Boating and Sailing Near Culebra

There is still much to be discovered about sailing to Culebra

Photo credit: © Jan Cihlar

As a small island off the coast of mainland Puerto Rico, many people consider Culebra to be a prime sailing destination. With warm, calm waters that lie between the two islands, they are indeed correct that sailing here is a pleasure, but there are a few steps to take that make the process something you have to plan in advance.

The interesting thing about this destination is that yachters are still discovering much about sailing here on a daily basis. This is because Culebra was off-limits for many years thanks to a military presence. Now it is fully open to guests who both want to sail about the island on their own terms and who would like to participate in a day sail hosted by a local.

Entry Requirements

If you're going to sail yourself internationally, you'll have to be aware of the entry requirements otherwise you'll be turned away or considered to be in the country illegally. First, you'll have to visit an official customs office to gain clearance. There is one located on Culebra. If you arrive to the island after business hours, you'll have to wait on your boat until the office opens again, since you may not leave the boat until it is time to clear in.

While those sailing from the United States do not need a passport, having one can make the process a little easier. There are several programs available for U.S. and Candian citizens that expedite entry and exit if you have sailed to Puerto Rico before, so be sure to ask your customs officer about them at this time.

Foreign vessels will also need to present passports for each crew member, and will in some cases need a visa. They will need to obtain a cruising license to sail around Puerto Rico and through all other designated U.S. waters.

All boats are required to fly a yellow quarantine flag as they enter the marina and at the very least as they anchor and wait to be cleared.


There are a few different options for sailing into a docking around Culebra. If you're traveling from the east, Bahia de Sardinas is the most accessible option. From the southwest, you can head to Ensenada Honda, but you'll have to enter via one of the canals rather then the lagoon. Opinions vary on whether this is the best or worst dock to travel to thanks to unexpected swells; however it is just a short walk from here to the customs office. Playa Tamarindo is another option, but if the wind is blowing in from the North East it can be tricky to navigate. Ensenada Dakity to the southwest is favored by those who like to avoid crowds.

Evaluating the option of visiting Culebra using your own vessel, or one you charter in a different location? The following table contains a list of marinas in the area.

Name Phone Location Island
Dewey Boatyard -- Culebra Pueblo Isla de Culebra

If you've dreamed of taking to the sea to sail through the Caribbean on your own, or if you just want to spend a few hours with a view of Culebra's coast as you bob through the water on a luxury yacht, you can make it happen when you plan a trip to sail in Culebra.

Nearby Anchorages
Location Latitude Longitude
Ensenada del Coronel - Culebra Pueblo 18.3093788724 -65.2910399437
Ensenada Honda - Culebra Pueblo 18.3067305763 -65.2983784676
Ensenada Fulladosa - 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) Southeast of Culebra Pueblo 18.2920885981 -65.2879285811
Ensenada Dakity - 1.9 mi. (3.1 km) Southeast of Culebra Pueblo 18.2906158348 -65.2803754807
Puerto del Manglar - 3.3 mi. (5.3 km) East of Culebra Pueblo 18.2978075536 -65.2529740334
Flamenco Beach - 1.8 mi. (2.9 km) Northwest of Culebra Pueblo 18.3313281865 -65.3169393539
Playa South Beach - 2.2 mi. (3.6 km) West-Southwest of Culebra Pueblo 18.2997537068 -65.3345775604
Playa Tortuga - Culebrita 18.3208175799 -65.229434967

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.