Snorkeling Around Culebra

Photo credit: © Culebra Divers

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.  Flamenco Beach Snorkeling Site, 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. 

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to experience what's down below you might enjoy visiting 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 snorkeling spot you might enjoy. 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 place 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 location where you can 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, this site is found on Culebra.

Playa Punta de Soldado is a fifth site 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 following chart lists more details regarding 10 of the most popular places where you can experience snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Culebra
Site Location
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
Bahia Tamarindo 1.5 mi. West-Northwest of Central Culebra Pueblo
Bahia Mosquito 2.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Culebra Pueblo

Snorkeling Services

Culebra Divers

If you're looking for a place offering snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to check with Culebra Divers. This full-service shop and professional staff offer the best snorkeling experience on the island. Even if you don't want to sign up for a tour, you can rent your gear from them and head out on your own. They are located on Culebra Pueblo, in the central part of Culebra.

Another company worth knowing about is Aquatic Adventures. Personalize snorkeling tours mean you'll get the underwater experience you've been dreaming of every time.

A third option is Culebra Island Adventures. One of the top rated tour guides on the island, they offer guests the chance to snorkel one of the most pristine eco-systems in the Caribbean. They're found on Isla de Culebra.

A few details concerning 4 firms that provide snorkeling services are summarized down below.

Snorkeling Services On Culebra
Name Type Phone Location
Aquatic Adventures Snorkeling Tour Operator (515) 290-2310 Culebra Pueblo, Central Culebra
Culebra Divers Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (787) 742-0803 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 about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this comprehensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

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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