137 x 191 cm)
Queen: two persons who have grown or been together for a while and need a little more space (60″ x 80″ / 152 x 203cm)
King: two twin-size beds combined

Bicycles
Bicycles are available for rent on island for $17/per person/per 24-hour period & the Palmetto Guesthouse would be happy to help you arrange bike rentals when you arrive. If you would like to pre-book your bicycles (recommended in peak seasons).  Dick & Cathie’s Bike Rentals 787-742-0062. Currently, they only have adult bikes.

Breakfast
The Palmetto Guesthouse is a Guesthouse, which is like a bed and breakfast, but without the full breakfast. We do, however, provide FREE local coffee and a variety of teas and delicious homemade scones.

Additionally, the Palmetto has two fully outfitted kitchens where you can prepare your own breakfast with use of stove, microwave, toaster, etc. Upon check in you will also receive a map and information about the local bakery and other breakfast restaurant options.

Cancellation Policy
The reservation deposit of 50% is refundable up to 30 days prior to the reserved dates. One night stays require 100% payment and are non-refundable. Cancellations (including no-show, early departure, or late arrival) made less than 30 days prior to the arrival date do not receive a refund for the deposit amount. Cancellations (including no-show, early departure, or late arrival) made within 48 hours of reservation dates are subject to full payment. Additionally, all cancellations are subject to a $25.00 cancellation fee.

The deposit amounts are non-transferable (e.g. early arrival, change of dates, later arrival). Full balance payment is due upon check-in. (Please see our RATES page for complete information). THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS

Car Rental
It is recommended to have a car on Culebra for part of your visit at least. For guests of the Palmetto, we provide complimentary airport & ferry transfers to/from the Palmetto once you arrive on Culebra.

There is a mini-mart just around the corner from us, 5 minutes walk, and 2 more full sized (by Culebra standards) grocery stores as well. Also, there is a fruit stand in the town square Mon-Fri. The larger grocery stores are in town, which is a 10 min. walk or a 2 min. taxi/bus ride, $3.00.

You can access Flamenco Beach, Carlos Rosario, Tamarindo, & Melones, which are all within a 2 mile radius of Palmetto.

For further exploring, it is a good idea to have some sort of transport. To make rental reservations call:  Carlos Jeep Rental (jeeps, scooters, golf carts and small cars)  787-742-1111, Dick & Cathie’s Bike & VW Thing Rentals 787-742-0062

Check-in & Check-out Times
OFFICE HOURS: 8:30 AM-6:30 PM

CHECK-IN: after 3:00 PM

CHECK-OUT: 10:00 AM

Late check-outs will incur a fee. Leaving early? Please check out the evening before (prior to 6:30 PM).
Additionally, the Palmetto Guesthouse offers free luggage storage so you can fully enjoy Culebra on the day that you are leaving or if you arrive on-island prior to check-in & your room is not yet available.

It is IMPERATIVE that the arrival time be pre-arranged. Upon making a reservation, a confirmation email will be sent that requests arrival information AT LEAST 48 hours prior to check-in.

Children
Children are welcome at the Palmetto Guesthouse. Infants (24 months and under) are free-of-charge. Children aged older than 2 years will be charged as additional persons. Parents are responsible for their children.

Clothing
Culebra is a very laid-back type of island. No suits or nylons required. Shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, and bathing suits are about all you will need. Even dressing up for dinner is quite casual.

Coffee & Tea
We offer complimentary local Puerto Rican coffee & an assortment of tea bags each morning.

Communication

We can be reached via email at palmettoguesthouse@gmail.com or  by text at 787-239-7779.

Curfew
There is no curfew at the Palmetto Guesthouse. We do ask that you are quiet at night and in the morning.  Please keep in mind that visitors are from all over the world with different internal clocks.

Discounts
As we are two people with a very small guesthouse business (and a large mortgage) we are unable to offer any discounts- including AAA members, students, or travel agents.

Additionally, for long-term stays of 15 nights (ONLY) or longer we are occasionally able to provide a long-term rate.

Ferry

The ferry operates daily (weekends and holidays as well) and the cost is $4.50 r/t per person to/from Culebra.  Here is a link to a great site with up to date ferry information.

There is NO ferry between Culebra and Vieques. But, now daily flights operated by Air Flamenco.

The ferry leaves from Fajardo, located on the eastern part of Puerto Rico. To get to Fajardo from San Juan you can rent a car and drive and then park it in a secure lot (on the right before the ferry terminal-$5.00/day). It is NOT usually permitted to bring a rental car on the ferry for insurance purposes. Moreover, it is NOT recommended as priority on the cargo ferry is given to commercial vehicles and then residents.

The ferries can be VERY full (i.e. sold out) during holiday periods, April, and in the summer months with additional travelers from Puerto Rico.  Most other months, the ferries are not full, but being at the dock in Fajardo at least two hours prior to the scheduled departure is recommended.

With a confirmed reservation, we will pick you up at the ferry dock when you arrive in Culebra and drop you off again when you are departing.  We will give you further instructions once you have made your pick-up reservation.

Food
There are several grocery stores on island, which offer a wide variety of products, which are not priced too much higher than prices in the big island of Puerto Rico
Two stores in town sell all types of foods and drink. There is a also a mini-mart located just around the corner from the Palmetto which is open from 7am to 9pm and stocks ice, snacks, drinks, etc.

The Palmetto Guesthouse has two kitchens, which are available for guest use. They are equipped with all dishes, utensils, pots & pans, microwave, toaster, & blender.

Green Stuff

Here are some green practices you’ll find at the Palmetto Guesthouse:
AGUA: The Palmetto Guesthouse has brand new (0909) high power, low-flow toilets and low-flow showerheads.
LIGHT BULBS: Wherever possible we have replaced all regular light bulbs with long lasting, energy efficient bulbs.
LAUNDRY: The Palmetto Guesthouse does its best in color management. First, to reduce water waste, sheets and towels are NOT changed daily unless requested (additional charge).

Guesthouse

The Palmetto is a Guesthouse, which means we are like a small, intimate bed and breakfast, but without the breakfast (though we do serve great coffee and homemade scones in the morning). Staying at a Guesthouse is sort of like staying with friends.   We realize that you have limited vacation time and feel we should let you know that we are NOT a resort, all inclusive, or high rise hotel. If you are looking for that type of holiday then you may wish to stay elsewhere. However, we care deeply about, and are committed to, providing amazing customer service and hope to help you explore Culebra in a more personal and authentic way. Please feel free to review our reviews on TripAdvisor.

Hairdryer
There are hairdryers available on request.

Hours of Operation
We are available to guests from about 8:30am-6:30pm daily.

Iron
Available on request.

Keys
Every room has a set of three keys: one for the room, one for the main guesthouse door, and a key for the front gate. You will have 24/7 access.

There is a $50 charge for lost or non-returned keys.

Kitchens
We have two kitchens, which are available for guest use. There are dishes, pots and pans, utensils, stove/oven, blender, microwaves, toaster, and even some plastic silverware for beach picnics.

Laundry
The laundry facilities on premises are for business use only. We only use our solar dryer as the electric one died. There is a line on the lower back porch for guest use and folks are encouraged to hang anything wet there.

Additionally, there is a laundromat in town by the ferry dock behind the gas station and also laundry services available via Dick and Cathy who will pick up and drop off laundry at the the Palmetto (we are happy to help you arrange for this service).

In order to help reduce water waste, sheets and towels are NOT changed daily unless requested (additional charge).

Location
The Palmetto Guesthouse is located a little over a mile and a half from Flamenco Beach and an easy 10-minute walk to downtown Dewey. On the About page there is a map with an indicator dot showing our exact location. Reading through the FAQ section will give you a better idea of what is nearby the Palmetto, including grocery stores, restaurants, and beaches.

Luggage Storage
After checkout we offer complimentary luggage storage until your departure later in the day.

Mosquitoes
As we are located in the Caribbean, there are mosquitoes all year round. After rains, particularly following a dry spell they tend to be worse. Additionally, when there is less breeze to keep them away they can be more bothersome. Dawn and dusk are the times when they are out the most. The Palmetto Guesthouse is fully screened and we encourage people to keep the doors closed so that the mosquitoes remain outside.

Neighborhood
The Palmetto Guesthouse is located in a neighborhood. All of our neighbors are Puerto Rican & speak predominantly Spanish. You will have a true cultural experience!

Noise
Puerto Rico is a vibrant, passionate place full of friendly, helpful folks. Generally, local resident’s tolerance for what some might consider loud music or even conversation is normal here.
Often you might here people singing, playing music, churches with song, roosters, dogs, car noises, small planes overhead, or the sounds of children/adults playing a good game of basketball.

In the meantime, we provide earplugs and generally suggest that you join the fun!

Ocean Views
The Palmetto Guesthouse is located in a neighborhood. We are two blocks back from the harbor and from upstairs (where we live) we can see the water from our balcony. The Guesthouse however does not have ocean views.

One Night Stays
Culebra is an out island of Puerto Rico that requires additional time and effort to reach and it’s a destination that needs to be savored, experienced and explored. We strongly encourage two night stays, however we may book them last minute if we are able to do so.

Parking
There is free parking located in front of the Palmetto Guesthouse.

Payment
A valid credit card (VISA or MC) is needed to secure a booking. A 50% deposit is taken (or 100% non-refundable for one night stays or stays booked within 48 hours of reservation) at the time that the reservation is made and the balance due must be settled upon arrival (please see the Rates page for complete cancellation information).

The Palmetto Guesthouse accepts VISA, MC, and cash (upon arrival).

Pets
Although we are true animal lovers and have our own we are unable to accept pets in the guesthouse.

Public Transportation

There are buses available on Culebra. The taxis and the busses are the same vehicle. If they pass by going between the town area and Flamenco Beach, they are a bus. If you phone them, they are a taxi. The buses (and taxis) generally do a loop between the town area and the Flamenco Beach area. To explore outside of this route may require another mode of transportation (bike, scooter, golf cart, car). The buses pass just around the corner from the Palmetto Guesthouse and cost $3.00 per person.

Rain
Although anything is possible, generally the online forecasts call for at least a 30% chance of rain daily. This information is for ALL of Puerto Rico. Additionally, often our weather is quite localized, such that it may rain here at the Palmetto, but not less than two miles away at Flamenco Beach (or vise versa). Normally, we might have a sprinkle or a short shower and then the sun comes back out. Exceptions being during Hurricane season when a real storm is in the area. However, we at the Palmetto can guarantee no snow!

Rates
Please refer to the RATES page for complete information, which is updated regularly and is accurate.

Reservations

We accept VISA or MC and take a 50% deposit, which is refundable up to 30 days prior to your stay with us (please see our RATES page on the website for the full cancellation policy). You can give us a call at 787-239-7779 and we’d be happy to help you make a booking up to a year in advance. Once you have made a booking with us we will send you an email confirming your reservation. Alternatively, email us at palmettoguesthouse@gmail.com

Safety & Security
Fortunately, Culebra remains a very safe place. People are able to walk into town and back at pretty much any time. The beaches are open all night (for star gazing) and theft is infrequent. We do advise guests to use the same common sense that they would at home when leaving valuables unattended.
We live upstairs from the Guesthouse and are on the property most of the time.

Snorkeling
Bring your own snorkel gear or rent it from one of the local businesses.   Upon check-in our guests will receive a map with information and directions about snorkeling spots. We are also happy to help to arrange boat trips, day trips on our own yacht S/V Oasis with Captain Paul.

Smoking

This is a NON-SMOKING property. Also, according to Puerto Rico you must smoke outside the property. Smokers may exit the front gate to smoke.

Television
We have one TV in the common lounge area which is for movies (VCR/DVD) only.

Temperature
The weather in the daytime is in the 80s & in the sunshine 90s (also 90s in the summer months). In the evening it may drop into mid- 70s in the winter months (December-March), however in summer it stays quite warm at night as well.  Bedrooms are air conditioned (please turn off when not in room as the rooms cool off quickly and we need to conserve our island resources).  Public areas have fans and windows which are cooled by the tradewinds.

Towels
The Palmetto Guesthouse provides in-room bath towels and separate beach towels. As a means of water conservation, we change towels every three days (or more often for an additional fee).

Transportation on Culebra
Palmetto Guesthouse will pick up guests upon arrival at the airport or ferry terminal in Culebra and drop them off when they are departing.

Culebra is about 7 miles x 3 miles and is an easy place to get around. You can walk from the Palmetto to town-an easy 10-minute walk, which is safe to do at night as well.

You also can walk from the Palmetto to Flamenco Beach (or hail a taxi/bus along the way or hitch a ride) which is a little over a mile and a half away.

See above for Vehicle and Bike rental information.

Transportation to/from Culebra
The fastest, most convenient way is to fly from SJU or from the smaller regional airport in San Juan, called Isla Grande.  Isla Grande is about a 15 minute taxi ride from the SJU airport and should cost about $20.00 + $1.00/bag.   Another option is to fly from Ceiba airport which is 10 miles outside of Fajardo.   Contact the airlines directly for prices. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS are always recommended and you will likely have to try several times to reach a reservation agent.  Don’t bother with email or leaving a message. You must speak to a person to make a booking.

Flamenco Air (787-721-7332 or 787-724-1105)
Vieques Airlink (787-741-8331)
Cape Air Coming Fall 2013.  Details coming soon. 

The other alternative is to take the ferry from Fajardo, located on the eastern part of Puerto Rico. To get to Fajardo you can rent a car and drive and then park it in a secure lot (on the right before the ferry terminal-$5.00/day). It is NOT usually permitted to bring a rental car on the ferry for insurance purposes. Moreover, it is not recommended as priority on the cargo ferry is given to commercial vehicles and then residents.

Probably your easiest alternative would be to take a taxi, or have a car service meet you at the airport. A taxi will cost between $65-$100 and will take between an hour to an hour and a half depending on the traffic (e.g. Friday afternoons could take even longer). A reputable taxi service that the Palmetto Guesthouse recommends is Al’s Public Car Service. Mr. Alvaro Cuellar speaks English & Spanish & generally charges closer to the $65 range. You can book in advance with Al by phoning 787-590-9001 (he is based in Fajardo, so advance booking & then confirmation is necessary).

Lastly, you could rent a car. World Car Rental (787) 860-4808 will rent you a one-way car from $65 (economy car, which includes their Fajardo drop off fee. They can pick you up at the San Juan International  Thrifty is a second option at approximately $59.99/day + ins. & a $60.00 drop off charge (787-860-2030)

You should plan to be in Fajardo AT LEAST two hours prior to the ferry’s scheduled departure in order to get in line for tickets. The round trip costs $4.50 per person and if you know when you would like to return and they are selling round trip tickets the day you make your purchase it is convenient to buy them so that you don’t have to wait in line again on the Culebra side.  (See above for current ferry schedule.)  There is a published phone number for advance reservations, however this phone is never answered and advance reservations are not taken.

Visitors
Visitors are welcome as long as they don’t disturb or interfere with the peace and freedom of other guests.

Facilities and amenities (showers, computer, kitchen areas and cooking facilities) are for the EXPLICIT use of Palmetto Guesthouse registered guests only. Unauthorized overnight visitors are STRICTLY PROHIBITED without prior acceptance and will be charged and/or asked to leave the premises.