Some of the most ideal snorkeling sites in all of Puerto Rico exist in the waters surrounding the tiny island of Culebra. Not only are the conditions great, but the underwater world is pristine and vibrant, a true testament to how vital protected marine areas can be.
In many of the best snorkeling areas of Culebra, the shallow reefs are between 10 and 50 feet deep, with visibility that allows snorkelers to see straight to the bottom as the explore the elaborate reef patches that squid, hawksbill turtles, sea urchins, and many species of tropical fish frequent. Add on to this the fact that water temperatures are almost always over 80 degrees and currents are almost non-existent, and you can see what all the fuss is about.
As you choose your snorkeling site on Culebra, look to the west coast. These waters are the calmest because numerous offshore cays and islets protect the island from any strong waves that may come from the north. Don't be discouraged by the beaches that are rocky and lack sand. The snorkeling here is still great. , on the other hand, with its wide, white sand beach and gorgeous blue waters, is the picture of the ideal snorkeling destination, and it is for sure the most popular site on the island.
If you're looking forward to experiencing below the water's surface you might enjoy Zoni Beach. Located on the windward side of the island, this is one site that can be hit or miss. You need to watch out for waves, currents, and rip-tides on most days, but if you can visit on a day when the weather is nice, you'll encounter a great reef to explore. This snorkeling site is located on Culebra.
Culebra National Wildlife Refuge's Luis Pena Cay is another option. A protected area that has a "no-take" policy, this is just one of the four beaches on site known for its healthy and prolific reef.
A third site to consider is Carlos Rosario Beach. Considered to be the best snorkeling spot on the island, the snorkeling here is done in about 15 to 25 feet of water, but you'll encounter a very healthy reef system that is alive with tropical fish.
A fourth place to go snorkeling is Playa Melones. Depths reach between 10 and 15 feet at this site, which is part of a natural reserve and thus healthy and vibrant. Underwater, you'll be able to see rock and coral reef formations, many fans, and a great amount of fish. If you want to experience it for yourself, you'll find this site found on Culebra.
Playa Punta de Soldado is a fifth location to consider. It takes some work to get to this beach, but the pay-off is a nice selection of underwater rocks fans, and bright fish.
The table directly below lists some key facts concerning 10 of the most popular places to enjoy snorkeling in this area.
|Zoni Beach||3.3 mi. East of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|Culebra National Wildlife Refuge's Luis Pena Cay||2.4 mi. West of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|Carlos Rosario Beach||3.4 mi. Northwest of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|Playa Melones||0.8 mi. West-Southwest of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|Playa Punta de Soldado||2.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|Flamenco Beach||1.8 mi. North-Northwest of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|Playa South Beach||2.2 mi. West of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|Culebra National Wildlife Refuge's Luis Pena Cay||1.7 mi. West of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|1.5 mi. West-Northwest of Central Culebra Pueblo|
|2.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Culebra Pueblo|
If you looking for someone that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you should check out Culebra Divers. The snorkeling trip takes pace in the afternoon and takes guests to some of the more remote areas around the island by boat. They are found within Culebra Pueblo, in the central part of Culebra.
A second place worth knowing about is Aquatic Adventures. The snorkeling trips take guests to the Luis Peña Channel Natural Reserve which will ensure you see healthy, thriving coral and sea life while you are underwater.
A third company worth contacting is Culebra Island Adventures. The tours feature both snorkeling and kayaking, and allow guests to explore coral reefs filled with colorful fish sting rays, and turtles, among other breathtaking marine life. They're situated on Isla de Culebra.
The chart below provides you with some information with regard to 4 places that provide snorkeling related services.
|Aquatic Adventures||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(515) 290-2310||Culebra Pueblo, Central Culebra|
|Culebra Divers||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(787) 742-0566||Culebra Pueblo, Central Culebra|
|Culebra Island Adventures||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 529-3536||Isla de Culebra|
|Snorkel SVI||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(787) 930-2111||Isla de Culebra|
For more information concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling page.
The majesty of the underwater world of Culebra is almost indescribable, and for sure something you have to see for yourself to believe. Even if you aren't staying on the island long term, you'll definitely want to seek out a tour operator to get you here for a day of snorkeling.
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