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's also generally regarded as the finest in the Caribbean. Backed by low scrub and trees rather than craning palms, Flamenco gets very crowded on weekends, especially with day-trippers from San Juan. Alone among Culebra's beaches, it has a range of amenities. Weekdays are good for a visit, when crowds are few.

In the winter months 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.