Playa Flamenco

Top choice beach in Culebra
Image by Pedro Díaz Cosme / Getty Images

Stretching for a mile around a sheltered, horseshoe-shaped bay, Playa Flamenco is not only one of Culebra’s best beaches, it also makes a regular appearance on the world's best beaches lists. Backed by low scrub and trees rather than lofty palms, Flamenco gets very crowded on weekends and holidays, especially with day-trippers from San Juan, so plan a weekday visit. Alone among Culebra's beaches, it has a full range of amenities.

In winter you’ll feel like Robinson Crusoe contemplating the clarity of the water here; the name comes from the nearby lagoon, which attracts flamingos in winter. Services include a collection of kiosks (selling snack food, lunches, rum punches and beer, and renting beach gear), toilets, outdoor showers, lockers, lifeguards, picnic tables and an often jam-packed parking lot. Camping is allowed.

The iconic rusting tank is at the beach's western end, a legacy of when US troops practiced invasions here. Its swirling green and yellow stripes, the work of local artist Jorge Acevedo, represent a dancing fish.

Playa Flamenco is 4.5km from the ferry terminal and is a straight shot from Dewey. The main road leading out of town becomes Hwy 251, passes the airport and ends at the beach. By car, the trip takes about 15 minutes; by foot, plan on 40 minutes.